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On Monday, August 15, Princess Anne celebrated her 72nd birthday.

Many happy returns!

The Queen sent greetings to her only daughter via social media, including Twitter, and a fan replied with a splendid photo montage:

The Princess Royal is the busiest member of the Royal Family. She is also the quietest.

A video tweet from OK! tells us that, in 2021, she undertook 387 official engagements, more than one a day.

The brief video gives a great potted biography. Princess Anne is the Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Navy and was also on Britain’s Equestrian team in the 1976 Olympics:

The Bristol Post calls her a ‘style icon’.

I’m old enough to remember photos of her from the 1960s and 1970s:

The Princess Royal was the height of fashion in her youth.

I found The Bristol Post‘s commentary amusing. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the shift was the dress to wear. Also, no one found miniskirts strange then, although the paper thinks people would nowadays:

And, yes, as a young woman, the Princess Royal often wore her hair down rather than in an upsweep:

The Princess’s life has been filled with achievements and extensive charity work. She also passed along her equestrian prowess to her daughter, Zara. However, her life has not been without controversy, as the Daily Mail explains.  (emphases mine below):

The princess, who was born at Clarence House on August 15 1950, is the mother of silver medal-winning Olympic horsewoman Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, who runs a sports management firm.

Anne was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia in 1990 for her work as president of the charity Save The Children. 

In 2002, Anne became the first senior member of the royal family to be convicted of a criminal offence.

She pleaded guilty at East Berkshire Magistrates’ Court in Slough to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act after her English bull terrier Dotty bit two children in Windsor Great Park. She was fined £500.  

A skilled horsewoman, Anne won the individual championship at Burghley in 1971, and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

She won a place in the 1976 Montreal Olympics as a three-day eventer in the British equestrian team.

In 1987, Anne was honoured by the Queen with the senior title of Princess Royal, which is traditionally, but not automatically, given by the sovereign to their eldest daughter.

Anne has been married twice. She wed Capt Phillips in 1973, they separated in 1989 and divorced in 1992.

In 1992, she married Tim Laurence, a former equerry to the Queen, who became a Vice Admiral. They will mark 27 years of marriage later this year.

British media dubbed her first husband Captain Mark Phillips ‘Foggy’, so let no one say that they are picking on Meghan Markle.

Princess Anne’s achievements are as long as one’s arm and she shows no signs of slowing down.

I wish her all the best for the year ahead and really wish there were some way that she could succeed her mother. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be possible.

A woman of common sense and humility, Princess Anne is the unsung hero of the Royal Family.

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