Category Archives: British Royals

Jack Brooksbank, fiancé of Princess Eugenie of York

by Susan Flantzer

Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York; Photo Credit – https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily

On January 22, 2018, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank. The wedding will be held on October 12, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.  Princess Eugenie is a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the younger of the two daughters of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York. Jack and Eugenie were introduced by mutual friends in 2010 during a skiing holiday in Verbier, Switzerland. The couple dated for seven years before becoming engaged.

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Jack and Princess Eugenie in 2010

Born on May 3, 1986, Jack Brooksbank is the elder of the two sons of George Brooksbank, an accountant and company director, and the former Nicola Newton. He has a younger brother Thomas born in 1988. Jack attended Stowe School, an exclusive independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire, England.

Jack skipped university and started working in the hospitality trade. He first worked in pubs including the Admiral Codrington in Chelsea, London then got a job at the trendy restaurant, the Markham Inn, also in the Chelsea area of London, which has since closed. Then Jack worked as the manager of the nightclub Mahiki in Mayfair, London, frequented by the younger royals. Currently, he is the brand ambassador of Casamigos Tequila, which was co-founded by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman. In 2017, Jack set up a wholesale company for the sale of wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverage called Jack Brooksbank Limited.

Jack and Eugenie are third cousins twice removed via their mutual descent from Thomas Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester. Eugenie’s mother Sarah, Duchess of York is the great-great-granddaughter of Lady Julia Coke, the daughter of Thomas Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester who is Jack’s great-great-grandfather.  For more information about Jack Brooksbank’s ancestors see Marlene Koenig’s 2016 article at Royal Musings: Perhaps an engagement…

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Jack and his future mother-in-law Sarah, Duchess of York at the 2017 Royal Ascot

Breaking News: Princess Eugenie of York Engaged!

Engagement Photo of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank; Photo Credit – https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily

Buckingham Palace announced on January 22, 2018: “The Duke and Duchess of York are delighted to announce the engagement of Princess Eugenie to Mr. Jack Brooksbank. Her Royal Highness and Mr. Brooksbank became engaged in Nicaragua earlier this month. The wedding will take place in the Autumn of 2018 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, with further details to be announced in due course.”

Princess Eugenie of York is the younger of the two daughters of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York and a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II. The princess had been in a long-term relationship with Jack Brooksbank. He is the former manager of the nightclub Mahiki, in Mayfair, London, frequented by the younger royals and is currently the brand ambassador of Casamigos Tequila, which was co-founded by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman.

Unofficial Royalty: Princess Eugenie of York

Breaking News – Another baby for Zara and Mike Tindall

source: The Telegraph, credit: Andrew Matthews

It’s been announced that Zara and Mike Tindall are expecting their second child.  Zara is the daughter of Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, and the second eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II.

The couple have a daughter Mia Grace, born in January 2014.  Zara also suffered a miscarriage in December 2016.

Telegraph: Queen ‘very pleased’ as Zara and Mike Tindall announce they are expecting another baby

A British Royal Christmas

by Scott Mehl

Royal Christmas celebrations in the United Kingdom begin in mid-December when The Queen hosts a luncheon at Buckingham Palace for the entire extended Royal Family. This gives The Queen a chance to celebrate with her cousins and their families before she travels to Sandringham for Christmas itself.

The Queen en route to Sandringham in 2015. source: The Daily Mail

Soon after the luncheon, The Queen travels to Sandringham, her private home in Norfolk, where she will stay through the anniversary of her accession, in early February. In recent years, Her Majesty has traveled by train, departing from London’s King Cross Station on a scheduled route – in a first-class car, of course. Less than two hours later, she arrives at King’s Lynn Station and is driven the few miles to her Sandringham Estate. Prior to 1901, Christmas was traditionally celebrated at Windsor Castle. It was King Edward VII who began celebrating at Sandringham, which was purchased for him as a country home in the early 1860s. His son and grandson, Kings George V and George VI, continued the tradition. Today, Queen Elizabeth II  also spends the holidays there, along with her family.

The rest of the family arrives on Christmas Eve. Guests include The Queen’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as the families of her niece and nephew, Lady Sarah Chatto and The Earl of Snowdon (the children of the late Princess Margaret). The arrive in very precise order, based on precedence, with The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall the last to make their appearance.  Despite its size, Sandringham House is rather small when it comes to accommodations.  Often, members of the staff are moved elsewhere on the estate, and their rooms are used to house members of the Royal Family.

