Princess Anne is known to have a close relationship with Queen Camilla, her sister-in-law.
However, a little-known fact is that the Princess Royal was courted in the early 1970s by Camilla’s now know ex-husband, Andrew.
Experts examined into the journalistic fascination surrounding the young princess’s love life in the 1970s in the Channel 4 program The Real Princess Anne.
It examined several of Anne’s early courtiers, particularly the “love quadrangle” of Anne, Andrew, Camilla, and then-Prince Charles.
According to royal experts, Anne and Andrew dated for “some time,” but a now-defunct royal edict — the Act of Settlement 1701 — stopped the relationship from progressing.
The edict barred any Catholics or their spouses from becoming monarch, and with Anne fourth in line at the moment, this effectively eliminated Andrew.
“Most of the press pack were far more interested in the company she kept and whether they could marry her off,” the narrator stated.
“Would it be Olympic gold medalist Richard Meade, who shared her passion for riding, or, more intriguing, the 26-year-old Andrew Parker Bowles, who is not yet married to Camilla?”
“He and Anne were frequently seen together, but he was a Roman Catholic, and for a royal, that effectively ruled out marriage.”
The Act of Settlement was repealed in 2013 with the passage of the Succession to the Crown Act.
It abolished the historical disqualification from the line of succession of a person who married a Catholic, as well as the obligation for individuals outside the first six people in line to the throne to obtain the Sovereign’s approval to marry.
The Act also abolished male primogeniture, which gives sons precedence over daughters in the succession line.
But, by then, Anne and Andrew had both gone on with their lives.
Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973, and they had two children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, as well as five grandchildren.
However, Anne and Mark’s marriage was an unhappy one that ended in divorce in 1992. Anne afterward remarried the Queen’s Equerry Commander Timothy Laurence.
Meanwhile, Andrew married Camilla in 1973, and the couple had two children, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes, before divorcing in 1995 after both had affairs. In 1996, Andrew remarried Rosemary Pitman, with whom he remained she died in 2010.
Despite their past, Anne and Andrew are thought to be strong friends to this day.