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Saturday, December 2, 2023

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

A Scottish wedding in all intimacy

Backstage, a certain Timothy Laurence is waiting for her and does not intend to lose a minute. He asked for her hand in marriage and gave her a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring. The newly engaged couple made their first appearance at the Royal Caledonian Ball in 1992. A few months later, the couple got married in the pink granite Presbyterian church of Crathie Kirk, located not far from Balmoral in Scotland. A choice carefully considered to avoid embarrassment to Elizabeth II, the Church of England does not allow remarriage after a divorce. For her second wedding, Princess Anne wore a high neck midi dress with a white jacket and flowers in her hair, while Timothy Laurence chose to wear his Royal Navy uniform. Far from the hustle and bustle of Princess Anne’s wedding to Mark Phillips, and their 1,500 guests, only thirty people were present to witness the wedding, as were Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward, and the bride’s two children, Peter and Zara Phillips. “Diana, who remained in London, scribbled a note of congratulations” reports author Philippe Delorme. The guests will enjoy “chicken soup, some sandwiches and chips, all washed down with tea”. “A rare moment of good cheer in what had been a terrible year,” said royal correspondent Katie Nicholl, referring to the Queen’s annus horribilis.

In a rare interview, Timothy Laurence mischievously recalled her nuptials: “It’s kind of funny that she married first an army officer and then a navy officer. So there must be something about the army that appeals to her,” he said in the ITV documentary Anne: The Princess Royal at 70. For thirty years, Timothy Laurence has provided stability and affection to the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II. The man who has received a number of awards and honors over the years for his service to the crown and the nation has also become a loving father-in-law. On the Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire live not far from them Princess Anne’s children with their own family. “They both understand what it means to be part of the big family and what is needed. He has been a very strong support for my mother,” said Peter Philips on the occasion of Princess Anne’s 70th birthday.

Timothy Laurence has also quickly become a fixture in the royal life alongside the princess, accompanying her on state visits and royal engagements. If the couple gets along so well, it is undoubtedly “because they are both map and chart people” as Timothy Laurence explained, confessing with tenderness: “We like to know where we are and see where we are going”. A couple that still has many years ahead of it.

Photos credits: Bestimage

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