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Royal Family intervened to stop Princess Anne risky romance ‘They put foot down’

Princess Anne says she was a ‘nuisance’ when younger

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Princess Anne caused an issue for the Royal Family during the 1970s, after she became romantically involved with Andrew Parker-Bowles, who was a member of the Catholic Church. According to royal sources, the Princess Royal was “quite taken” with the British army officer, but marriage was off the cards due to the Royal Family’s links to the Church of England. 

The List reported: “Sally Bedell Smith, Prince Charles’ biographer, told Town & Country that Anne and Andrew Parker-Bowles were romantically involved in the 1970s.

“The two reportedly quite taken with each other, but the Royal Family put their foot down when the idea of marriage came into play.

“Andrew was Catholic and, as a member of the Church of England, Anne wasn’t allowed to marry him.”

The Queen is the head of the Church of England and family members who marry into the Catholic faith or convert are automatically excluded from the line of succession.

Princess Anne went on to marry Captain Mark Phillips in a televised service at Westminster Abbey in 1973. 

She had met the former Dragoon Guards lieutenant in a party in 1968 and they announced their engagement on May 29, 1973. 

Captain Mark Phillips was a highly regarded equestrian rider and had won an Olympic gold with the British eventing team during the 1972 Summer Olympics. 

Princess Anne was also a keen rider and followed her husband onto the team for the 1976 Olympics, becoming the first member of the Royal Family to compete in the tournament. 

The couple welcomed two children together, Peter and Zara Phillips, who were not given formal titles. 

Cracks in the marriage had begun to appear by the late 1980s and the couple announced their separation in 1989. 

Princess Anne went on to marry Sir Timothy Lawrence, who had served as a Commander in the Royal Navy and had been the Queen’s equerry. 

In 1992, the Princess Royal became the first royal divorcee to remarry since 1905. The couple were married in Scotland, as the Church of England at the time still did not permit the remarriage of divorced persons. 

Andrew Parker-Bowles went on the marry Camilla Shand, the current wife of Prince Charles, in a Roman Catholic ceremony in 1973. 

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The pair had been in an intermittent relationship for several years, with Camilla embarking on a relationship with the Prince of Wales for a brief period in the early 1970s. 

They welcomed two children together, Tom and Laura, but their marriage was plagued by infidelities, as Andrew Parker-Bowles conducted a number of extra-marital affairs. 

By the mid-1980s, Camilla and Prince Charles had reinstigated their relationship, and began an affair whilst the prince was married to Princess Diana. 

This affair was exposed during the breakdown of Prince Charles’s marriage to the Princess of Wales, with her famously revealing to BBC Panorama that “there were three of us in this marriage”. 

Following their divorce, Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles in a civil ceremony in 2005. Her former husband Andrew and Princess Anne were among the guests that attended the service at Windsor Guildhall. 

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