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What 'The Crown' Gets Right About Princess Anne's Life as a Young Woman

Amy Mackelden
·4-min read
What 'The Crown' Gets Right About Princess Anne's Life as a Young Woman

From Good Housekeeping

The Crown has hit the nail on the head for just about every character in the show throughout the series' four seasons. Princess Anne, the first and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, is no exception.

Both she and her older brother, Prince Charles, find themselves dealing with everything from complicated romantic prospects to inevitable family tension on the Netflix show, and fans are likely wondering how much of The Crown's drama is based in truth.

Here, we take a look at the key moments in Princess Anne's young life and explore what The Crown gets right.

The young princess enjoyed wearing miniskirts.

Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, wrote for the Daily Mail in 2018, "Princess Anne, as a teenager, enjoyed dressing daringly, choosing to wear very short skirts, much to the chagrin of her grandmother, the Queen Mother."

Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

Clearly, royal rules and protocols are made to be broken. In The Crown, Anne's striking fashion sense is a real focal point, and it shows that she embraced the trends of the era.

Anne really did date Andrew Parker Bowles.

One of the more enticing plot lines from The Crown had to be the love quadrangle that involved Princess Anne, Andrew Parker Bowles, Prince Charles and Camilla Shand. But Anne's relationship with Parker Bowles apparently did happen.

Photo credit: William Lovelace - Getty Images
Photo credit: William Lovelace - Getty Images

Biographer Penny Junor confirmed the complicated events at the Henley Literary Festival in 2016. She said of Camilla (via the Daily Mail), "When she was introduced to Charles and he thought she was pretty special … he thought she was a bit of alright and she thought, 'Andrew is at the moment off with Princess Anne, you know her brother, teach Andrew a lesson.' So she had a fling with Charles."

Camilla (who would, as we now know, go on to marry Charles eventually) and Andrew were on a break. As a result, Camilla started dating Charles while Anne was seeing Andrew. Even though Anne's fling with Andrew appears to have been short-lived, the pair remained firm friends and were regularly photographed together throughout the years.

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

She married a fellow equestrian.

After her romance with Andrew ended, Anne married Mark Phillips in November 1973. According to the Chicago Tribune, the couple "first met in 1968 at a party for horse lovers," and went on to have two children together — Peter and Zara Phillips.

The New York Times reported, "There were more than 500 million viewers — the most ever for a wedding," and as many as 2,000 guests attended the nuptials at Westminster Abbey.

Photo credit: Hulton Deutsch - Getty Images
Photo credit: Hulton Deutsch - Getty Images

However, the marriage was later plagued by rumors of distance and infidelity. Per the Chicago Tribune, "Phillips had semi-public affairs," while "Anne was linked romantically with actor Anthony Andrews, her bodyguard, and, most recently, an equerry to the queen, Cmdr. Timothy Laurence," the last of whom she'd later marry.

Anne's separation from Phillips was announced on August 31, 1989, and their divorce was finalized in April 1992.

The princess was the first British royal Olympian.

The royal family's official website confirmed that Princess Anne (who is also known as the Princess Royal) competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games when "she rode the Queen's horse, Goodwill, in the equestrian three-day event."

In The Crown, Anne's love of horses is made clear, with the princess regularly wearing her riding boots around the palace. Her sporting successes have undoubtedly been a crucial part of her life. In 1988, Anne was appointed as a Member of the International Olympic Committee and continues to support Team GB athletes even now.

Photo credit: Terry Disney - Getty Images
Photo credit: Terry Disney - Getty Images

A kidnapping attempt was made, but The Crown doesn't cover it.

While the events in The Crown involving Princess Anne are pretty juicy, apparently there's one pretty significant event that isn't covered by the show. Per Smithsonian, on March 20, 1974, Anne was traveling back to Buckingham Palace when a man with two handguns managed to overtake and stop the royal limo. Shooting Anne's bodyguard in the shoulder, assailant Ian Ball attempted to get Anne out of her vehicle.

Photo credit: Harry Dempster - Getty Images
Photo credit: Harry Dempster - Getty Images

The terrifying kidnap attempt led to several people being shot and wounded, and per Smithsonian, "Police would later find two pairs of handcuffs, Valium tranquilizers and a ransom letter addressed to the queen." Eek! Anne was apparently instrumental in stopping Ball, as she threw herself out of the opposite passenger door, knowing that Ball would attempt to run after her, only to jump back in the car and quickly lock the door. A literal action-hero princess in our midst.

The Crown Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.


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