Mark Phillips

Last updated

Captain Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips 1980.jpg
Phillips in 1980
Personal information
Birth nameMark Anthony Peter Phillips
Born (1948-09-22) 22 September 1948 (age 70)
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight79 kg (174 lb)
SportHorse riding
Military career
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Unit1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards
Awards Commander of the Royal Victorian Order

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

Captain (Capt) is a junior officer rank of the British Army and Royal Marines and in both services it ranks above lieutenant and below major with a NATO ranking code of OF-2. The rank is equivalent to a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and to a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. The rank of captain in the Royal Navy is considerably more senior and the two ranks should not be confused.

Personal aide-de-camp honorary military attendant to the British monarch

A personal aide-de-camp is a senior military officer who is appointed to act as the honorary military attendant to the monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms or any of his or her viceroys. The Sovereign will typically commission another member of the Royal Family to act as his or her personal aide-de-camp, though other non-royal officers will be assigned to the role, especially when the monarch is in one of the realms besides the United Kingdom. Those designated as aide-de-camp to a governor general, lieutenant governor, or governor use the letters ADC or in Canada A de C after their names.

Olympic Games major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.


Family background and early life

Mark Phillips is the son of Major Peter William Garside Phillips, MC (1920–1998) [1] and Anne Patricia Phillips (née Tiarks; [2] 1926–1988); they married in 1946. Anne was educated at Downe House and served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during the Second World War. [2] Her father John Gerhard Edward Tiarks (1896–1962), who served in the First and Second World Wars, attained the rank of Brigadier. John Tiarks was aide-de-camp to King George VI from 1947 to 1950.

Downe House School school in Cold Ash, a village near Newbury, Berkshire, England

Downe House School is a selective independent girls' day and boarding school in Cold Ash, a village near Newbury, Berkshire, for girls aged 11–18.

Womens Royal Naval Service The womens branch of the British Royal Navy

The Women's Royal Naval Service was the women's branch of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. First formed in 1917 for the First World War, it was disbanded in 1919, then revived in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War, remaining active until integrated into the Royal Navy in 1993. WRNs included cooks, clerks, wireless telegraphists, radar plotters, weapons analysts, range assessors, electricians and air mechanics.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Phillips was educated at Stouts Hill Preparatory School near Uley, Gloucestershire, then at Marlborough College, then the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. [3]

Stouts Hill is an 18th-Century Gothic revival country house situated in the Cotswolds, just outside the village of Uley. The house is currently a timeshare property.

Uley farm village in the United Kingdom

Uley is a village and civil parish in the county of Gloucestershire, England. The village is situated in a wooded valley in the Cotswold escarpment, on the B4066 road between Dursley and Stroud. The placename probably signifies 'clearing in a yew wood'.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

Military career

Mark Phillips in 1973 Mark Phillips 1973.jpg
Mark Phillips in 1973

Upon passing out from Sandhurst, Phillips was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards in July 1969, [4] After the expected period, he was promoted to Lieutenant in January 1971. [5] By the time of his wedding to Princess Anne in November 1973, Phillips was an acting Captain. [6] In January 1974, he was appointed a Personal Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II. [7] Phillips was substantively promoted to Captain in July 1975, [8] and retired from the Army on 30 March 1978. [9]

1st The Queens Dragoon Guards military unit

The 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. Nicknamed The Welsh Cavalry, the regiment recruits from Wales and the bordering English counties of Cheshire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire, and is the senior cavalry regiment, and therefore senior regiment of the line of the British Army. The regiment is part of the Royal Armoured Corps and is paired with the Royal Yeomanry.

Lieutenant is a junior officer rank in the British Army and Royal Marines. It ranks above second lieutenant and below captain and has a NATO ranking code of OF-1 and it is the senior subaltern rank. Unlike some armed forces which use first lieutenant, the British rank is simply lieutenant, with no ordinal attached. The rank is equivalent to that of a flying officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although formerly considered senior to a Royal Navy (RN) sub-lieutenant, the British Army and Royal Navy ranks of lieutenant and sub-lieutenant are now considered to be of equivalent status. The Army rank of lieutenant has always been junior to the Navy's rank of lieutenant.

He continued to style himself Captain Mark Phillips; [10] retired cavalry captains are (unusually) allowed to use this honorific rank, if their job had mostly involved horses. [11]

Equestrian career

Phillips was a reserve member of the British equestrian team for the 1968 Olympics. He was part of the British three-day event teams that won a world title in 1970, a European title in 1971 and Olympic gold medals in 1972; individually, he finished in 35th place in 1972. At the 1988 Olympics his horse sustained a pulled muscle and could not complete the individual three-day event, but Phillips won a silver medal with the British team. Phillips was a four-time champion at the Badminton Horse Trials, in 1971–72 on 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 Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Their own daughter Zara won a silver medal in the three-day event with the British team at the 2012 Olympics. [3]

The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Mexico City, Mexico, from October 12th to the 27th.

