Mark Phillips

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Capt Mark Phillips
Born Mark Anthony Peter Phillips
(1948-09-22) 22 September 1948 (age 65)
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England
Spouse(s) Anne, Princess Royal
(m. 1973, div. 1992)
Sandy Pflueger
(m. 1997, separated 2012)
Children Peter Phillips
Zara Tindall
Felicity Tonkin
Stephanie Phillips
Parents Major Peter William Garside Phillips (deceased)
Anne Patricia Tiarks (deceased)

Captain Mark Anthony Peter Phillips, CVO, ADC(P) (born 22 September 1948) is an English Olympic gold-medal-winning horseman for Great Britain and ex-husband of Anne, Princess Royal, with whom he had two children. He remains a leading figure in British equestrian circles, a noted designer of showjumping circuits, and a columnist in Horse & Hound magazine.

Early life[edit]

Mark Phillips is the son of Major Peter William Garside Phillips (1920–1998),[1] and Anne Patricia Phillips (née Tiarks)[2] (1926–1988).

He was educated at Stouts Hill Preparatory School near Uley, Gloucestershire, and Marlborough College, then the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Military career[edit]

Upon passing out from Sandhurst, Phillips was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Queen's Dragoon Guards in July 1969,[3] After the expected period, he was promoted to Lieutenant in January 1971.[4] By the start of 1974, Phillips was an acting Captain when he was appointed a Personal Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II.[5] Phillips was substantively promoted to captain in July 1975.[6] Phillips retired from the Army on 30 March 1978.[7]

After retiring from the Army, Phillips continued to style himself Captain Mark Phillips.[8] Ordinarily, only Army officers of or above the rank of Major may use their rank when retired. However, retired junior cavalry officers whose civilian work involves equestrianism may continue to use their rank.[9]

Equestrian career[edit]

Olympic medal record
Competitor for  Great Britain
Gold 1972 Munich Team three-day event
Silver 1988 Seoul Team three-day event

In 1972, Phillips was a member of the British three-day event team, which won the gold medal at the Munich Olympics. He won the Badminton Horse Trials in 1971 and 1972 riding Great Ovation, in 1974 on Colombus, and in 1981 on Lincoln. It was through his equestrian activities that he met Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

In 1998, Phillips designed the cross-country venue for the Red Hills Horse Trials, a qualifying event for the Olympics located in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He is now a regular columnist in Horse & Hound magazine. He also remains a leading figure in British equestrian circles, and presently serves as Chef d'Equipe of the United States Eventing Team.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Phillips married Princess Anne on 14 November 1973, at Westminster Abbey,[11] and had two children:

The Queen is believed to have offered him a peerage on his wedding day, which he declined. This may also have been the specific wish of Princess Anne.[citation needed] (As female-line grandchildren of the Sovereign, Princess Anne's children were never eligible for the style "Royal Highness" or the title "Prince/Princess" under the terms of George V's letters patent of 1917). If Phillips held a peerage, however, his children with Princess Anne would have been entitled to be addressed as "The Honourable", or as "Lord" or "Lady".

The Queen bought the couple Gatcombe Park near Minchinhampton as a wedding present. Several sources, including Nicholas Davies' book Queen Elizabeth II: A Woman Who Is Not Amused have attempted to cast doubt on whether Phillips fathered his daughter Zara.[12][13][14][15] The Prince of Wales is believed to have originated the nickname "Foggy" on the grounds that he was "thick and wet".[16][17]

In August 1985 Phillips fathered a daughter, Felicity, as a result of an extramarital affair with New Zealand art teacher Heather Tonkin. Phillips was confirmed as the father as a result of DNA testing during a paternity suit in 1991.[18] In 1989 the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips announced their intention to separate, as the marriage had been under strain for a number of years. The couple divorced on 23 April 1992.[19][20]

On 1 February 1997, Phillips married Sandy Pflueger, an American dressage rider. Their daughter Stephanie was born on 2 October 1997.[20]

On 3 May 2012, it was confirmed by Capt Phillips' solicitors that Phillips and Pflueger had separated, intending to divorce. Phillips is presently reported to be in a relationship with US show jumping rider Lauren Hough who, at 35 years of age, is four months younger than his son. The couple are reported to be planning to live together in Wellington, Florida.[21]

Phillips' personal wealth is thought to be in the range of £15-20 million, although he gained only a low settlement when his marriage to Anne, Princess Royal ended.[17]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Military ranks[edit]


See also List of honours of the British Royal Family by country


Honorary military appointments[edit]



Name Birth Marriage Issue
Peter Phillips 15 November 1977 17 May 2008 Autumn Kelly Savannah Phillips
Isla Phillips
Zara Phillips 15 May 1981 30 July 2011 Mike Tindall Mia Tindall
Felicity Tonkin 10 August 1985
Stephanie Phillips 2 October 1997


  1. ^ Phillips family update
  2. ^
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44923. p. 8768. 22 August 1969. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45287. p. 912. 26 January 1971. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46174. p. 267. 7 January 1974. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46644. p. 9641. 28 July 1975. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47508. p. 4411. 10 April 1978. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ United States Equestrian Federation
  11. ^ The Official Website of the British Monarchy
  12. ^ Davies, Nicholas. Queen Elizabeth II: A Woman Who Is Not Amused. A Birch Lane Press Book. ISBN 1-55972-217-7
  13. ^ Cathcart, Helen. Anne, The Princess Royal. Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0-491-03058-8
  14. ^ Hoey, Brian. Zara Phillips: A Revealing Portrait of A Royal World Champion. Virgin Books ISBN 978-0-7535-1309-5
  15. ^ Shawcross, William. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: The Official Biography. MacMillan ISBN 978-1-4050-4859-0
  16. ^ Sarah Bradford Elizabeth: A Biography of Her Majesty the Queen, London: Penguin, 2002, p.593
  17. ^ a b William Langley "Captain Mark Phillips: He’s found love in the saddle (again)",, 6 May 2013
  18. ^ Mail on Sunday
  19. ^ Brozan, Nadine (24 April 1992). "Chronicle". New York Times. 
  20. ^ a b "Princess Anne's ex-husband a father again". Reading Eagle (Reading, PA). 7 October 1997. p. A10. 
  21. ^ The Telegraph
  22. ^ a b "News & Views". The Heraldry Gazette (57): 17. March 1974.