Princess Anne talks frankly about her attempted kidnap, being an Olympian and raising her children without royal titles

By Simon Perry
July 02, 2020 09:43 AM
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Princess Anne is opening up about the highs and lows of her royal life, including the dramatic failed kidnapping attempt she endured and becoming the first royal Olympian.

Queen Elizabeth's only daughter of her four children has cooperated in what's being called a "landmark" documentary that will chart her life, talk with her children — Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall — and those who have worked alongside her. The 90-minute film is to mark her 70th birthday on August 15.

Using her formal title, Princess Royal: Anne at 70 airs on ITV in the U.K. in the coming weeks, it was confirmed on Thursday. In it, Anne talks "frankly" about the failed kidnap attempt in 1974 and, a press release said, producers have sourced previously-unseen family footage. As well as conversations with her two children, the filmmakers talk with her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Princess Anne
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The Royal Family/Instagram

"She was the first daughter of a monarch to go to school, the first royal Olympian and the first child of a monarch to insist her children were called 'Mr.,' and 'Miss,' " the press release adds, referring to Peter and Zara's lack of royal titles.

School friends tell the program of Anne’s "desire to be 'one of the girls' before she came of age as the swinging '60s made way for the turbulent '70s." Anne, a break-out character in the latest series of Netflix's The Crown, appeared on the cover of fashion magazine Vogue three times during that period.

Viewers will see and hear "how she relaxes with her children, her grandchildren and her animals at her Gloucestershire estate while Sir Tim reflects on a shared love of the sea and much else," the press release adds.

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne
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The documentary, which followed Princess Anne for around a year, also looks at her famous no-nonsense approach and work ethic. "Her Ladies in Waiting admit that they struggle to keep up with her relentless pace while her charities reveal a passionate patron who keeps everyone on their toes."

Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual at ITV who commissioned the show from Oxford Films, adds, "With exclusive, up close and extensive access to Princess Anne, her family and those closest to her, this fascinating film is a landmark event on a landmark birthday."