1972 Summer Olympics Games of the XX Olympiad, held in Munich in 1972

The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972.

1988 Summer Olympics Games of the XXIV Olympiad, celebrated in Seoul (South Korea) in 1988

The 1988 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIV Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated from 17 September to 2 October 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.

In 1998, Phillips designed the cross-country venue for the Red Hills Horse Trials, a qualifying event for the Olympics located in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. He is now a regular columnist for Horse & Hound magazine. He also remains a leading figure in British equestrian circles, and serves as Chef d'Equipe of the United States Eventing Team. [12] [13]

Personal life

Phillips married Princess Anne on 14 November 1973, at Westminster Abbey. [14] They have two children: Peter (born 1977) and Zara (born 1981). It is believed that Phillips declined a peerage from the Queen which would have allowed his children to use courtesy titles. [15] The Queen bought Gatcombe Park, near Minchinhampton, for the couple as a wedding present.

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 August 1989, the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips announced their intention to separate, as the marriage had been under strain for a number of years. [19] The couple had rarely been seen in public together, and both were romantically linked with other people. [20] They continued to share the custody of their children, and initially announced that "there were no plans for divorce." [21] [22] Meanwhile, Phillips continued to work at the couple's estate at Gatcombe Park. [21] They divorced on 23 April 1992. [23] [24]

On 1 February 1997, Phillips married Sandy Pflueger, an American Olympic dressage rider. Their daughter Stephanie was born on 2 October 1997. [24] On 3 May 2012, it was confirmed by Phillips' solicitors that Phillips and Pflueger had separated, intending to divorce. [25]

Phillips' personal wealth is thought to be around £15–20 million, although he gained only a small settlement when his marriage to Princess Anne ended. [17]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Military ranks


Honorary military appointments



Peter Phillips 15 November 197717 May 2008 Autumn Kelly Savannah Phillips
Isla Phillips
Zara Phillips 15 May 198130 July 2011 Mike Tindall Mia Tindall
Lena Tindall
Felicity Tonkin10 August 1985Tristan WadeJames Wade
Stephanie Phillips2 October 1997

Related Research Articles

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II.

Anne, Princess Royal Daughter of Queen Elizabeth II

Anne, Princess Royal, is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of her birth, she was third in the line of succession to the British throne, behind her mother – then Princess Elizabeth – and elder brother, Charles. She rose to second after her mother's accession, but is currently thirteenth in line.

Zara Tindall daughter of Princess Anne and Olympic equestrian

Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall is a member of the British royal family, an equestrian and Olympian. She is the daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II.

Henry Abel Smith British Army officer and Australian politician

Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith was a British Army officer who served as Governor of Queensland, Australia. He married a niece of King George V and Queen Mary.

Peter Mark Andrew Phillips is a member of the British royal family. He is the elder child and only son of Anne, Princess Royal, and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips. He is the eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. After graduating from university in 2000, he worked for Jaguar followed by WilliamsF1. In 2003, while working for WilliamsF1 in Canada, he met Autumn Kelly, whom he married in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in 2008. For many years Phillips has worked in the sports sponsorship and management fields. He is currently fourteenth in line of succession to the British throne.

Michael Boyce, Baron Boyce Royal Navy officer

Admiral of the Fleet Michael Cecil Boyce, Baron Boyce, is a retired Royal Navy officer who now sits as a crossbench member of the House of Lords.

Vice Admiral Sir Timothy James Hamilton Laurence, is a retired Royal Navy officer and the second husband of Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Laurence was Equerry to the Queen from 1986 to 1989.

James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn Duke of Abercorn in the Peerage of Ireland

James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn,, is a British nobleman, peer, and politician. He became Duke of Abercorn in the Peerage of Ireland on the death of his father in June 1979. He is the son of James Edward Hamilton, 4th Duke of Abercorn, and Lady Kathleen Crichton. He is a former politician and Lord Steward of the Household.

Brigadier Andrew Henry Parker Bowles OBE is a retired British Army officer. He is the former husband of Camilla Parker Bowles, who is now the Duchess of Cornwall as the wife of the Prince of Wales.

Gatcombe Park

Gatcombe Park is the country residence of Anne, Princess Royal between the villages of Minchinhampton and Avening in Gloucestershire, England. Built in the late 18th century to the designs of George Basevi, it is a Grade II* listed building. It is a royal residence as it is home to the Princess Royal, and is privately owned. Parts of the grounds open for events, including horse trials and craft fairs.

