Anne Elizabeth Alice Mountbatten-Windsor, officially styled HRH The Princess Royal, is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II.
Princess Anne was born on 15 August 1950 at Clarence House, London when her mother was Princess Elizabeth heir presumptive. She was christened at Buckingham Palace on 21 October 1950. The Queen granted her the title the Princess Royal – the seventh holder of this title- in June 1987, her official style having previously been HRH the Princess Anne. As daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and so a princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, she is automatically styled Her Royal Highness. Anne was educated at a private boarding school, Benenden School, in Kent, and began to undertake royal and official duties as a teenager in the late 1960s.
She started her royal public engagements alone when she was 18-years-old and had left school. Her first solo trip occurred in 1969 when she opened an educational and training centre in Shropshire. Her first state visit happened in May that year when she travelled to Austria with her parents. She married Mark Phillips, an army officer, on 14 November, 1973, and had two children, Peter in 1977 and Zara in 1981. Anne and Mark divorced in 1992, and she married Timothy Laurence, a naval officer and former member of the Royal Household, in December 1992.
Princess Anne was the target of a failed kidnap attempt in March 1974 when Ian Ball, a 26-year-old man with mental health problems, ambushed Princess Anne's car in the Mall, London. He had asked her to "come with me for a day or two" because he wanted £2m. However, the princess was reported to have replied: "not bloody likely, and I haven't got £2m".
Ball was eventually apprehended after shooting and wounding two police officers, Princess Anne's driver and a journalist who had been following in a taxi. The incident remains the closest in modern times that any individual has come to kidnapping a member of the Royal Family.
Anne is an outstanding horsewoman who was selected for the British three-day eventing team for the 1975 European championships, winning silver medals both as an individual, and as part of the team. She also competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and her success led to her appointment to the International Olympic Committee as an administrator, where she has reportedly made considerable efforts to fight the corruption in that organisation.
She also took part in London's bid for the Olympic Games in 2012, which the country won. During the Games, she acted as a member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. Like most members of the Royal family, she attended all of the events that marked her mother's Diamond Jubilee in June 2012 including a boat flotilla on the River Thames as well as the Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace. She also watched plenty of the Olympic events.
On 1 August 2012, she even presented her daughter Zara with a silver medal, which she won for her role at the team event in equestrian. Anne said: "She did very well". She also treated her daughter to a kiss on both cheeks showing rare emotion. Anne also maintains a schedule of royal engagements and charity work, notably the children's charity, Save the Children, of which she has been president since 1970. Her work with the charity has seen her travel to many countries, including Indonesia, China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Botswana, to name just a few.
She is the patron of more than 200 charities in total and devotes a lot of her time to them. She was also closely involved with the creation of The Princess Royal's Trust For Carers, which provides support for the millions of individuals in the UK who look after an ill loved one, as well as Transaid and Riders for Health. The two latter charities try to overcome some of the difficulties caused by poor transportation in developing countries.
In 1996, Princess Anne served as Her Majesty's High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. This role granted her, in Scotland, higher precedence just below her parents. She retains close ties with Scotland by virtue of her role as patron of the Scottish Rugby Union and attends most international games at Murrayfield.
Once the most unpopular member of the Royal Family in the 1970s (when she earned the nickname Princess Sourpuss), she is now one of the most popular, although she is also known for being outspoken. Princess Anne hit the headlines recently when she made a comment about her son-in-law's nose. England rugby captain Mike Tindall admitted to the crew and producers of the Sky 1 sports quiz, 'A League of Their Own', that his mother-in-law had suggested he get his nose fixed, prior to marrying her daughter Zara. He explained: "Princess Anne asked me if I'd have the surgery."
Tindall and the princess were once again in the press following the rugby captain's victory against Scotland in the Six Nations tournament. As the patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, the Daily Express described Princess Anne's duty to present Tindall with the Calcutta Cup as "galling". Ahead of the match, Tindall said: "I would love to go up there and be presented with the cup from the Princess Royal. She's very knowledgeable about the game. She probably knows more about it than me."
He admitted that the pair talk about rugby and said that the Princess Royal is a follower of his club, Gloucester, although he described her as "passionate" about Scottish rugby.