Mark Phillips

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Mark Phillips
Mark Philips smiling
Phillips in 1980
Personal information
Birth nameMark Anthony Peter Phillips
Born (1948-09-22) 22 September 1948 (age 75)
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England
Alma mater
(m. 1973; div. 1992)
(m. 1997; sep. 2012)
Children4, including Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall
SportHorse riding
Medal record
Representing  Great Britain
Gold medal – first place 1972 Munich Team eventing
Silver medal – second place 1988 Seoul Team eventing
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1970 Punchestown Team eventing
Silver medal – second place 1974 Burghley Team eventing
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1971 Burghley Team eventing
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Unit1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards
AwardsCommander of the Royal Victorian Order

Mark Anthony Peter Phillips CVO ADC OLY (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 for Horse & Hound magazine.

Family background and early life[edit]

Mark Anthony Peter Phillips was born on 22 September 1948. He is the son of Major Peter William Garside Phillips, MC (1920–1998)[1] and Anne Patricia Phillips (née Tiarks;[2] 1926–1988);[1] 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. Mark had a younger sister, Sarah Anne Staples (née Phillips; 1951–2014).[3]

Phillips was educated at Stouts Hill Preparatory School near Uley, Gloucestershire, then at Marlborough College, then the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[4]

Military career[edit]

Upon passing out from Sandhurst, Phillips was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards in July 1969,[5] he was promoted to Lieutenant in January 1971.[6] By the time of his wedding to Princess Anne in November 1973, Phillips was an acting Captain.[7] In January 1974, he was appointed a Personal aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II.[8] Phillips was substantively promoted to captain in July 1975,[9] and retired from the Army on 30 March 1978.[10]

Phillips continued to style himself Captain Mark Phillips,[11] as it is usual for retired cavalry captains to keep using their rank if their civilian job involves working with horses in racing or equestrian sports.[12]

Equestrian career[edit]

Mark Phillips in 1973

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 and 1972 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 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whom he married. Their own daughter Zara later won a silver medal in the three-day event with the British team at the 2012 Olympics.[4]

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.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Phillips first met his future wife Princess Anne at a party for horse lovers in 1968.[15] They married on 14 November 1973, at Westminster Abbey.[16] They have two children: Peter (born 1977) and Zara (born 1981). The Queen bought Gatcombe Park, near Minchinhampton, for the couple as a wedding present.[17][18]

In August 1989 the Princess Royal and 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] In 1991, a DNA test confirmed that Phillips had fathered a girl, Felicity Tonkin, born in August 1985 in New Zealand to art teacher Heather Tonkin.[23] Phillips and Princess Anne divorced on 23 April 1992.[24][25]

On 1 February 1997, Phillips married Sandy Pflueger, an American Olympic dressage rider. Their daughter Stephanie was born on 2 October 1997.[25] She grew up at Aston Farm, Gatcombe Park, close to the family of Princess Anne, and served as a bridesmaid at the wedding of her half-sister Zara Tindall. In 2000, Phillips was appointed an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers.

On 3 May 2012, it was confirmed by Phillips' solicitors that Phillips and Pflueger had separated, intending to divorce, with Phillips becoming involved with American equestrian Lauren Hough.[26]

Phillips' personal wealth is thought to be around £15–20 million.[27] The settlement he received when his marriage to Princess Anne ended was described as "modest"[27] and reported to be around "$3 million".[28]

On 19 September 2022, Philips was present at the committal service at St George's Chapel for his former mother in law Elizabeth II.[29]

Honours and arms[edit]

Military ranks[edit]


British honours[edit]

Honorary military appointments[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


Coat of arms of Mark Phillips
These arms were granted to Peter Phillips, the father of Captain Mark Phillips, in October 1973. Mark used these arms differenced with a three point label until he inherited the undifferenced arms from his father in 1998.[35] He was granted hereditary supporters, a rare privilege for untitled people.[citation needed]
On a Wreath of the colours, a spur rowed upward or, winged argent, enclosing a lozenge sable.
Per chevron azure and Or, in chief a horse courant argent, and in base a sprig of forget-me-not flowers, slipped and leaved proper.[35]
On the dexter side a winged lion, and on the sinister side a winged horse Argent, each gorged with a representation of the Coronet of HRH The Princess Anne proper.
Pro rege et patria (For king and country).
Royal Victorian Order


By Princess Anne
Name Birth Marriage Issue
Peter Phillips 15 November 1977 17 May 2008
Divorced 14 June 2021[36]
Autumn Kelly Savannah Phillips
Isla Phillips[37]
Zara Phillips 15 May 1981 30 July 2011[38] Mike Tindall Mia Tindall
Lena Tindall
Lucas Tindall[39]
By Heather Tonkin
Name Birth Marriage Issue
Felicity Tonkin 10 August 1985 March 2015 Tristan Wade James Wade[23]
By Sandy Pflueger
Name Birth Marriage Issue
Stephanie Phillips 2 October 1997 8 July 2022[40] William Hosier