Jim Beaton British police officer

Chief Superintendent James Wallace Beaton, GC, CVO is a retired British police officer who was awarded the George Cross, Britain's highest gallantry award for civilians. He was Queen's Police Officer from 1983 to 1992.

Helen Sandy Pflueger is an American and Kama'aina equestrienne. She has competed successfully in both eventing and dressage, finishing second at the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials in 1981 and competing on the United States Dressage Team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Toytown (horse) horse

Toytown was a British event horse owned and ridden by Zara Phillips.

Major Derek Swithin Allhusen, CVO was an English equestrian who was a 54-year-old grandfather when he rode Lochinvar to team gold and individual silver medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico.

Autumn Patricia Phillips is the wife of Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne and the oldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. After graduating from McGill University in 2002, Autumn Kelly met Peter Phillips in her birthplace and hometown of Montreal, Quebec; their engagement was announced in July 2007, and they married in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, on 17 May 2008. They have two daughters named Savannah and Isla Phillips. The family lives in London. She retains her Canadian citizenship.

Wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips

The wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips took place on Wednesday, 14 November 1973 at Westminster Abbey in London. Princess Anne is the only daughter and second child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, while Mark Phillips is a skilled horseman and equestrian.

Major Alexander Ronald George Strutt, 4th Baron Belper, was a British hereditary peer, British Army officer, and equestrian.

A list of Honours was released on 5 August 2002, and made appointments and promotions within the Royal Victorian Order, as well as awards of the Royal Victorian Medal, on the demise of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon in 2002. The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood recognising distinguished personal service to the Sovereign, and remains in the personal gift of the monarch.

Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Mansel Miller, was a British Army officer and equestrian who served as Crown Equerry to Queen Elizabeth II from 1961–87.

The 1974 New Zealand Royal Visit Honours were appointments by Elizabeth II to the Royal Victorian Order, to mark her visit to New Zealand that year. The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips on the tour, and attended the 10th British Commonwealth Games in Christchurch and celebrations at Waitangi to mark New Zealand Day. The honours were announced at the conclusion of the tour on 7 and 8 February 1974.


  1. "Phillips family update". Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link).
  2. 1 2 Tiarks, Frank. "Tiarks of Foxbury as researched by Charles A. H. Franklyn-". Retrieved 30 May 2015. Educated, Downe House, Newbury, Berks....served in the WRNS...
  3. 1 2 "Mark Phillips". Sports Reference. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  4. "No. 44923". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 August 1969. p. 8768.
  5. "No. 45287". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 January 1971. p. 912.
  6. Morgan, Gwen. "A Royal Wedding Album". Chicago Tribune 15 November 1973. Retrieved 4 March 2016. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Michael Ramsey, blesses Princess Ann and Capt. Mark Phillips....
  7. "No. 46174". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 January 1974. p. 267.
  8. "No. 46644". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 July 1975. p. 9641.
  9. "No. 47508". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 April 1978. p. 4411.
  10. Mark Phillips. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  11. Retired and Former Officers, The Army, Armed Forces, Professions, Forms Of Address | Debrett's Archived 27 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  12. "Phillips and Ransehousen Named 2011 USEF Coaches of the Year". United States Equestrian Federation. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  13. "Captain Mark Phillips". United States Eventing Association. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  14. "1973: Crowds cheer marriage of Princess Anne". BBC. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  15. 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", depending on the substantive peerage created.
  16. Bradford, Sarah (2002) Elizabeth: A Biography of Her Majesty the Queen, London: Penguin, p. 593
  17. 1 2 William Langley "Captain Mark Phillips: He’s found love in the saddle (again)",, 6 May 2013
  18. Rayner, Gordon (3 May 2012). "Captain Mark Phillips to divorce for second time after falling for 35-year-old Lauren Hough" . Retrieved 10 December 2018 via
  19. "But No Divorce Is Planned : Princess Anne, Husband Split". Los Angeles Times. 31 August 1989. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  20. Kaufman, Joanne; Cooper, Jonathan (24 April 1989). "A Crisis Rocks a Royal Marriage". People. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  21. 1 2 "1989: Royal couple to separate". BBC. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  22. Rule, Sheila (1 September 1989). "Princess Anne and Husband Agree to Separate". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  23. Brozan, Nadine (24 April 1992). "Chronicle". New York Times.
  24. 1 2 "Princess Anne's ex-husband a father again". Reading Eagle. Reading, PA. 7 October 1997. p. A10.
  25. Rayner, Gordon (3 May 2012) Captain Mark Phillips to divorce for second time after falling for 35-year-old Lauren Hough. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  26. Krebs, Albin (15 August 1974). "Notes on People" . Retrieved 10 December 2018 via
  27. 1 2 "News & Views". The Heraldry Gazette (57): 17. March 1974.