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Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence: their love story marked by scandal

“It is obvious that Tim and the princess were physically attracted to each other”

Behind the scenes, another love story continues to be written. Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence do not leave each other anymore. The royal princess is even spotted going to the bedside of the naval officer when he was suffering from shingles. One day, she will even visit the patient with her two children, then aged 11 and 7 years. “There was no attempt to hide their presence, they all seemed to be having a good time,” said an indiscreet neighbor who witnessed the scene.

Friends, lovers, the rumors intensify. “Tim has never stopped thinking about Princess Anne, since their first meeting. Anne treated him as her closest confidant for a very long time. It is obvious that Tim and the princess were physically attracted to each other, but their friendship is deeper than that” confided a friend according to a journalist from Gloucestershire. Present for several years in the life of the royal princess, the former squire of the queen has slowly imposed itself as an obvious. “Tim has filled a loneliness in her life and given her a shoulder to cry on when she needed someone to tell her problems to. He understands her tantrums and the bad publicity she attracts. But most of all, he takes care of her in a way her husband doesn’t,” says this friend. Between them, an epistolary romance is born. Before the scandal broke in 1989.

Princess Anne, Mark Phillips and their two children Peter and Zara

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A romance on the cover of The Sun newspaper

A number of personal letters from Timothy Laurence to Princess Anne were anonymously given to the tabloid The Sun. Panic at Buckingham, the daughter of the Queen is still married to Mark Phillips. If the content of the missives has never been published, it feeds the wildest rumors. According to the Sunday Mirror these letters are “extremely personal and intimate in nature” and “too incandescent to be manipulated”. On the contrary, according to a close friend of Timothy Laurence who confided in People magazine, they would be particularly “boring”: “It’s the kind of letters that 18 or 19 year olds write to each other, reflections on life and rather philosophical.

Faced with the outcry, the royal family was forced to intervene through a statement. If it certifies that the letters were indeed addressed to the royal princess by the commander Timothy Laurence, it will never reveal the content. But it is now clear that the daughter of the Queen and her former squire are closer than they want to think … Buckingham Palace had no choice but to announce the separation of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips in August 1989, after sixteen years of what a royal correspondent had described as a “sham marriage, a sham” as Bertrand Meyer-Stabley reports in his book Majesty. But for the time being, there is no question of pronouncing the word divorce, of which the Queen, Elizabeth II, has a holy horror. In front of the cameras, the couple will remain united for the well-being of their two children.

But a new scandal comes to bring the coup de grace to this very fragile union. The husband of Princess Anne has multiplied extramarital relationships, and even had a baby girl, named Felicity in 1985, as confirmed by a paternity test in 1991, after an affair with a New Zealand teacher … The divorce then becomes inevitable. “Anne is the first child of the Queen to obtain a divorce, a judgment in a hurry, in four minutes, in a shabby court of Somerset House, April 23, 1992” as reported by the royal biographer Bertrand Meyer-Stabley, “the princess loves the company of men and she will not stay alone for long! To say that is an understatement!

AGENCY / BESTIMAGEThe Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence in 2014
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