Princess Anne's relationship with her second husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, is highlighted on Season Five of “The Crown." The Netflix series shows how the romance tied into the events of queen’s annus horribilis, “horrible year," her nickname for 1992.
Anne previously married Captain Mark Phillips in November 1973. The two share daughter Zara and son Peter. They separated in 1989 and divorced in 1992, the same year that both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew separated from their wives.
Here's what to know about the real Laurence, played by Theo Fraser Steele in "The Crown." Claudia Harrison plays Anne in Season Five.
He made an impact on the royal family — especially Princess Anne — in 1986
Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence served in the Royal Navy. In 1986, he became an equerry — a personal assistant — for the queen and met Princess Anne, per the New York Times. In 1988, Laurence was chosen to be one of three personal advisers to Anne’s Charities Trust.
The couple's private letters were stolen in 1989
While not much has been confirmed about the early beginnings of their romantic relationship, in 1989 private letters between the two were obtained by The Sun. While the letters were never published, Buckingham Palace did confirm their existence.
In May 1992, they made one of their first public appearances as an engaged couple at the Royal Caledonian Ball.
Timothy Laurence and Princess Anne got married in 1992
Anne got divorced in April 1992 and married Laurence later that year.
The couple — Anne, 42, and Laurence, 37 — got married in a small ceremony at in a Church of Scotland ceremony at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral on Dec. 12, 1992. Anne’s children Zara and Peter were in attendance.
Anne wore a white suit with white blossoms in her hair, while Laurence wore a Royal Navy uniform. The BBC reports that accompanied his daughter down the aisle.
The wedding took place just days after then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation.
In her book “The New Royals,” Katie Nicholls calls the wedding “a rare moment of good cheer in what had been a terrible year” (for the royal family).
Timothy and Princess Anne don't have children — but he's a supportive step-father
The couple never had any children of their own once they got married.
Laurence, however, was by Anne side when her son, Peter, married Autumn Phillips on May 17, 2008, in Windsor, England. Peter and Autumn have since separated.
He also attended Princess Anne’s daughter Zara wedding to husband Mike Tindall on July 30, 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
He accompanies his wife on royal duties
While he did not receive a peerage upon marrying Anne, he was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by the queen in June 2011.
He is also not considered a working royal, but over the years has supported his wife throughout her royal duties. He has accompanied her on royal events and royal tours, most recently Princess Anne's tour to Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Timothy also joined join the queen and her working members of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years on the throne.
“After careful consideration, the queen has decided that this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd of June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told NBC News in May 2022.
“In addition the Cambridge and Wessex children are also expected to appear as is Sir Tim Laurence, who the queen is happy to attend as a frequent attendee and support for the Princess Royal on official engagements,” the statement continued.
He was by Princess Anne's side following Queen Elizabeth's death
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 8, Laurence was involved in many of the events held amid the 10 days of national mourning in the United Kingdom. He was part of the 38-minute walk behind the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Sept. 14, along with his wife and the queen's three other children.
He was also by his wife's side at the queen's funeral, held Sept. 19.
“The Crown” viewers will get to see more of Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence early beginnings as a couple when Season Five of the Netflix drama streams.