Sandringham House. photo: By Elwyn Thomas Roddick, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6200717

Once all have arrived and gotten settled in their rooms, the family meets for tea in the White Drawing Room at 4:00 pm. There, the younger members of the family help to put the last of the decorations on the large spruce tree, brought in from the estate. The tradition of a Christmas Tree first began in the late 18th century when Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, had a yew tree brought in and decorated. This continued for many years, but it wasn’t until the reign of Queen Victoria that it became popular. In 1848, the London Illustrated News published an image of the Royal Family gathered around their Christmas Tree at Windsor Castle. And in 1850, Queen Victoria commissioned James Roberts to paint a watercolor of The Queen’s Tree in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle. The painting shows the tree decorated with candles, and placed on a table surrounded by gifts from The Queen’s family. (See the painting here!) A second painting shows the trees of Queen Victoria’s children and her mother, The Duchess of Kent. (See the painting here!)

The White Drawing Room, Sandringham

Following tea, the family proceeds into the Red Drawing Room to exchange gifts. Tables are set up with each person’s gifts placed on them. And the gifts are not quite what one would expect! Apparently, gag gifts are the presents of choice, and the family goes out of their way to find the silliest things. One year, Prince Harry reportedly gave The Queen a bathing cap with “Ain’t life a bitch?” printed on it, and a light-up pepper mill was apparently one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s favorite gifts!

That evening, a formal dinner is held in the Dining Room, with the men in black-tie and the women in evening gowns and their best jewels. Following dinner, the women adjourn to the drawing room for coffee or tea, while the men enjoy some brandy in the Dining Room.

Church of Saint Mary Magdalene. photo: By Philip Halling, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6200708

Christmas Day begins with a full English breakfast followed by a private service at 9:00 am at the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate, at which the Queen receives communion privately.

photo: AP/Matt Dunham, source: The Telegraph

A second service is held at 11:00 am.  The Duke of Edinburgh traditionally leads the members of the family on the brief walk from the house to the church, while The Queen arrives by car, often accompanied by her daughter-in-law, The Countess of Wessex. Both before and after this service, members of the family greet the crowds of people who have gathered. The family then return to Sandringham House, where lunch is served in the Dining Room. Once the meal is done, The Queen invites the head chef to join the family in the dining room and raises a toast to him.

Her Majesty photographed during her Christmas Broadcast in 2016. photo: AP/The Independent

At 3 pm, the family all gathers around the television to watch The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast. The tradition of the Christmas Message began with a radio broadcast given by King George V in 1932. The King spoke live to the people of the British Empire from a small office at Sandringham. Impressed with the response, as well as the new technology which allowed him to reach the far corners of the Empire, King George V continued giving a Christmas Message each year until his death in early 1936. In 1939, after the outbreak of war, the Christmas Broadcast became firmly cemented as an annual tradition for the British sovereign. King George VI broadcast a message from Sandringham to the people of the Empire, offering them reassurances in the uncertain times they were all facing. The Queen gave her first broadcast from Sandringham in 1952, using the same desk and chair used by her father and grandfather. Since 1957, the Christmas Broadcast has been televised, with the exceptions of 1963 (a radio broadcast was done instead, as The Queen was pregnant with Prince Edward), and 1969 (the documentary Royal Family was re-aired in place of the Christmas message).
YouTube: The Queen’s first televised broadcast, 1957

The day ends with a cold buffet dinner that evening, followed by a round of Charades (reportedly a favorite of The Queen), puzzles and other games.

Boxing Day – December 26th – begins with a big breakfast before the men go off on a shoot.  They are often joined by the women for lunch out on the moors.  Others enjoy hiking through the grounds of the estate.  Another dinner rounds out the evening, and the guests begin to leave the following day.  One exception is usually the Duchess of Cornwall.  She usually leaves on Boxing Day to spend time with her children and grandchildren.

Wedding of Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence

by Susan Flantzer

Photo Credit – www.dailymail.co.uk

Princess Anne married Timothy Laurence on December 12, 1992, at Crathie Church in Crathie, Scotland near Balmoral Castle.

Princess Anne’s Early Life

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Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise was born at Clarence House in London, England on August 15, 1950. She was the second child of the four children and the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born a Prince of Greece and Denmark). Anne had one elder brother Charles and two younger brothers, Andrew and Edward.

