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Nostalgia: Princess Anne marries Capt Mark Phillips

PUBLISHED: 12:10 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:27 16 May 2018

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips wave to crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1973. Picture: BIPNA/Archant Library

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips wave to crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1973. Picture: BIPNA/Archant Library

BIPNA/Archant Library

The Princess Royal and Mark Phillips were married for almost 20 years after their glittering wedding at Westminster Abbey.

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Picture: Archant LibraryPrincess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Picture: Archant Library

Princess Anne chalked up a first when she married Mark Phillips on November 14, 1973.

The service at Westminster Abbey in London was the first Royal wedding to be broadcast live on TV.

A special bank holiday was also declared for the day of the wedding, which was on a Wednesday.

This may well have helped boost audiences, which were estimated at hundreds of millions around the globe.

They watched Anne walk down the aisle in an embroidered Tudor-style wedding dress with medieval sleeves. The then Lieut Phillips wore the dress uniform of his regiment, the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards, complete with sword.

After the ceremony, the couple travelled to Buckingham Palace for a balcony appearence, before setting off on honeymoon cruising the Pacific on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.

A few months later, the couple had a far less happier journey when they car was forced to stop in central London by an armed man who tried to kidnap her for a £2m ransom to be paid to the NHS.

Anne allegedly replied “not bloody likely” before exiting the car as her protection officer and passers by tried to tackle the man. Her protection officer, chauffeur and a nearby journalist were all shot and wounded in the ensuing struggle before the assailant was overpowered.

Princess Anne and soon to be Capt Phillips had two children Peter, born on November 15, 1977 and Zara, born on May 15, 1981.

The couple married a year after they met at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where both were competing for Great Britain in equestrian events.

While they bonded over a love of horses, their shared passion was not enough to keep them together. They divorced on April 28, 1992. On December 12, 1992, Anne married Commander (later Vice Admiral) Timothy Laurence, the Queen’s equerry in a service at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral.

The couple wed in Scotland because the Church of England would not allow a divorcee whose former partner was still living to marry in one of its churches.

Anne became the first Royal divorcee to remarry since Victoria, Grand Duchess of Hesse, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, married a Russian nobleman in 1905.


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