Surprising Times Princess Anne Had to Prove Who’s Boss

There is an interesting contradiction when it comes to the Royal Family. You see, there are many royals who often dominate the headlines, including Prince William and Prince Harry. Because the media focuses on such royals, it’s easy to forget that there are far more fascinating royals who have learned how to avoid the paparazzi.

Princess Anne certainly fits that description. She’s rarely in the public eye when she can avoid it, and she never makes a big deal out of making a big impression. Nonetheless, when the cameras aren’t rolling (and sometimes even when they are),she just keeps proving to be the most interesting modern royal.

Don’t believe it? We’ve got receipts: keep reading to discover the most surprising times Princess Anne had to prove who’s boss! 

The first royal to compete in the Olympics

Because members of the Royal Family are born into lives of privilege and fortune, it’s easy to dismiss them as not having any real skills or strengths. After all, it’s hard to get good at something when you’ve never had to struggle. That’s what we believed, at least, before learning more about Princess Anne competing in the Olympics!

Growing up, Anne wasn’t just good at horseback riding…she was great. Her skills ended up taking her to the 1976 Olympics, and she competed riding Queen Elizabeth’s own horse. This made her the first royal to ever compete in the Olympics. That’s an accomplishment in itself, and while she didn’t bring home any medals, she’ll always be able to admire the three European Championship medals that she earned for her equestrian skills.

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Racing cars behind the Queen’s back

Princess Anne is Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, and by all accounts, they had an excellent relationship when the Queen was still alive. However, one thing Anne loved nearly as much as her mother was driving cars as fast as she could. Eventually, this passion led her to race a car behind her famous mother’s back!

Back in 1971, Anne was tight with Formula 1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart, and they decided to race a sports car. This involved Anne sneaking out of the palace without Queen Elizabeth knowing, and Stewart drove her to the track. At this point, he let Anne drive around the track, and he was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t need much coaching or help. She was, in fact, a natural speed demon behind the wheel, something that would get her in trouble again and again.

Losing her license because she can’t stop speeding

Remember the story of Princess Anne racing a car as fast as she could back in 1971? It turns out that she never lost her love of speeding, and in October 1990, she was fined a whopping $295 because she was busted for two different speeding violations. Both were in the same 60-mile-per-hour speed zone, but Anne was caught driving 77 miles per hour on it the first time and 90 miles per hour the second time. We can see why they took her license away for a month!

All these speeding shenanigans culminated in the year 2000. That was when Anne was driving to a royal engagement and, like so many of us, stopped behind slow traffic. Once she saw a cop car behind her, though, Anne assumed him to be her official escort and began speeding away from all the slow cars. By the time she discovered the cop was not actually escorting her, she was busted yet again for traveling 93 miles per hour in a 70-mile-per-hour zone.

RELATED: The Truth About Princess Diana’s Bitter Feud With Princess Anne

Showing an armed kidnapper who was really in charge

As you read all these stories about Princess Anne, it’s hard not to conclude that she is just a badass. Some people figured that out sooner rather than later, though, including a kidnapper who thought she would be his ticket to easy money.

In 1974, Anne was on her way to Buckingham Palace when her car was attacked by Ian Bell. He shot at the vehicle and injured her driver as well as a journalist and two nearby police officers. Anne remained glacially calm until the man tried to force her to get in the car so he could charge a ransom for her release. She shot back “Not bloody likely” and kept her composure long enough for the police to take care of everything.

Understandably, the episode branded Anne as a true badass. How many members of the Royal Family can claim they kept their bodies and dignity intact in the face of an armed robber?

Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize

It’s an open secret that Princess Anne is the hardest-working royal of them all…literally. She attends more royal engagements than anyone else in her famous family, and millions have been uplifted by her generosity. Eventually, one of her charitable endeavors was enough to earn a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

The nomination was specifically for Anne’s work with the charity simply known as Save the Children. After Anne tirelessly served this organization for two full decades, the president of Zambia nominated her for the Nobel. She ultimately didn’t win, but we were happy to see the world finally take note of Anne’s lifetime of generosity.

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