At the time of Anne’s birth, her mother was Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the sovereign was her grandfather, King George VI. The children of a daughter of a British sovereign would not usually have been accorded the style Royal Highness or the titles Prince/Princess as in the case of Anne’s own children. However, on October 22, 1948, Anne’s grandfather King George VI issued letters patent allowing the children of his eldest daughter and heiress presumptive, to use the style and title of a royal prince or princess. Therefore, Anne was Her Royal Highness Princess Anne of Edinburgh at birth.

King George VI died on February 6, 1952, and his elder daughter Princess Elizabeth became Queen. Upon her mother’s accession to the throne, Anne was styled Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne. Anne was too young to attend her mother’s coronation, but she did make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as can be seen in the above photo.

Catherine Peebles who was the governess of Prince Charles was also Anne’s governess and she was responsible for Anne’s early education. In 1959, a Girl Guides company, 1st Buckingham Palace Company was formed at the palace to allow Anne to socialize with other girls. Similar Girl Guide companies had been formed at Buckingham Palace for Anne’s mother and her aunt Princess Margaret. From 1963-1968, Anne attended Benenden School, an independent boarding school for girls in Kent, England.

From a young age, Princess Anne was passionate about riding and she soon became an excellent equestrienne. In 1971, Anne won the European Eventing Championship and was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. For more than five years Anne competed with the British eventing team, winning a silver medal in both individual and team disciplines in the 1975 European Eventing Championship. In the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, Anne competed as a member of the British equestrian team.

Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips, a fellow equestrian, on November 14, 1973, at Westminster Abbey in London, England. The couple had two children: Peter (born 1977) and Zara (born 1981). Anne and her first husband separated in 1989 and their divorce was finalized on April 23, 1992.

For more information, see Unofficial Royalty: Princess Anne, The Princess Royal

Timothy Laurence’s Early Life

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Timothy James Hamilton Laurence was born on March 1, 1955, in Camberwell, South London, England, the son of Guy Laurence and Barbara Symonds. His father was a Commander in the Royal Navy and then a salesman for a marine engine manufacturer. Timothy grew up in Kent, England along with his older brother Jonathan.

Timothy began his education at The New Beacon Preparatory School in Sevenoaks, Kent, England. He then attended Sevenoaks School also in Sevenoaks, Kent, England, founded in 1432. Timothy attended University College, Durham on a Naval Scholarship where he was the editor of the student newspaper and captain of the cricket team. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in geography and then completed his naval training at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth.

Timothy served on a number of Royal Navy ships as a navigating officer and then as a commander. From 1986-1989, he had his first staff appointment as Equerry to Queen Elizabeth II. An equerry must be a senior officer in the British Armed Services. Timothy also served in various posts in the Ministry of Defence. He retired from the Royal Navy in 2010 with the rank Vice Admiral.

For more information, see Unofficial Royalty: Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence

The Couple

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Timothy Laurence smiling at Princess Anne at the 1989 Royal Ascot Races. Anne is in the white outfit. The little girl is Anne’s daughter Zara.

Timothy first met his future wife, Anne, Princess Royal when he was Equerry to Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen’s Equerry for three years, Timothy learned the ways of the Royal Family. He often ate with the family, accompanied them on outings, cruised with them on the royal yacht, and made the formal introductions when important guests came to visit. Anne’s marriage to Mark Phillips was in trouble and Timothy caught her eye. However, it was not until 1989, when four of Timothy’s love letters were stolen from Anne’s briefcase at Buckingham Palace that the romance came to light. In the same year, Anne separated from her first husband, but the courtship with Timothy remained discreet. The couple was seldom seen together until Anne’s divorce became final in April 1992.

The couple’s intention to marry was announced by Buckingham Palace on December 5, 1992, just a week before the wedding. A Palace spokesperson said, “Due to the level of speculation about the matter, we decided to confirm that The Princess Royal and Commander Laurence are planning to marry, but I cannot say where and when.”

Timothy gave Anne a ring with a cabochon sapphire surrounded by three small diamonds on either side.

The Wedding

Photo Credit – http://www.hellomagazine.com

The small, private wedding was held on December 12, 1992, at the tiny Crathie Church in Crathie, Scotland where the British Royal Family worships when they are staying at Balmoral Castle. The couple chose to marry in Scotland as the Church of England did not at that time allow divorced persons whose former spouses were still living to remarry in its churches. The Church of Scotland does not consider marriage to be a sacrament and has no objection to the remarriage of divorced persons.

