Princess Anne is a force to be reckoned with.
Over the years, royal fans have watched the Princess Royal steadily pave her own path as she tackles an undoubtedly trying life in the spotlight.
The world has watched Anne under a magnifying glass – a life she probably wouldn’t have picked for herself if she’d had her own way.
But that said, she’s taken on her role in the public eye as gracefully and modestly as ever.
It’s one of the many reasons why we love Princess Anne.
Known as being one of the hardest working royals, her presence is felt in many facets of the world that in need of support.
With multiple patronages and charities she works to shine a light on, we’re constantly in awe of this tireless royal.
Now, as she gears up to celebrate her 71st birthday on August 15, we’re looking at some of her most powerful and defining moments through the years.
Get ready to feel inspired, uplifted and entertained, as Princess Anne’s brilliance is unpacked in full below.
Anne proved from a young age that she was ready to pave her own path in life – no matter her status. She quickly became a well-established equestrian, competing at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Vancouver. Later, we’d see her talent passed down to her daughter…
But shortly before that, Princess Anne had already proved she was a force to be reckoned with. While returning to Buckingham Palace one evening, her car was forced to stop by another car at The Mall. Ian Ball jumped out and proceeded to shoot Anne’s bodyguard in the shoulder, then ordering Anne to get out of the car. Ever the bold and brave 23-year-old, Anne simply told him, “Not bloody likely!” Ian shot a policeman close by, but they managed to close the car door on him and Anne escaped largely unscathed.
In a showing of gratitude, the Princess paid a visit to the men who had been wounded as they protected Anne during the ordeal.
Wedding to Mark Phillips 1973
At the time, Anne had been married to husband Captain Mark Phillips for little more than a year.
If you’re familiar with the iconic royal baby first photocall on the hospital steps, you might notice Anne’s appearance shortly following the birth of her daughter Zara was a little different. Instead of being accompanied by husband Mark, Anne did the walk to her car on her own – an independent, strong-willed spirit through thick and thin.
Birth of Zara 1981
Let’s also not forget the glorious outfit she wore for the special occasion in 1981.
Zara and Anne
Anne and her daughter have shared a special bond over the years, with Zara herself inheriting a fair few of her mother’s distinctive traits.
Presenting Zara with medal at 2012 olympics
Anne’s daughter Zara is also a very talented equestrian. Just like her mother, Zara competed for Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, earning a silver medal that was presented to her by her own mother, no less.
And like her relationship with Zara, Anne clearly shares the same with the Queen. The mother-and-daughter duo have been a constant image of female strength and support in the royal family for years.
In 2019, Anne almost broke the internet when her sassy response to the Queen greeting President Trump went viral in a hilarious clip.
In the video, Princess Anne is seen standing to the side, and when her mother, Queen Elizabeth II gestures to her after shaking hands with Trump, Anne shrugs her shoulders as if to say a resounding “yeah, nah” to meeting the Trumps herself. A few days later, it was revealed Anne hadn’t quite snubbed the US President, but was actually just gesturing to her mother that there was no one left to shake hands with. Whatever it was, it was still a brilliant moment to watch.
Did The Queen Just Tell Princess Anne Off For Not Greeting The Trumps?
In 2020, Anne and the Queen shared another brilliant moment when the pair partook in a joint Zoom call, the footage of which was shared in an ITV documentary. In the clip, Anne tells her mother, “Can you see everybody? You should have six people on your screen”.
The Queen, who was tuning in from Windsor Castle tells her: “Yes, well, I can see four anyway.”, to which Anne comically replies, “Ok fair enough. Actually, you don’t need me, you know what I look like.”
Princess Anne helps the Queen on a Zoom call
Princess Anne also celebrated her 70th birthday in 2020, and even lockdowns couldn’t stop her from celebrating in style. A series of stunning new portraits of the Princess Royal were released to mark the special occasion, including this radiant photo of her beaming at the camera.
A second photo showed the princess in a chic green ensemble and members of the royal family wished her well on her 70th birthday across social media. Long regarded as one of the hardest working royals, Anne really had been an incredible asset to the monarchy for the seven decades leading up to this milestone.
Though it was a devastating occasion, Princess Anne had another defining moment at the funeral of her father, Prince Philip, in April 2021. She was the only woman to walk in the official royal funeral procession and held her composure throughout the sombre ceremony in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Anne and her father shared a special bond from her childhood. When the princess royal was born, Philip was reported to have told people “it’s the sweetest girl” of his daughter. They remained close until his death, when Princess Anne honoured him by saying life would be “completely different” without him.