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Anne, Princess Royal

Alternative meaning: Anne, Princess of Orange

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise Laurence, née Mountbatten-Windsor1) (born 15 August 1950), is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She is the seventh daughter of a British Sovereign to bear the title Princess Royal.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, The Princess Royal, LG, LT, GCVO, and QSO was born at Clarence House, London. At the time the princess's birth, her mother was heir presumptive to the throne. Shortly before the birth of her elder brother, the current Prince of Wales, in 1948, King George VI issued Letters Patent granting the titular dignity of Prince or Princess of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the style Royal Highness to any children born to the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke of Edinburgh. From her birth until her mother's ascension to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II in February 1953, she was known as Her Royal Highness Princess Anne of Edinburgh. From 1953 until her first marriage in 1973, she was know as Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne, and thereafter, Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne, Mrs. Mark Philips. On 13 June 1987, the Queen declared her Princess Royal, a title traditionally (although not always) bestowed upon the eldest daughter of the British Sovereign. The title had been vacant since the death of the previous holder, Princess Mary, in 1965.

Princess Anne was educated at a private boarding school, Benenden School in Kent. She began to undertake royal and official duties as a teenager in the late 1960s. She married Lieutenant (later Captain) Mark Phillips, CVO, ADC, an army officer in The Queen's Dragoon Guards, on 14 November 1973 at Westminster Abbey. The Queen offered Phillips an earldom upon marriage. However, he declined this honour and declined it again just before the birth of the couple's first child in 1977. Further, the Princess Royal did not wish her children to have titles. The couple had two children:

The Princess Royal and Captain Philips divorced in April 1992. On 12 December 1992, she married Commander (now Rear Admiral) Timothy Laurence, a naval officer and former member of the Royal Household, at Crathie Church, near Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

The Princess Royal is an outstanding horsewoman, who was selected for the British three-day eventing team for the 1975 European championships, winning silver medals both as an individual and as part of the team. She also competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada. Her success led to her appointment to the International Olympic Committee as an administrator, where she has reportedly made considerable quiet efforts to fight the corruption in that organisation.

In August 1974, the Queen awarded Princess Anne the Dame Grand Chain of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in recognition for the bravery she displayed during a failed attempt to kidnap her as she and Captain Phillips drove along the Mall enroute to Buckingham Palace the previous March. She became an Extra Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO) in 1990. In 1994, the Queen appointed the Princess Royal a Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (LG). In June 2000, to mark her fiftieth birthday, she was appointed a Lady of the Order of the Thistle (LT), in recognition for her charitable work. The Princess Royal

The Princess Royal holds a number of honorary appointments in the British Armed Forces and those of several Commonwealth countries. She is the colonel-in-chief of the 14/20, the King's Own Hussars, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29/45 Foot), the Eighth Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's), the Royal Corps of Signals, the Canadian Forces Communications and Electronics Branch, the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, and the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Militia. She became chief commandant of the Women's Royal Naval Service in 1974 and became chief commandant for women in the Royal Navy, with the honorary rank of rear admiral, in 1993. She is an honorary air commodore in the RAF Lyneham. Since 2000, the Princess Royal has served as Gold Stick and colonel-in-chief of The Blues and the Royals. Since 2001, she has served as the chancellor of the University of London.

The Princess Royal also maintains a heavy schedule of royal engagements and extensive charity work, notably the children's charity Save The Children, of which she has been president since 1970. She has for a number of years the most hardworking member of the Royal Family. Once the most unpopular member of the Royal Family in the 1970s (when she earned the nickname Princess Sourpuss), she is now the most popular, widely regarded for her extensive charity work, no-nonsense attitude towards dealing with bureaucrats and her willingness to go anywhere, no matter how disturbing the images she would see, in her campaigning work for African poverty.

In 2002, the Princess Royal become the first member of the royal family to appear in court since King Charles I was charged with treason. She pleaded guilty to the charge that her dog Dotty attacked two boys while she and her husband were taking her for a walk in Windsor Great Park. The Princess Royal was fined £500 and ordered to give more training for Dotty. She is thus a convicted criminal. In December 2003, one of The Queen's corgis had to be put down, after being savaged by another of the Princess Royal's dogs, Florence.

See also: British Royal Family


1 The Princess Royal is a member of the House of Windsor. As the daughter of the British Sovereign, she rarely uses her surname. Born with the surname Windsor, she held the surname Mountbatten-Windsor from the Queen's 1960 declaration until her first marriage. The name 'Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise Mountbatten-Windsor' appeared on her 1974 and her 1992 marriage registers. Since her remarriage in December 1992, her surname is now Laurence. She appeared on the court register as 'Laurence, Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise' in Regina v Laurence.