Princess Anne arrived at Crathie Church accompanied by her father Prince Philip and her 11-year-old daughter Zara who acted as her bridesmaid. Anne was dressed in a simple white suit with white blossoms in her hair and Timothy was wearing his Royal Navy uniform. Before about 30 guests, the bride and groom exchanged vows to stay together “until God shall separate us by death.” After the ceremony, the newlyweds emerged from the church to the cheers of about 500 well-wishers. Press and photographers were barred from the church but they lined the road from Balmoral Castle to Crathie Church.

Among the guests were Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, Anne’s three brothers: Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, Anne’s two children: Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips. Two prominent members of the Royal Family were absent: The Princess of Wales, whose formal separation from her husband had been announced a few days earlier, and The Duchess of York who was separated from her husband Prince Andrew. The Princess of Wales sent her best wishes to Anne. Aides indicated she did not attend because she did not want Anne’s wedding to become a media circus.

After the wedding, the newlyweds and their guests had a short celebration at Craigowan Lodge on the Balmoral Estate.

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Works Cited

  • latimes. (2017). Britain’s Princess Anne Remarries: Wedding: Scottish ceremony brings a tiny bit of joy to a year that saw more than one royal marriage fail.. [online] Available at: http://articles.latimes.com/1992-12-13/news/mn-4165_1_princess-anne [Accessed 31 Aug. 2017].
  • Nytimes.com. (2017). In Quiet Scottish Ceremony, Anne Marries Naval Officer. [online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/13/world/in-quiet-scottish-ceremony-anne-marries-naval-officer.html?mcubz=3 [Accessed 31 Aug. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). Anne, Princess Royal. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/anne-the-princess-royal/ [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/timothy-laurence-husband-of-anne-the-princess-royal/ [Accessed 31 Aug. 2017].
  • UPI. (2017). Princess Anne to marry former royal attendant. [online] Available at: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1992/12/05/Princess-Anne-to-marry-former-royal-attendant/4441723531600/ [Accessed 31 Aug. 2017].

Prince George’s Christmas List

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(From Susan: I used to teach preschool way back when and I think this is adorable.)

From November 29 – 30, 2017, The Duke of Cambridge undertook a visit to Finland at the request of the Foreign Office. However, William had another task on his visit to Finland. He delivered Prince George’s Christmas list to Father Christmas/Santa Claus. On a pre-printed Christmas list, four-year-old George had circled at the top that he had been “nice”, filled in one of the five lines provided for gift requests with “police car”, and wrote his name.

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Breaking News: Meghan Markle’s Engagement Ring

Meghan Markle’s engagement ring was reportedly designed by Prince Harry with the help of Cleave and Company, Court Jewellers and Medallists to The Queen. The ring which is on a gold band features a cushion diamond from Botswana and two outside stones from the personal collection of Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

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Meghan Markle

by Susan Flantzer

By Genevievederivative work: Firebrace (talk) – DSC_3441, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24725000

Rachel Meghan Markle, born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, California, is the daughter of Thomas Markle and Doria Radlan. Her father is a cinematographer and lighting director and worked on the primetime shows Married With Children and Facts of Life and the daytime shows General Hospital and Santa Barbara. He is the winner of two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series and was nominated six other times. Meghan’s mother has a master’s degree in social work and works as a clinical therapist and yoga instructor. Meghan told Elle magazine in 2016, “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white.” Meghan has two much older half-siblings from her father’s first marriage: Samantha Markle Grant born in 1965 and Thomas Markle Jr. born in 1966.

Meghan grew up and was educated at private schools in Los Angeles, California. She attended elementary school at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse and then attended Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girls high school. Meghan graduated from Northwestern University in Chicago Illinois in 2003 with a double major in theater and international relations. In 2011, Meghan married her long-time boyfriend Trevor Engelson, a film and television producer. The couple divorced in 2013.

Growing up in Hollywood and with a lighting director as a father, Meghan was around the entertainment industry and knew she would end up in show business in some capacity. Her first acting job was a one episode role on the daytime show General Hospital in 2002. Thereafter, she had small roles on television shows and in several films. To help support herself, Meghan took on freelance calligraphy jobs. Starting in 2011, Meghan appeared on Suits, an American legal drama television series, playing Rachel Zane, a senior paralegal with dreams of going to law school.

