About The Princess Royal
The Princess Royal has a busy schedule of engagements which see her travel widely across the UK and overseas. Known for her love of horses and an equestrian career which saw her compete in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, Her Royal Highness is involved with riding for the disabled organisations across the Commonwealth. Much of her time is also spent supporting the work of Save the Children, of which she has been President since 1970. Find out more about her life and work in this section.
The Princess Royal started undertaking public work at the age of 18, when her first engagement was the opening of an educational and training centre in Shropshire in 1969. Since then, she has established significant and ongoing relationships with a number of charities and organisations across the Commonwealth and has one of the busiest working schedules of any member of the Royal Family.
Her Royal Highness has been President of Save the Children UK since 1970, and it was the first major charity with which she became closely associated. It has given her great insight into the needs of children worldwide and an understanding of the issues affecting developing countries. In her work for the organisation, The Princess has visited Save the Children projects in many countries, including China, Cambodia, Botswana, Madagascar and The Philippines.
Her Royal Highness is involved with over 300 charities, organisations and military regiments in the UK and overseas, and she devotes a large part of her working life to official engagements and visits.
The Princess has been closely involved with the creation of several charities, notably The Princess Royal's Trust for Carers (now Carers Trust), Transaid and Riders for Health. The Carers’ Trust provides support for the millions of individuals in the UK who are responsible for caring for someone. Transaid and Riders for Health both try to overcome some of the difficulties caused by poor transportation links in developing countries.
Her Royal Highness also carries out a very wide range of official duties and visits in the United Kingdom in support of regional authorities and local institutions.
Having competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games as a member of the British equestrian team, The Princess Royal is able to bring insight and experience to her role a British member of the International Olympic Committee. Her Royal Highness took part in London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and was a member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. In 2016 The Princess visited Rio to meet Team GB in her role as President of the British Olympic Association.
The Princess Royal was born on 15 August 1950 in London. She is the only daughter and second child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. She was known as Princess Anne until she was given the title of The Princess Royal by The Queen in June 1987.
She was educated at Buckingham Palace and in 1963 joined Benenden School in Kent where she completed her education.
The Princess Royal began public engagements in 1969 when she was 18 years old.
She married Captain Mark Phillips in Westminster Abbey on 14 November 1973, their marriage was later dissolved in April 1992. They had two children, Peter Mark Phillips born on 15 November 1977 and Zara Phillips born on 15 May 1981.
The Princess Royal married Commander Timothy Laurence, now Admiral Laurence, on 12 December 1992.
She has four granddaughters: Savannah Phillips born in December 2010, Isla Phillips born in March 2012, Mia Tindall born in January 2014 and Lena Tindall born in June 2018.
The Princess Royal is an expert horsewoman. Throughout her life she has regularly taken part in the Horse of the Year Show at Wembley. In 1971 she won the individual European Three-Day Event at Burghley and was nominated Sportswoman of the Year. She was also voted the BBC's Sports Personality in 1971.
The Princess Royal competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games as a member of the British Three-Day Event team.
Her Royal Highness is President of the British Olympic Association and a Member of the International Olympic Committee. The Princess took part in London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and visited Team GB in Rio ahead of the 2016 games.
Her daughter Zara has followed her mother into a successful riding career. She won a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics and was presented with her medal by The Princess Royal.
Supporting The Queen
The Princess Royal supported Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in her role as Head of State by representing Her Majesty at events in the UK and abroad, as well as attending state and ceremonial occasions alongside other members of the Royal Family.
As a working member of the Royal Family, The Princess Royal attended a number of ceremonial events each year which were led by Queen Elizabeth, such as Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph. These events are often national occasions for celebration or reflection, and are moments when the Royal Family come together to show support for Her Majesty, or to provide a central focus for national pride or commemoration.
Another important element of The Princess Royal’s work is to act as an ambassador for the UK, representing its culture and interests overseas. Her Royal Highness carries out up to three overseas tours each year for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in addition to her overseas visits in support of her charity work. These often involve receptions with the local business community and meetings with politicians and local dignitaries.
She has also acted as the UK representative at important international events such as commemorations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in 2015, and in 1990, Her Royal Highness became the first member of the Royal Family to make an official visit to the then USSR, as a guest of the Soviet government.
The Princess Royal also supported Queen Elizabeth's work in highlighting and rewarding achievement in the UK and Commonwealth. Her Royal Highness also regularly held Investitures on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth throughout the year.
At these ceremonies, she presented medals to those who had been awarded honours in the New Year’s Honours List or The Queen’s Birthday Honours List. The Princess Royal also meets guests from all walks of life – from community volunteers to members of the Armed Forces – at the Garden Parties which are held each year at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Charities and Patronages
Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology UnitWebsite: www.mrc-dunn.cam.ac.uk
Cambridge research unit investigating the influence of food on humans.Region: UK (England)Members of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Patron
Medical Research ScotlandWebsite: www.medicalresearchscotland.org.uk
A medical charity which supports high quality clincians annd scientists at the start of research careers working in Scotland's universities and hospitalsRegion: UK-wideMembers of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Patron
Memorial to the Women of World War IIWebsite: www.womenswarmemorial.org
Trust created to commemorate the role of Servicewomen during World War II.Region: UK (England)Members of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Vice Patron
Mercy Ships InternationalWebsite: www.mercyships.org.uk
Mercy Ships is a faith-based international development organisation that deploys hospital ships to some of the poorest countries in the world, delivering vital, free healthcare to people in desperate need.Region: InternationalMembers of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Patron
Minchinhampton Centre for the Elderly LimitedWebsite: www.royal.uk
Care home in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire.Region: UK (England)Members of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Patron
MND ScotlandWebsite: www.mndscotland.org.uk
Provides care, information and research for people with MND in Scotland.Region: UK (Scotland)Members of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Royal Patron
Moredun FoundationWebsite: www.moredun.org.uk
Conducts scientific research into animal diseases.Region: UK (Scotland)Members of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Patron
Motor Neurone Disease AssociationWebsite: www.mndassociation.org
Fund and promote research into the causes of MND and to help improve the quality of life of people with MNDRegion: UK (England)Members of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Royal Patron
Mudhook Yacht ClubWebsite: www.royal.uk
Sailing club in Dunbartonshire.Region: UK (Scotland)Members of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Honorary Member
National Association of Official Prison VisitorsWebsite: www.naopv.com
Fosters and co-ordinates the work of those who visit prisoners on a voluntary basis.Region: UK-wideMembers of the Royal Family:The Princess Royal, Patron