  1. ^ a b "Princess Anne Attends Funeral". AP News. 18 September 1998. Archived from the original on 16 April 2023. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b Tiarks, Frank. "Tiarks of Foxbury as researched by Charles A. H. Franklyn-". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2015. Educated, Downe House, Newbury, Berks....served in the WRNS...
  3. ^ "Zara Tindall mourns the sudden death of her aunt Sarah Staples". Hello!. 17 December 2014. Archived from the original on 16 April 2023. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Mark Phillips". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  5. ^ "No. 44923". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 August 1969. p. 8768.
  6. ^ "No. 45287". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 January 1971. p. 912.
  7. ^ Morgan, Gwen. "A Royal Wedding Album". Chicago Tribune 15 November 1973. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2016. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Michael Ramsey, blesses Princess Ann and Capt. Mark Phillips....
  8. ^ a b "No. 46174". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 January 1974. p. 267.
  9. ^ "No. 46644". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 July 1975. p. 9641.
  10. ^ "No. 47508". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 April 1978. p. 4411.
  11. ^ Mark Phillips Archived 29 March 2023 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Phillips and Ransehousen Named 2011 USEF Coaches of the Year". United States Equestrian Federation. 18 January 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Captain Mark Phillips". United States Eventing Association. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  15. ^ Longworth, R. C. (1 September 1989). "Princess Anne To Separate From Husband". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  16. ^ "1973: Crowds cheer marriage of Princess Anne". BBC. 14 November 1973. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  17. ^ Glasgow Herald, 24 June 1976, p. 1
  18. ^ The Australian Women's Weekly, 21 July 1976, p. 4 Archived 2020-10-07 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "But No Divorce Is Planned : Princess Anne, Husband Split". Los Angeles Times. 31 August 1989. Archived from the original on 19 August 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  20. ^ Kaufman, Joanne; Cooper, Jonathan (24 April 1989). "A Crisis Rocks a Royal Marriage". People. Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  21. ^ a b "1989: Royal couple to separate". BBC. 31 August 1989. Archived from the original on 20 August 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  22. ^ Rule, Sheila (1 September 1989). "Princess Anne and Husband Agree to Separate". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 15 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Royal scandal: Zara Tindall's 'secret' nephew born in NZ". The New Zealand Herald. 19 August 2017. Archived from the original on 10 October 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2022. A DNA test in 1991 confirmed Phillips as her father, paving the way for a reported £350,000 settlement from Phillips, money which helped pay for fees at one of Auckland's finest private schools and some profitable property investments to secure Felicity's future.
  24. ^ Brozan, Nadine (24 April 1992). "Chronicle". New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 April 2024. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  25. ^ a b "Princess Anne's ex-husband a father again". Reading Eagle. Reading, PA. 7 October 1997. p. A10. Archived from the original on 11 April 2023. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  26. ^ Rayner, Gordon (3 May 2012). "Captain Mark Phillips to divorce for second time after falling for 35-year-old Lauren Hough". Archived from the original on 4 June 2023. Retrieved 10 December 2018 – via
  27. ^ a b William Langley "Captain Mark Phillips: He's found love in the saddle (again)" Archived 16 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine,, 6 May 2013
  28. ^ "With No Hope for a Happy Ending, Princess Anne Brings Her Storybook Marriage to a Close". Archived from the original on 11 April 2023. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  29. ^ Arasteh, Amira (14 September 2022). "Who's invited to the Queen's funeral? The Royals, politicians and world leaders on the guest list". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 September 2022. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  30. ^ "The London Gazette". Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  31. ^ Krebs, Albin (15 August 1974). "Notes on People". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 April 2023. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  32. ^ a b "Anne Mark Guildhall". Getty Images. Archived from the original on 16 March 2023. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  33. ^ a b Medal Yearbook 2021. Honiton, Devon: Token Publishing. 2021. p. 295. ISBN 978-1-908828-53-8.
  34. ^ "Platinum Jubilee Medal revealed". Archived from the original on 24 September 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  35. ^ a b "News & Views". The Heraldry Gazette (57): 17. March 1974.
  36. ^ Gallagher, Sophie (14 June 2021). "Divorce settled for Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  37. ^ "Queen a great-grandmother again". ITV News. 30 March 2012. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  38. ^ "Zara Phillips wedding: Ceremony at Edinburgh church". BBC News. 30 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 December 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  39. ^ "Zara Tindall and husband Mike confirm birth of baby boy - a new great-grandson for the Queen". Sky News. Archived from the original on 22 February 2023. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  40. ^ Cope, Rebecca (11 July 2022). "Princess Anne attends the wedding of her ex-husband's daughter, Stephanie Phillips". Tatler. Archived from the original on 8 February 2023. Retrieved 6 December 2022.

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