Meghan Markle attends the Wimbledon tennis tournament in June 2016

On November 8, 2016, Kensington Palace confirmed Meghan was “a few months” into a relationship with Prince Harry in a statement from the prince asking for the media harassment of Meghan and her family to end. Harry and Meghan were introduced by a mutual woman friend.

In March 2017, after finished filming the seventh season of Suits, it was announced that Meghan was “ready to be done with Suits” and with “acting in general.” A source told E! News, “Even before Harry, she was starting to think about transitioning out of acting. She wants to focus on other worldly endeavors she is passionate about, like her philanthropy.” In 2016, Meghan had become the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveling to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign. She has also worked with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women as an Advocate.

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Meghan and her mother Doria Radlan attend the Invictus Games with Prince Harry

In September 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan made their first public appearances together at an official royal engagement, the wheelchair tennis event and the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada.

Meghan is a direct descendant of John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, Chamberlain to King Henry VIII’s daughter Mary, the future Queen Mary I. Lord Hussey’s wife Lady Anne was one of Mary’s attendants. Lord Hussey was beheaded for his participation in the 1536 uprising the Pilgrimage of Grace. Prince Harry and Meghan share common ancestors: Richard Bowes (circa 1497 – 1558) and his wife Elizabeth Aske  (1505 – circa 1572). Meghan’s maternal great-great-great grandfather was a slave on a Georgia plantation before being emancipated when slavery was abolished in 1865.

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The engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was announced on November 27, 2017.  The couple will marry on May 19, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle where many royal weddings have been held and will reside in Nottingham Cottage adjoining Kensington Palace in London.

Meghan Markle’s engagement ring was reportedly designed by Prince Harry with the help of Cleave and Company, court jewelers to The Queen. The ring which is on a gold band features a cushion diamond from Botswana and two outside stones from the personal collection of Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

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Meghan made her first appearance with the British Royal Family on Christmas Day 2017 as they walked to church at the Sandringham Estate.

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Wikipedia: Meghan Markle

Breaking News: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged!

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On the morning of November 27, 2017, Clarence House made the following announcement on Twitter: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle.  The wedding will take place in Spring 2018.  Further details about the wedding will be announced in due course. His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged earlier this month.  Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s family. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace.”

Wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips

by Susan Flantzer

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44115769

Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips on November 14, 1973, at Westminster Abbey in London, England.

Princess Anne’s Early Life

Princess Anne with her parents and elder brother in October 1957; Photo Credit – By Library and Archives Canada, e010949328 / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, e010949328 – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lac-bac/7195940876/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27933715

Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise was born at Clarence House in London, England on August 15, 1950. She was the second child of four children and the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born a Prince of Greece and Denmark). Anne had one elder brother Charles and two younger brothers, Andrew and Edward.

At the time of Anne’s birth, her mother was Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the sovereign was her grandfather, King George VI. The children of a daughter of a British sovereign would not usually have been accorded the style Royal Highness or the titles Prince/Princess as in the case of Anne’s own children. However, on October 22, 1948, Anne’s grandfather King George VI issued letters patent allowing the children of his eldest daughter and heiress presumptive, to use the style and title of a royal prince or princess. Therefore, Anne was Her Royal Highness Princess Anne of Edinburgh at birth.

King George VI died on February 6, 1952, and his elder daughter Princess Elizabeth became Queen. Upon her mother’s accession to the throne, Anne was styled Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne. Anne was too young to attend her mother’s coronation, but she did make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Catherine Peebles who was the governess of Prince Charles was also Anne’s governess and she was responsible for Anne’s early education. In 1959, a Girl Guides company, 1st Buckingham Palace Company was formed at the palace to allow Anne to socialize with other girls. Similar Girl Guide companies had been formed at Buckingham Palace for Anne’s mother and her aunt Princess Margaret. From 1963-1968, Anne attended Benenden School, an independent boarding school for girls in Kent, England.

From a young age, Princess Anne was passionate about riding and she soon became an excellent equestrienne. In 1971, Anne won the European Eventing Championship and was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. For more than five years Anne competed with the British eventing team, winning a silver medal in both individual and team disciplines in the 1975 European Eventing Championship. In the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, Anne competed as a member of the British equestrian team.

