Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
Born Mark Anthony Peter Phillips
22 September 1948 (1948-09-22) (age 63)
Spouse Anne, Princess Royal
(m. 1973–1992, divorced)
Sandy Pflueger
(m. 1997-present)
Children Peter Phillips
Zara Phillips
Felicity Tonkin
Stephanie Phillips
Parents Mj. Peter William Garside Phillips (deceased)
Anna Patricia Tiarks (deceased)

Captain Mark Anthony Peter Phillips, CVO, ADC(P) (born 22 September 1948) is a British Olympic gold-medal-winning horseman and ex-husband of Anne, Princess Royal. He is the son of Major Peter William Garside Phillips (1920–1998)[1] and Anne Patricia Phillips (née Tiarks)[2] (1926–1988).




Mark Phillips was educated at Stouts Hill Preparatory School near Uley, Gloucestershire, and Marlborough College, whence he joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.


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

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.

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.

It was through his equestrian activities that he met Princess Anne, only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

He is now a regular columnist in 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.[10]

First marriage

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 turned down. This may also have been the specific wish of Princess Anne. (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 "Lord" or "Lady" and not merely "Mr." or "Miss." In the case of the Queen's sister, The Princess Margaret, her ex-husband, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, became the Earl of Snowdon upon marriage, with the subsidiary title, Viscount Linley. As a result, Jones' son, David, is entitled to be addressed as "Viscount Linley", and David's son, Charles, is addressed "The Honourable".

Rumours of a stormy relationship were rife, and their home life at Gatcombe Park was the subject of much unwanted media attention throughout their marriage. 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] In 1992, Phillips and the Princess Royal were divorced.[16]

Extramarital affair

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. [17]

Second marriage

On 1 February 1997, Phillips married Sandy Pflueger, an American dressage rider. They have a daughter named Stephanie, born 2 October 1997.[16]

Titles, styles, honours and arms



  • Captain (Retired)




Name Birth Marriage Issue
Peter Phillips 15 November 1977 17 May 2008 Autumn Kelly Savannah Phillips (b. 2010)
Zara Phillips 15 May 1981 30 July 2011 Mike Tindall


  1. ^ Phillips family update
  2. ^
  3. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44923. p. 8768. 22 August 1969. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  4. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45287. p. 912. 26 January 1971. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  5. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46174. p. 267. 7 January 1974. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  6. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46644. p. 9641. 28 July 1975. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  7. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47508. p. 4411. 10 April 1978. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  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 978-0491030588
  14. ^ Hoey, Brian. Zara Phillips: A Revealing Portrait of A Royal World Champion. Virgin Books ISBN 978-0753513095
  15. ^ Shawcross, William. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: The Official Biography. MacMillan ISBN 978-1405048590
  16. ^ a b "Princess Anne's ex-husband a father again". Reading Eagle (Reading, PA): p. A10. 7 October 1997.,4424040&dq=mark+phillips+a+father+again&hl=en. 
  17. ^ Mail on Sunday
  18. ^ a b "News & Views". The Heraldry Gazette (57): 17. March 1974. 


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