Earlier this month, on December 12, Princess Anne celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary with her husband, Sir Timothy James Hamilton Laurence. Although the two have been married for three decades, Laurence is rarely seen in public. Plus, as a non-working member of the royal family, Laurence has never received a royal title.
Even though Laurence doesn’t have a royal title, he is extremely supportive of Anne, the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. While the princess is a hardworking member of the royal family, Laurence remains supportive by quietly standing at the side of his wife. Since he often stays out of the limelight, what do we know about Anne’s husband?
For starters, Laurence was born on March 1, 1955 in Camberwell, London. The 67 year old received an exceptional education, attending the New Beacon Preparatory School and Sevenoaks School. Laurence then went on to receive an honors degree in geography from Durham University, where he also served as editor for the famous student newspaper Palatinate.
After graduating, he continued his career path by attending the Royal Naval College Dartmouth. He served on several ships, including the Royal Yacht Britannia. Afterwards, he rose to the rank of lieutenant in 1978 and became a commander in 1985.
Laurence Met His Wife Thanks To His Mother-In-Law
Turns out, Laurence was more than just a great naval commander. His reputation followed him to the point that he became an equerry to Queen Elizabeth II in 1986. This role of the queen’s personal assistant was often filled by someone in the armed forces, making Laurence the perfect fit. Plus, serving as equerry meant that he had the opportunity to meet his future wife. However, it wasn’t without scandal.
Back in 1989, Laurence and Anne were rumored to be close and possibly have an intimate relationship when personal letters were stolen and leaked to The Sun, a British tabloid. This was slanderous because the princess was still married at the time to her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips.
Although the writer of the letters was not immediately leaked, Buckingham Palace later revealed that they were indeed from Laurence. The statement from Buckingham Palace said, “The stolen letters were addressed to the Princess Royal by Commander Timothy Laurence, the Queen’s Equerry. We have nothing to say about the contents of personal letters sent to Her Royal Highness by a friend which were stolen and which are the subject of a police investigation.”
Scandalous Relationship Turns Into A Supportive Marriage
Once the princess divorced Phillips in 1992, she was then able to marry Laurence. On December 12, 1992, the two had an intimate wedding ceremony at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral Castle with only 30 guests. The queen, Prince Philip, and Anne’s children—Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips—attended the small affair.
Following the wedding, the couple moved to the Gatcombe estate in Gloucestershire. However, they have since returned to the apartment in Buckingham Palace. They currently reside in an apartment at St. James’s Palace, the most senior royal palace in London.
As one of the few attendees at their wedding and as the queen’s equerry, the late queen was obviously fond of Laurence. Even though the late monarch didn’t give her son-in-law a royal title upon marriage, he did become a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and was also a personal aide-de-camp to the queen.
The late queen’s warmth towards Laurence was also evident earlier this year. During the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, her son-in-law was allowed to join the late monarch on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following Trooping the Colour. Although it was first said that only working royals would join Queen Elizabeth for the flypast, she made an exception for Laurence, as well as two of her grandchildren and three of her great-grandchildren.
Rising In The Royal Navy Ranks
While being part of the royal family, Laurence also continued his career in the Royal Navy until he retired in 2010. In 1995, he was promoted to captain and by 2004, he became a vice admiral. Since retiring in 2010, Laurence has pursued charitable interests and has served on the boards of several groups. Currently, he is the chairman of the English Heritage Trust.
Although Laurence remains out of the spotlight, he has remained supportive of his wife for the past 30 years. When the queen passed away earlier this year, Laurence was the loving husband that Anne so desperately needed during such a difficult time.
In fact, Laurence was by his wife’s side as Anne joined the late monarch’s coffin on a six-hour ride. The journey began at Balmoral, where the queen died, and ended at Edinburgh. The queen rested there until she went to London.
Of course, Laurence joined his wife on the flight that brought the late queen’s coffin to London. His support continued as he walked with Anne behind her majesty’s coffin at the funeral. He joined his wife again as the coffin was brought to London on an RAF flight from north of the border and was there in solidarity walking behind the monarch’s coffin during her funeral.
We would expect nothing less of the man who has been such a doting husband.