For more information, see Unofficial Royalty: Princess Anne, The Princess Royal

Mark Phillips’ Early Life

Mark Phillips, 1973; Photo Credit – By Peters, Hans / Anefo – [1] Dutch National Archives, The Hague, Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANeFo), 1945-1989, Nummer toegang 2.24.01.05 Bestanddeelnummer 926-7769, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32649600

Mark Anthony Peter Phillips was born on September 22, 1948, to Major Peter Phillips and the former Anne Tiarks (whose father was an Aide-de-Camp to King George VI). He had one sister, Sarah, who passed away.

Following his education at Stouts Hill Preparatory School and Marlborough College, Phillips entered the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. After passing out, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Queen’s Dragoon Guards, eventually reaching the rank of Captain in 1975. He retired from the Army in March 1978.

An avid horseman, Philips was a member of the British Equestrian Team with whom he won the Team Three-Day Event world title in 1970, the European title in 1971, and Olympic Gold in 1972. He also won Silver at the 1988 Olympics and is a four-time champion at the Badminton Horse Trials.

For more information, see Unofficial Royalty: Mark Phillips

The Engagement

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On May 29, 1973, Buckingham Palace announced: “It is with the greatest pleasure that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh announce the betrothal of their beloved daughter the Princess Anne to Lieutenant Mark Phillips, the Queen’s Dragoon Guards, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Phillips.” The couple had become engaged six weeks earlier at the Badminton Horse Trials, the major equestrian event in the United Kingdom, in which both Anne and Mark competed.

It was through their mutual love of horses that Mark met Princess Anne. The couple first met at the equestrian events during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City where Mark was a reserve member of the British equestrian team. Prior to their engagement, Anne and Mark competed together at equestrian events throughout Europe. Their love of horses was inherited by their daughter Zara who won a silver medal in the Three-Day Event with the British equestrian team in 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Anne’s engagement ring was a classic ring of a sapphire between two diamonds made by Garrad Jewelers.

It has been speculated that The Queen offered – and Mark declined – a peerage upon marriage, but this has never been confirmed or denied by any member of the Royal Family.

The Wedding Guests

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British Royal Family

  • Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, the bride’s parents
  • The Prince of Wales, the bride’s brother
  • Prince Andrew, the bride’s brother
  • Prince Edward, the bride’s brother
  • Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the bride’s grandmother
  • Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon and The Earl of Snowdon, the bride’s aunt and uncle
  • Viscount Linley, the bride’s first cousin
  • Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, the bride’s first cousin
  • The Duchess of Gloucester, the bride’s great aunt by marriage
  • Prince and Princess Richard of Gloucester, the bride’s first cousin once removed and his wife
  • The Duke and Duchess of Kent, the bride’s first cousin once removed and his wife
  • Earl of St Andrews, the bride’s second cousin
  • Lady Helen Windsor, the bride’s second cousin
  • Prince Michael of Kent, the bride’s first cousin once removed
  • Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Mrs. Ogilvy and The Hon. Mr. Angus Ogilvy, the bride’s first cousin once removed and her husband
  • Mr. James Ogilvy, the bride’s second cousin
  • Miss Marina Ogilvy, the bride’s second cousin
  • Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the bride’s first cousin three times removed and great-great aunt by marriage
  • Lady Mary Whitley, the bride’s second cousin once removed

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Some Other Royal Guests

  • Dowager Queen Ingrid of Denmark
  • King Carl XVI of Sweden
  • King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
  • Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco
  • Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands
  • Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja of Norway
  • Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofia of Spain

The Wedding Attendants

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Anne chose to have only two attendants because of her personal experience as a bridesmaid trying to keep younger attendants in line.

  • Best Man: Captain Eric Grounds
  • Bridesmaid: Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, the bride’s nine-year-old first cousin and the daughter of Princess Margaret
  • Page Boy: Prince Edward, the bride’s nine-year-old brother

The Wedding Attire

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To design her wedding dress, Anne picked Maureen Baker, the chief designer for the ready-to-wear label Susan Small, who had previously designed outfits for her. A number of Anne’s ideas were also incorporated into the dress. The Tudor-style silk wedding dress had a high collar and medieval sleeves. The train, which measured only seven feet, and the veil were simple and delicate.

Anne’s veil was crowned by Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara. Queen Mary had this tiara made from a necklace Queen Victoria had given her as a wedding present. In 1936, Queen Mary gave the tiara to her daughter-in-law Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother). In 1947, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) loaned the tiara to her daughter Elizabeth for her wedding and then loaned it to her granddaughter Anne for her wedding.

