Princess Anne reunited with an old flame during Royal Ascot

The Princess Royal has stayed close with one particular ex throughout the years

Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo cast rehearsel at Redford Barracks on August 2, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Princess Anne caught up with her ex-boyfriend Andrew Parker Bowles on the second day of the Royal Ascot. The two were spotted sitting next to one another while chatting about the event.

Anne, Princess Royal and Andrew Parker Bowles are seen watching a race during Royal Ascot 2021 at Ascot Racecourse on June 16, 2021 in Ascot, England.

(Image credit: Antony Jones/Getty Images for Royal Ascot)

Former military officer Andrew Parker-Bowles was once the husband of Camilla Parker-Bowles - the same Camilla who is now better known as the Duchess of Cornwall. 

But before he married Camilla, Andrew was involved with Princess Anne. The two were spotted chatting on the second day of this year's Royal Ascot - which is where they first met in 1970. Andrew had been invited to the racing event by the Royal Family, according to royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith. Though their relationship didn't last long, the pair have remained close and, at times, still attend Ascot together.

Some have wondered why Anne and Andrew never got married, but Royal traditions and protocol seem to have played a part. 

"Anne and Andrew enjoyed each other’s company, but they could never marry because he was a Catholic,” Sally told Vanity Fair.

Andrew Parker-bowles Kissing Princess Anne When They Meet At Royal Ascot.

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Not long after her break-up with Andrew, Princess Anne met another military officer, Captain Mark Phillips, and the two married in 1973. 

Princess Anne and Mark Phillips divorced in 1992, after a separation of three years. She married Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence of the Royal Navy in December of that year, making her the first child of a British monarch to remarry after a divorce. At that point in time, the Church of England did not permit divorced couples to marry in church. However, the Church of Scotland did, so the wedding took place in Scotland, at Crathie Kirk, near the Queen's country estate of Balmoral. 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Sir Timothy Laurence during Royal Ascot Day 3 at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2018 in Ascot, United Kingdom.

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Princess Anne's romantic relationship with Andrew may not have lasted, but it's great to see their friendship has stayed strong for decades.

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.