Before Princess Anne Divorced, She Was Involved In A Scandal That Left The Royal Family Shaken

These days, the royal family are generally embarrassment free and more or less beloved by all – but it wasn’t always that way. During the ’80s and ’90s, in fact, they were a hotbed of scandal. Princess Diana, Prince Charles, the Duchess of York… They all seemed to make headlines for their personal lives far more than for any royal engagements. They weren’t the only ones, either. Princess Anne and her husband Mark Phillips also caused trouble for the royals as their marriage disintegrated. Here’s how the story unfolded.

Princess Anne – the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II – met military man Mark Phillips at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Both of them loved horses and competed in equestrian events, and initially they seemed like the perfect couple. Indeed, just a year later, their engagement was announced, and preparations began for a big royal wedding.

So it was that on November 14, 1973, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips went proudly down the aisle. Naturally, the nuptials happened at Westminster Abbey in London, with the Queen and other royals in attendance. Hundreds of millions of people watched the event on TV, too, just as they would for the other royal weddings that followed.

At first, everything seemed to be going fine in the couple’s relationship. Princess Anne continued to be a horse rider, and indeed she competed in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Mark Phillips, meanwhile, carried on with his military career, and he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1975. What’s more, the couple had two children: Peter Phillips, born in 1977, and Zara Phillips, born four years later.

As time went on, however, the marriage began to deteriorate. Princess Anne’s brother, Prince Charles, famously didn’t like Phillips much. Indeed, Charles apparently nicknamed his brother-in-law “Foggy” – because he was supposedly thick and wet. And it appears that Princess Anne herself may have agreed with such sentiments as time went on. Come 1984, in fact, the couple were checking into separate hotels – not even separate rooms – on at least one trip abroad.