Princess Anne was born on August 15, 1950, and at the time of her birth, she was second in line to the throne, behind her older brother Prince Charles. Now, she is fourteenth, following the arrivals of Prince Louis, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Anne falls behind her younger brothers in the order of succession because male primogeniture served as protocol for the royal family from the Act of Settlement of 1701 up until 2013. The Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, which ensures that a female heir cannot be surpassed in the line to the throne by a younger male heir, only applies to royals born after October 28, 2011.
Here’s what else you need to know about her:
She holds the title of Princess Royal.
As the daughter of the monarch, Anne was awarded the title of princess at birth. In 1987, the Queen granted her the additional title of the Princess Royal. Princess Charlotte will most likely eventually hold the title, after Prince William becomes King, but it is not automatic.
As royal writer Duncan Larcombe told Town & Country last year, “It is a title that remains for life, so Princess Charlotte will have to wait at least until the death of the current Princess Royal.”
Princess Anne is currently married to Sir Timothy Laurence.
Laurence is a retired British naval officer and former equerry to the Queen; the couple wed in in a quiet ceremony in a Presbyterian church near Balmoral in December of 1992. Princess Anne was previously married to Captain Mark Phillips, an Olympic equestrian and retired military officer. She and Phillips have two children together: Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall. Anne also has four grandchildren: Savannah Phillips, Isla Phillips, Mia Tindall, and Lena Tindall.
She is a full-time royal.
Anne entered public life at age 18, and she continues to serve as a working royal. Involved in upwards of 300 different charity organizations, Anne spent roughly 180 days at royal engagements in 2018, making her the busiest member of the royal family.
Like her mother, Anne is a keen equestrian.
In 1976, she competed in the Olympic Games riding one of her mother’s horses, and now she serves as the president of the British Olympic Association and a member of the International Olympic Committee.
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According to the royal family’s website, “the Princess also competed in multiple European Three-Day Event Championships, winning a gold medal in the 1971 individual discipline and silver in both the individual and team disciplines in 1975.”
Of her love of horses, Anne’s father colorfully said, “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”
She once foiled a kidnapping plot.
In 1974, a mentally ill 26-year-old named Ian Ball tried to kidnap the princess for a ransom of £2 million pounds; however, Anne and her no-nonsense attitude (and her personal security, of course) were not to be messed with.
“It was all so infuriating; I kept saying I didn’t want to get out of the car, and I was not going to get out of the car,” she said, according to the BBC. “I nearly lost my temper with him, but I knew that if I did, I should hit him and he would shoot me.”
Ball was eventually subdued by police. Then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson praised Anne in government papers, saying she behaved with “quite extraordinary courage and presence of mind,” in the situation.
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