January 02, 2020

A Look at Princess Anne’s Love Life & Affair With Camilla’s Husband

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Unlike some of the other royals, Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, maintains a relatively low profile. One of the few things that put her in the tabloids is her love life, especially as it relates to the ex-husband of her brother's current wife.

Thanks to Netflix's hit series, "The Crown," more members of the British royal family have been facing greater scrutiny. Anne, Princess Royal, is being played by actress Erin Doherty and her relationship history is explored in the plot.

Princess Anne attends a formal event during a visit to New Zealand on March 16, 1970 | Photo: Getty Images


According to PEOPLE, one of the first men Princess Anne was ever linked to was Gerald Ward, a former cavalry officer. Neither party ever confirmed their romance, but it was widely believed that they were close.

Because the Church of England forbade divorced people to marry in its churches if their former spouse was still alive.

Princess Anne, an accomplished rider herself, also reportedly dated Richard Meade, a skilled horseman and three-time Olympic gold medalist. Till this day, Meade remains a close friend of the family.

Princess Anne on horse Purple Star at Eridge Horse Trials, Kent on August 3, 1968 | Photo: Getty Images


Per O, the Oprah Magazine, In 1976, the Princess became the first-ever royal to compete in the Olympics after qualifying for the equestrian three-day event.

Of all Princess Anne’s relationships, however, the one that has been sensationalized the most is her brief alliance with Andrew Parker Bowles.

For context, Parker Bowles is the first husband of Camilla, who is now the wife of Princess Anne's older brother, Prince Charles. Prince Charles kept on an affair with Camilla even while he was married to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Princess Anne & Andrew Parker Bowles at the Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 18, 2004, in Cheltenham, England | Photo: Getty Images


While most retellings, including "The Crown," try to make the story sound as scandalous as possible, things were slightly different in real life, at least as it concerns Princess Anne.

According to Esquire, Princess Anne did date Parker Bowles, but it was briefly in 1970, presumably while he was on a break with Camilla, who he met in the late '60s.

Princess Anne and Parker Bowles were reportedly done with their romance by 1971 when Camilla met Prince Charles at a polo match. The princess has remained close friends with her ex, however, making him the godfather of her second child.

Princess Anne officially opens the UK Hydrographic Office headquarters on April 25, 2019 in Taunton, England | Photo: Getty Images


On November 14, 1973, Princess Anne would tie the knot with her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips. The nationally-televised ceremony took place in Westminster Abbey and was reportedly watched by over 500 million people around the world.

Princess Anne and Phillips, who refused a title, welcomed their son, Peter, in 1977, and their daughter, Zara, in 1981. They now have two grandchildren, each from their kids.

Princess Anne & Mark Phillips wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding on Nov. 14, 1973 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images


Sadly, Princess Anne and Phillips's marriage fizzled out after 19 years. They announced their separation in 1989 and were divorced three years later. By December 1992, eight months later, the princess married her new man and current husband, Timothy Laurence.

Princess Anne and Laurence tied the knot in a small ceremony in Scotland because the Church of England forbade divorced people to marry in its churches if their former spouse was still alive.