Princess Anne and Mark Phillips Marry
The first of the Queen’s children to marry was Princess Anne , her only daughter. In subsequent years royal marriages were to become dare one say it somewhat commonplace, but this was the first of the new generation to wed, and the event was considered significant enough to merit a national holiday.
Many thousands camped out overnight to get a good view of the guests and the participants arriving at Westminster Abbey , as so often the scene for a great state occasion, and to observe the by then married couple making their way in the traditional carriage to Buckingham Palace where they appeared on the balcony to wave to the huge crowds, and to the estimated TV audience of half a billion worldwide.
It was indeed a great occasion, one that immodest though it may be to say so, the British do better than anybody else. The bride wore what was described as a Tudor -style white wedding dress; Lt. Mark Phillips the groom looked dashing in his Queen’s Dragoon Guards dress uniform, the scarlet tunic a huge splash of colour for those lucky enough to be watching the proceedings on colour TV ( the BBC had only begun to broadcast in colour in 1966, and many still had black and white sets).
To his credit the then Lt. Phillips, soon to be Captain, turned down an earldom offered by the Queen on the morning of the ceremony, perhaps a good sign of independence. But in spite of this auspicious beginning the marriage, as would prove to be the case with two of the Queen’s other children, was not to last. The couple eventually separated in 1989 after frequent rumours of a stormy relationship – he was later found to have had an illegitimate child with a New Zealand woman in 1985 – divorcing in 1992.
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