Princess Anne celebrates anniversary with husband Timothy Laurence: How did the couple meet?

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Despite not being a working royal, Sir Tim has always been credited as the source of strength and motivation for Princess Anne for over three decades.

Royal love stories have always fascinated us, offering glimpses into the intricate paths of romance. For example, back in their high school years in the early 2000s, Prince William and Kate Middleton's love story began, leading to a grand royal wedding in 2011. While the love story of Prince William and Kate Middleton stands as a remarkable tale of modern royalty, there exists one narrative that surpasses even its greatness: Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence.

More than three decades together

December 12 marks the 31st anniversary of the union between Princess Anne and her second husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral. While Princess Anne has often been lauded as one of the hardest-working royals, her husband, Sir Tim, has been a steadfast supporter, accompanying her on numerous royal duties.

Born in Camberwell, London, in March 1955, Timothy Laurence attended Durham University, where he earned a degree in geography. Joining the Royal Navy in 1973, he swiftly rose through the ranks, serving on various ships, including the Royal Yacht Britannia. As per Town And Country, Laurence and Princess Anne first crossed paths during his tenure as an equerry to Queen Elizabeth, beginning in 1986.

In 1989, Timothy Laurence was appointed as a trustee on The Princess Anne's Charities trust, a role that positioned him as one of only three trustees at that time, as reported by People. Remarkably, over the years, Sir Timothy Laurence has continued to serve on the board of trustees, maintaining the role as its longest-serving member.

Princess Anne's anniversary with Timothy Laurence Chip HIRES

Laurence's naval career saw him serving on esteemed vessels like the Royal Yacht Britannia, eventually achieving the rank of Vice Admiral before retiring in 2011. His wit and humor became evident during royal engagements, where he often offered support to Princess Anne, earning him a reputation as an 'invisible' but humorous presence.

In 1989, personal letters between Laurence and Princess Anne were stolen and sent to The Sun, sparking rumors about trouble in Anne's first marriage to Captain Mark Phillips. Although the contents were never made public, they swiftly became a subject of intense speculation, fueling public curiosity. Buckingham Palace ultimately issued a statement on the incident, explaining:

'The stolen letters were addressed to the Princess Royal by Commander Timothy Laurence, the Queen’s Equerry. 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.'

Despite this controversy, the couple married in a small ceremony at Balmoral on December 12, 1992, after Anne's divorce was finalized. The wedding marked Laurence's first marriage, and the couple opted for a Presbyterian service.

Royal without title

In 2007, Timothy Laurence received a notable honor, being awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), the highest rank of the awards. While Laurence did not receive a peerage through marriage, Queen Elizabeth made him a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2011.

Over the years, he has become a familiar face at royal events, standing alongside Princess Anne and even gaining a special privilege to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for Trooping the Colour, a rare honor for a non-working royal.

Princess Anne's anniversary with Timothy Laurence Max Mumby

Timothy Laurence's unwavering support for Princess Anne was particularly evident during the challenging period following Queen Elizabeth's death in 2022. He accompanied Anne as they traveled with the Queen's coffin from Scotland to London, staying by her side during official engagements and sitting next to her at King Charles's coronation.

Read more:

Frosty or friendly? The truth behind Princess Anne and Camilla's relationship

The hardest working Royal of the decade: Princess Anne only came second

Sir Timothy Lawrence: Who is Princess Anne's almost 'invisible' husband?

Princess Anne: Inside her surprisingly low-key Gloucestershire property

© Samir Hussein

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