Princess Anne is celebrating her 70th birthday. A look back at the eventful life of the "secret queen".
Sometimes Princess Anne is rock hard as a commissary. Then she will live up to her rank as Honorary Colonel in the British Armed Forces, and Her Royal Highness will give her counterpart her opinion. For this they love their subjects.
On August 15th the princess, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II (94), will be 70 years old. On this occasion the British broadcaster ITV is broadcasting the documentary "Princess Royal: Anne at 70". The TV people followed the princess for a year – and got to know her undisguised character.
Always open and honest
She says what she thinks, regardless of loss. Since she is completely the daughter of her father, the grumpy Prince Philip (99). Her Royal Highness Princess Anne does not like diplomacy and royal distance. This applies above all to their feelings – and then creates a lot of fuss.
The second season of the award-winning Netflix series "The Crown" revealed last year: the young Anne had an affair with Andrew Parker Bowles (80), the later husband of the lover and later wife of her brother Charles (71). There's always something going on at the Windsors.
In the film, Anne (Erin Doherty, 28) is lying in bed in black lingerie, in front of her an angular Andrew Parker Bowles (Andrew Buchan, 41) struts around with a bare chest and says: "That was fun!" So it could actually have happened.
This film Anne is a very easygoing person. She knows that she does not play a dynastic role in the royal family and takes her liberties. She is a secret close ally of her brother Charles, who, offended by his mother's cool tone, asks his sister in exasperation: "Don't you want to be heir to the throne?" Anne smiles meaningfully, she might as well have answered: "No interest …"
The real Anne also has this strong character. She is headstrong but dutiful, and she has energy. Her father Philip has always seen her as the better son.
Anne was a successful rider (European champion in individual competition in 1971) and a member of the British Olympic team in 1976. She is the busiest of Windsor and attends most of the royal family's public appointments. This is one of the reasons why Anne is by far the Royals' most popular woman.
In 1974 a criminal felt the princess’s resolve. When he tried to kidnap her from her limousine in the middle of London and shot wildly, Anne refused to leave her car. The 26-year-old perpetrator had to give up.
She also demonstrated her own head when the US President visited. While Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla (73) devoted themselves to their guest Donald Trump (74) and his wife Melania (50) and politely exchanged courtesies, Anne slipped away. From a few meters she watched impassively as "Bild" had observed. "The Queen throws a demanding look at the Princess Royal, but she doesn't care at all. Instead, you can see Princess Anne shrugging her shoulders." Anne was hailed as a "saucoole sock" by the London media for her rebellion towards the Trumps.
Affair with no future
When Princess Anne met Andrew Parker Bowles, an officer ten years her senior, she was just 20. Parker Bowles was by no means a stranger to the royal family. The graduate of the legendary Sandhurst Royal Military Academy comes from a distinguished noble family. His father Derek Parker Bowles owned a famous riding stable for racing horses and was close friends with the king mother. So it may be that Anne and Andrew Parker played Bowles together as children. The officer had been in a relationship with Camilla Shands since the late 1960s. This lady, born in 1947, would become Anne's sister-in-law 35 years later …
When Anne began her affair with Andrew Parker Bowles around 1970, it had an impact on her family as well. Parker Bowles first ditched his girlfriend Camilla, who was now free and in turn began a quarrel with Anne's brother Prince Charles, the English heir to the throne.
Some Royal Watchers believe that Parker Bowles had very serious intentions about the queen's daughter. But for them it was more of an exciting adventure because it was forbidden. She knew perfectly well that everything was against an official connection. Parker Bowles came from a Roman Catholic family and Anne from an Anglican family. What's more, the Queen is the head of the Anglican Church, and it is absolutely unthinkable that anyone from her clan should marry a Catholic person. When Anne's nephew Prince Harry (35) married the Catholic Meghan Markle (39, "Suits") almost 50 years later, the actress had to change her denomination beforehand and be baptized in Anglican.
The end of Anne and Andrew's love affair had ramifications for Charles too. Camilla returned to the dashing officer and married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973. The press celebrated the "Wedding of the Year" – the Royal Family included Queen Mum (1900-2002), Princess Margaret (71) and Anne. Charles didn't come.
Confusions of love and affairs
In the same year Princess Anne married the officer and rider Mark Philips (71). After 19 years of marriage and the birth of two children, the relationship, which was considered largely unhappy, divorced in 1992.
At this point, the princess had long since had an affair with the Queen's stable master, who was five years her junior. Timothy Laurence (65) was actually a naval officer, but was posted as an adjutant to the Queen's court in 1986. Anne got to know him through her mother.
Anne's secret love letters to Laurence, which a still unknown person had stolen and leaked to the tabloid "The Sun", caused a sensation. Shortly afterwards, Buckingham Palace confirmed the liaison, Anne and her first husband separated.
Just eight months after the divorce, Anne and Timothy Laurence married. However, the marriage had to take place in Scotland because the Church of England refused a second marriage to the divorced princess. She still lives with the Vice-Admiral of the Royal Navy, who has retired in 2011, very happily, as they say.
Connected in heartfelt dislike
She still maintains a very friendly relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles: the former brigadier general is now retired and, like Anne, is a downright horse lover. The two of them attend the exclusive Ascot race every year. He is also the godfather of Anne's daughter Zara (39).
Anne's relationship with Parker Bowles is much more relaxed than that with his ex-wife Camilla, who has been married to Prince Charles since 2005. It is said that both women are deeply disliked.