Lieutenant Mark Phillips wore the full scarlet and blue uniform of his regiment, the Queen’s Dragoon Guards.

The Wedding Ceremony

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Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were married on November 14, 1973, at 11:30 AM at Westminster Abbey in London. Princess Anne and her father left Buckingham Palace in the Glass Coach for the ride to Westminster Abbey. As they entered the Abbey, a fanfare especially written for the wedding was played by trumpeters from the groom’s regiment. The Duke of Edinburgh escorted his daughter down the aisle to the hymn Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.

As the 2,000 guests in the Abbey and the 500 million television viewers watched, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were married by Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was a simple ceremony from the 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer in which the bride promises to obey.

Some family traditions were followed. Princess Anne’s ring was made from the same nugget of Welsh gold that the rings of her grandmother, her mother, and her aunt were made. In her bouquet was a cutting from a myrtle bush grown from a sprig from Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds moved to the Edward the Confessor Chapel where the wedding register was signed. Princess Anne then made a deep curtsey to her mother while Mark respectfully bowed and the couple made their way down the aisle followed by their families as Charles-Marie Widor’s Toccata in F Major; Johann Strauss’s “Radetzky” March, the regimental march of the groom’s regiment, and the finale from Louis Vierne’s Organ Symphony No. 1 were played.

For more information, see Westminster Abbey: Marriage of H.R.H The Princess Anne and Captain Mark Philips

The Wedding Reception

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After the bride and groom made the customary appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, 120 guests attended the wedding breakfast at the Palace. The guests dined on lobster, partridge, fresh peas, peppermint ice cream, and a wedding cake made exactly five-feet six-inches tall – the height of the bride.

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The Royal Army Catering Corp supplied the wedding cake. It weighed 145 pounds and among its ingredients were 10 pounds each of butter and sugar, 84 eggs, 12½ pounds of flour, 70 pounds of fruit, peel, and nuts, and two bottles of brandy. The top layer had a silver vase of flowers, the coat of arms of Princess Anne, and the regimental crest of Mark Phillips.

The groom cut the cake with his sword while the Grenadier Guards band played “A Bunch of Roses” and “Bless the Bride.” The Duke of Edinburgh, the bride’s father, toasted to the health of the bride and groom and the groom’s father Major Peter Phillips made the reply toast.

After the wedding breakfast, Princess Anne changed into a sapphire blue velvet dress and a short cropped jacket with mink collar and cuffs. Guests showered the couple with flower petals as they left the palace.

The Honeymoon

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The day after the wedding, Anne and Mark flew to Barbados where they boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia. Their cruise around the islands of the Caribbean was disrupted to due storms and high waves and for most of the first week, the couple suffered from seasickness. Eventually, the storms subsided and the newlyweds could enjoy the scenes of the Caribbean. The couple ended their honeymoon in the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Aftermath

The couple had two children: Peter, born in 1977 and Zara, born in 1981. Sadly, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips separated in 1989 and their divorce was finalized on April 23, 1992. Both Anne and Mark remarried.

Works Cited

  • Archives.chicagotribune.com. (2017).  [online] Available at: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1973/11/15/page/92/article/a-royal-wedding-album [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_of_Princess_Anne_and_Mark_Phillips [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • Frayman, J. (2017). Princess Anne Is Engaged to an Army Lieutenant. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1973/05/30/archives/princess-anne-is-engaged-to-an-army-lieutenant-princess-anne-is.html [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • News.bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC ON THIS DAY | 14 | 1973: Crowds cheer marriage of Princess Anne. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/14/newsid_2519000/2519003.stm [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • Orderofsplendor.blogspot.com. (2017). Tiara Thursday: Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara. [online] Available at: http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.com/2011/03/tiara-thursday-queen-marys-fringe-tiara.html [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • Shuster, A. (2017). Princess Anne Wed Amid British Pageantry. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1973/11/15/archives/princess-anne-wedamidbritish-pageantry-couple-is-cheered-by-throngs.html?mcubz=3 [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • Stern, M. (2017). A Big Day for the Bridegroom’s Home Town. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1973/11/10/archives/a-big-day-for-the-bridgerooms-home-town-5-23foot-wedding-cake-thats.html [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). Anne, Princess Royal. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/anne-the-princess-royal/ [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). Mark Phillips, first husband of Anne, The Princess Royal. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/mark-phillips-first-husband-of-anne-the-princess-royal/ [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].