Inside Princess Anne’s first marriage with love letter scandal, bodyguard affair

The Royal Family is known for its jewels, castles and outlandish weddings — but of course, they're also known for the drama.

Forgetting about the modern day explosions with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, drama in the Palace can be traced back centuries — with controversial rulings to rumoured affairs, there's always been a bit of chaos around the throne.

One of these divorces was Princess Anne's split from her first husband in 1992, Captain Mark Phillips.

Despite not being as well publicised as Charles' separation from Diana Spencer in the same year, Anne's marriage was overflowing with drama, infidelity and conflict.

When Anne first met Mark Phillips in 1968, their relationship was not instantaneous.

Instead, Anne began dating Andrew Parker Bowles, the man who went on to marry Camilla Parker Bowles but the couple called it off as Andrew was a Catholic and wasn't able to marry her.

Anne went on to rekindle her relationship with Mark Phillips and Andrew went on to marry Camilla in 1970 — the two have remained friends despite the short-lived "fling".

Princess Anne and Mark Phillips announced their engagement in May 1973 and went on to marry on November 14, 1973.

The ceremony of course took place at Westminster Abbey and was tuned in by over 500 million people around the world.

But the birth of their two children reportedly led to the couple begin to "drift apart", and the distance from each other became more and more obvious.

  • George, Charlotte, and Louis are big fans of Camilla's 'unusual' Victoria Sponge recipe

By the 1980s, the couple were spending more and more time away from each other, and even reportedly stayed in different hotel rooms when they travelled outside of the UK.

The couple didn't try to hide the fact they were unhappy in their marriage, something unusual for a royal couple who would usually put on a "brave face", much like Prince Charles and Diana Spencer.

Their 15 years of marriage was once described as as a "loveless union drifting along", The List reports.

And in a shocking revelation as to why the couple were so unhappy, it was revealed that Mark had fathered another child while still married to Anne.

  • Kate Middleton 'most powerful royal right now' after past year, expert claims

According to Tatler, Mark had an affair with Heather Tonkin, an art teacher from New Zealand who went on to give birth to their daughter, Felicity in 1985.

It was confirmed in 1991 through a DNA test that Mark was the father, but he had already been providing for the mother and daughter.

But despite this explosive controversy, it was just the tip of the iceberg for the adultery that had been rumoured on both sides of the marriage.

Anne was reported to be hooking up with Anthony Andrews, an actor, as well as her bodyguard, Peter Cross.

And it was reported that Anne's alleged relationship to Cross was so strong that he was accused of being "over familiar" by his superiors.

  • Driver refuses to let crying girl, 16, on last bus for 'health and safety reasons'

Tabloids picked up on all of this too, and he was quickly removed from the role of protecting the princess.

The drama didn't stop there either, on top of all of the rumours of affairs — the infamous love letter scandal happened.

Four intimate letters that were meant for Anne was handed to the Sun after they were reportedly stolen from the palace.

The Sun handed them over to the police, but still published a front page spread that they had the secret correspondence.

Although they didn't actually publish the content of the letters, it was enough to make the country more than intrigued.

The palace released a statement, stating: "We have nothing to say about the contents of personal letters sent to Her Royal Highness by a friend, which were stolen and which are the subject of a police investigation."

However, the letters sent to Anne were not at all from a friend, but instead from Commander Timothy Laurence, the man she had reportedly been seeing while married to Captain Mark Philips.

Timothy Laurence was a "favourite of the royal family" and began to appear in the royal entourage from 1986, which saw him and Anne get publicly closer. Especially when Anne went on to appoint Laurence as one of her personal advisers.

  • Tragic schoolgirl, 11, died just three weeks after waking up complaining of 'belly ache'

A friend of Timothy told People: "Anne has treated him as her closest confidant for some considerable time.

"Obviously, Tim and the princess were physically attracted to each other, but their friendship goes deeper than that … he cares for her in the way her husband does not."

Of course, after all this chaos, Anne and Mark ended their tumultuous marriage for good in 1992.

Anne was reportedly the one who asked for the divorce, but it was alleged at the time that the divorce was a mutual agreement.

Then, after the couple had separated, Anne went on to marry Timothy Laurence, the man who she had been having an affair with.

And in an even bigger twist, they got married the very same year that she got divorced, in 1992.

Source: Read Full Article