Inside Princess Annes love life – from bodyguard romps to love letter scandal

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Today (August 15) Princess Anne celebrates her 72nd birthday.

The Queen's only daughter still plays a key working role and last year carried out 387 engagements, more than any other royal.

Although these days she mainly makes headlines for her incredible hard work, in the past it has been her relationship dramas.

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The year 1992 is most notable for Prince Charles' separation from Princess Diana, but it was the same year Anne split from first husband Captain Mark Phillips.

Their marriage was overflowing with drama, infidelity and conflict.

They first met in 1968 but didn't get together immediately, with Anne instead dating Andrew Parker Bowles – the man who went on to marry Camilla Parker Bowles.

Anne and Mark later rekindled things and announced their engagement in May 1973, marrying on November 14 that year in a Westminster Abbey ceremony watched by over 500 million people.

However, the birth of their two children reportedly saw the couple "drift apart" and the distance between them became increasingly obvious.

By the 1980s they were reportedly staying in different hotel rooms when they travelled.

Their 15 years of marriage were once described as a "loveless union drifting along", The List reports.

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In a shocking revelation as to why they were so unhappy, it was revealed that Mark had fathered another child while still married to Anne.

According to Tatler, Mark allegedly had an affair with Heather Tonkin, an art teacher from New Zealand who gave birth to their daughter Felicity in 1985.

A DNA test confirmed in 1991 that Mark was the father but he had already been providing for the mother and daughter.

This controversy was just the tip of the iceberg of alleged adultery that was rumoured on both sides of the marriage.

Anne was reported to be hooking up with actor Anthony Andrews as well as her bodyguard Peter Cross.

It was reported that Anne's alleged relationship with Cross was so strong that he was accused of being "over familiar" by his superiors.

Tabloids picked up on all of this too and he was quickly removed from his role.

Then there was the infamous love letter scandal.

Four intimate letters that were meant for Anne were handed to The Sun after they were reportedly stolen from the palace.

The Sun handed them over to the police but still published a front page spread, albeit without the actual content.

A palace statement read: "We have nothing to say about the contents of personal letters sent to Her Royal Highness by a friend, which were stolen and which are the subject of a police investigation."

They came from Commander Timothy Laurence, the man she had reportedly been seeing while married to Mark.

Timothy was a "favourite of the Royal Family" and began to appear in the royal entourage from 1986. Anne even appointed him as a personal adviser.

A friend of Timothy told People: "Anne has treated him as her closest confidant for some considerable time.

"Obviously, Tim and the princess were physically attracted to each other, but their friendship goes deeper than that… he cares for her in the way her husband does not."

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Eventually, Anne and Mark ended their tumultuous marriage in 1992.

Anne was reportedly the one who asked for the divorce although it is thought to have been a mutual agreement.

Anne later went on to marry Timothy the very same year she got divorced.


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