Why Princess Anne will be a fascinating addition on 'The Crown'

By Meaghan Wray

Though Princess Anne is not always directly in the public eye like some of her family members, the Queen and Prince Philip’s only daughter has certainly led one of the most interesting of royal lives. From being crowned hardest-working royal once again in 2018 to flying across the sea to Toronto and back in one day, it’s plain to see that the princess will make one of the most fascinating additions on The Crown – but not just for her busy schedule!

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The critically acclaimed TV show will see its third season sometime in 2019, debuting an entirely new set of cast members, from Olivia Colman as the Queen to Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret . Erin Doherty, of Call the Midwife and Les Misérables fame, will portray Anne in the upcoming season. On top of learning the incredible history of Britain’s royal family, fans of the show are likely excited for another 10 episodes rife with controversies and scandals, now including the fascinating life of the Princess Royal (the title often given to a monarch’s eldest daughter).

Anne visited James Beaton in the hospital

It’s known that the next installment of The Crown will take place largely in the early 1970s, which falls right around the time of one of the scariest moments in Princess Anne’s life. In 1974, 26-year-old Ian Ball tried to kidnap the Queen’s then-23-year-old daughter at gunpoint. He ambushed her car when she was on her way back to Buckingham Palace with first husband Mark Phillips following a charity event, shooting and wounding four men along with the princess’s driver.

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This resulted in the palace reconfiguring their security plan, which Ian reportedly said in his interrogation was the “one good thing” that came out of the terrifying event. Anne’s personal police officer, Inspector James Beaton, was one victim of the crime, and she famously visited him while he was recovering in the hospital. The others wounded were her chauffeur, Alexander Callender, journalist John Brian McConnell who tried to intervene, and Constable Michael Hills – all of whom received medals recognizing their bravery. Boxer Ronald Russell was the fifth man to receive a medal as he was passing by and attacked Ian, allowing the princess to run away. He revealed that when the Queen gave him the honour she said, "The medal is from the Queen, the thank you is from Anne's mother."

Princess Anne had a Welsh pony named Greensleeves. Photo: © Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images

Princess Anne was also an Olympian back in her equestrian days. The 68-year-old rode her family’s horse Goodwill in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal as a member of Team Great Britain. Though she didn’t win a medal, she was awarded a few in individual competitions, including three-day eventing. Her daughter, Zara Tindall, has gone on to become an avid competitor in her own right, winning an Olympic silver in 2012 in team evening for the British team. Each year, the princess even opens the grounds of her home, Gatcombe Park, for the Festival of British Eventing.

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