Princess Anna and Mark Philips, from a fairytale wedding to scandals (which we will see again in The Crown 5)

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Almost 50 years ago – November 14, 1973 – the Princess Anna it was on the altar of Westminster Abbey to say “yes” to the captain of the Queen’s Dragoon Regiment Mark Phillips. The two – who had met at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where he won a gold medal on a steed – exchanged wedding vows before two thousand guests And over 500 million viewersglued to the TV for the first royal wedding of one of the children of Queen Elizabeth. As well as the first royal wedding illuminated by television lights. That initially idyllic marriage, cemented by the common passion for horses, and crowned by the birth of two children – Peter (in 1977) and Zara (in 1981) – soon turned into an unhappy bond, crossed by mutual betrayals.

Almost fifty years after the “yes”, we return to talk about that marriage in the fifth season of The Crown. Which among other things retraces the Anna’s alleged extramarital affair with her bodyguard Peter Cross. A story that caused rivers of ink to spill in the late 1980s. Also because at the time the press had produced a ‘indiscretion-bomb (never confirmed): «Zara is not the daughter of Mark Phillips but of the blond and athletic Peter Cross “wrote the Daily News in 1989, specifying that Mark Phillips had agreed to acknowledge the child’s paternity only to avoid a planetary scandal.


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So far the rumors of the people never confirmed. Prelude to a double of scandals certified by evidence that shook Buckingham Palace. In 1989 some members of the palace staff stole the lots passionate love letters that Queen Timothy Laurence’s squire, Anna’s current very discreet husband number two, had written to the princess. And he fed them to the press. The news of the “forbidden letters” went around the world. But the worst was yet to come.

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In April 1991 the Daily Express revealed that New Zealander Heather Tonkin, art teacher and expert horse rider at the time thirty-seven, he had sued Captain Phillips before the Auckland court. «To make sure that Mark publicly acknowledges that he has a daughter, our daughter, Felicity. I want the surname of the man who generated her to be on his birth certificate, ”said the woman Mark had had a fling with in 1985. The first meeting between the two took place in an Auckland riding school. Then a single night of madness that had turned into sweet expectation. Heather, certain of her father’s identity, had also phoned Gatcombe Park, the residence that the queen had given to Anna and Mark: she warned her lover, he was cold. “It is better that you terminate the pregnancy“, He told her. She got excited: “I’ll do it all by myself.” This is how Mark’s third daughter was born, whom the captain (nailed by the DNA test) later recognized but never wanted to meet.

The separation between Anna and Mark was announced in 1989. Then, col official divorce in 1992Anna became the before the Windsor brothers to give scandal by breaking up their marriage. Nonetheless the bond with Mark never ended. Because of the two children but also of the passion for horses that made them fall in love. Several times the princess and the captain, over the years, have assisted together, between chatter and smiles, at numerous horse racing events. On the other hand, according to the evil ones, the only thing they had in common, when they were husband and wife, were precisely the horses. True or not the two have known transform into friendship a tumultuous love that has gone through scandals and betrayals.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you

-Princess Anna is inspired by Kate and pays homage to Queen Elizabeth

-Princess Anna, who accompanied the mother queen on her last trip to London: “It was an honor”

The Crown: all about the Britanniathe “floating palace” of Queen Elizabeth

Source: Vanity Fair

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