Sign up to our free daily email for the latest royal and entertainment news, interesting opinion, expert advice on styling and beauty trends, and no-nonsense guides to the health and wellness questions you want answered.
Thank you for signing up to . You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Princess Anne’s wedding might have been tinged with heartbreak as a life-changing announcement came just before her big day.
- The Princess Royal got married three days after it was announced to the House of Commons that her older brother and sister-in-law were separating.
- Although the then-Prince of Wales attended Princess Anne’s wedding, his wife Princess Diana was not at the ceremony.
- This royal news comes as it was revealed that Meghan Markle's Christmas festivities show a major clash with royal traditions.
On December 12 2022, the Princess Royal and her second husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence marked their 30th wedding anniversary. Unlike Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011, Princess Anne and Sir Timothy’s big day was a far more low-key occasion. The ceremony took place at Crathie Kirk in Scotland as there was a bizarre rule that banned Princess Anne and Sir Timothy’s marriage from taking place in England. Amongst the guests were the late Queen and Prince Philip as well as the bride’s brothers.
But despite the happiness of this special occasion, Princess Anne’s wedding was likely also tinged with heartbreak. Just three days earlier an announcement was made that changed everything for the Royal Family and it's understood Princess Diana didn’t attend the big day.
After 11 years of marriage, Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s separation was announced by Prime Minister Sir John Major on December 9, 1992. He delivered the sad news to the assembled MPs in the House of Commons, relaying a statement from Buckingham Palace.
“It is announced from Buckingham Palace that, with regret, the Prince and Princess of Wales have decided to separate,” it began, before going on to add, “This decision has been reached amicably, and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children. Their Royal Highnesses will continue to carry out full and separate programmes of public engagements, and will from time to time attend family occasions and national events together.”
The statement continued, “The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, though saddened, understand and sympathise with the difficulties that have led to this decision.”
As the couple were set to be King and Queen one day, this announcement changed the course of history forever. The sad announcement came amid the Queen’s Annus Horribilis or Horrible Year which had already seen a Windsor Castle fire break out and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson announce their own separation.
Although the statement said that from “time to time” the former couple would still attend family events together, Princess Diana is said to have not been present at Princess Anne’s wedding three days later to Sir Timothy Laurence, perhaps due to this announcement and preferring privacy as she went through its aftermath.
And though Princess Anne was likely swept away by her own joy that day, it’s possible that the recent announcement and her brother and sister-in-law’s unhappiness could have even in a small way played on her mind at her nuptials. The Princess Royal was also perhaps sympathetic to what they were going through as she was no stranger to marital heartbreak herself.
Princess Anne had finalized her divorce from her first husband Captain Mark Phillips earlier in 1992 after they separated in 1989. Their children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall were also present at Princess Anne’s wedding in Scotland. Both of them now reside on the Gatcombe Park estate where the Princess Royal and Sir Timothy live.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
Why King Charles won't sit on the Queen's throne at his coronation
This is the real reason why King Charles won't sit on his late mother's throne at his coronation in May
By Laura Harman • Published
Is Kevin Costner leaving Yellowstone? Star's shooting schedule may be an issue
Citing scheduling conflicts, some reports are suggestions Kevin Costner might be leaving Yellowstone - here is the truth behind the rumors
By Anna Rahmanan • Published