Inside the Unique Royal World of the Unflappable Princess Anne

“And theyd been away for very long times and that again was part of the expectation…And of course it was made worse by her father dying so early on in her career that she didnt have the option really to spend more time at home.”The stoic princess, who was quick to defend their mother when Charles told an interviewer in the 1990s that the queen was a distant parent—it “just beggars belief,” Anne fired back—was more like their father than Charles was, and Philip appreciated his daughters athleticism, fearlessness and dry wit.Getty Images “Shes got the same quick brain as the Duke of Edinburgh and doesnt suffer fools,” Lord Patrick Beresford, a friend of Anne and Phillip, told royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith.But while their temperaments differed, Anne was there for Charles, attending his plays at boarding school and, once they were older, hitting the international circuit with him to represent Britain, including a trip to Washington, D.C., in 1970 (during which President Richard Nixon tried to set the prince up with his daughter Tricia Nixon)..Anne also gave him riding lessons when, as an adult, he wanted to get over his fear of jumping so he could join in traditional foxhunts.Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Anne shared a particular love of horses with the queen, a love that she in turn would pass on to her own daughter..She forewent university in favor of pursuing her equestrian career and won the European Eventing Championship in 1971, after which she was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.Anne met champion rider Mark Phillips, then a lieutenant in the British Army, during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico and they bonded instantly, traveling to events together all over England..He won a gold medal in three-day eventing at the Munich Games in 1972 and they got engaged in April 1973, after both competing in the horse trials at Badminton. Their betrothal was formally announced on May 29, 1973, and Annes parents were said to be “delighted.”But not everyone was thrilled.Bettmann/Getty Images”I can see I shall have to find myself a wife pretty rapidly, otherwise I shall get left behind and feel very miserable,” Charles wrote to a friend upon hearing the news, per Bedell Smiths 2017 biography Prince Charles..However, his sisters engagement wasnt the only one plaguing the bachelor.Four months before Anne got married on Nov..14, 1974 (Charles birthday), his charming former girlfriend Camilla Shand married Andrew Parker-Bowles..The dashing British Army officer had previously dated Anne and, remaining friends, Anne was in the front row along with the Queen Mother at Andrew and Camillas July 4 wedding.Not being able to predict the future, Charles felt as if he was losing two of the most significant relationships in his life.Photos Royal Weddings GalorePress Association via AP Images A record 500 million people watched on TV as Anne married Phillips in front of roughly 2,000 guests..More than 10,000 people camped out along the procession route between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey to get a glimpse of the couple..They chanted “we want Anne!” and sang “Happy Birthday” for Charles..The bride wore a tudor-style gown by Maureen Baker..To go with her sapphire and diamond engagement ring, her wedding band was crafted from the same nugget of Welsh gold that supplied rings for the Queen Mother, the queen and Princess Margaret and, later, would do the same for Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.The queen gifted the newlyweds Gatcombe Park, a country estate in Gloucester, and they divided their time between that home, Annes bachelorette apartment at Buckingham Palace and Phillips military posting at Sandhurst.Perhaps contrary to expectations at the time, the couple didnt set about to have children right away..Riding her horse Doublet, Anne won silver medals in both individual and team disciplines at the 1975 European Eventing Championship, and she competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, becoming the first member of the British royal family to be in the Olympics.. More details

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