Princess Anne is out of hospital after suffering horse-related head injury. It wasn't her first (2024)

Princess Anne has returned home after spending five nights in hospital with a head injury.

The palace said that the 73-year-old would recuperate there and return to public duty when her medical team allows.

"I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all the team at Southmead Hospital for their care, expertise and kindness during my wife's short stay," her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence said.

Here's what we know.

What happened to Princess Anne?

The cause of her injury is unconfirmed but is believed to be consistent with potential impact from a horse's head or legs, according to the BBC.

She was admitted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol after an incident at her home on Sunday, June 23.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said the Princess Royal had sustained minor injuries and a concussion and is receiving care as a precautionary measure.

Who is Princess Anne?

Anne is King Charles's younger sister.

Is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

While she was born just third in the line of succession for the British throne, she's now 17th.

The Princess Royal has two children with her ex-husband Captain Mark Phillips — Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall — and five grandchildren.

She is 73 years old.

What does Princess Anne do?

As a member of the royal family, Princess Anne's main role is public service.

That means carrying out official engagements, as well as charity work of her own.

Engagements can include national festivities, receptions, state funerals and garden parties.

She's often described as the hardest-working royal, which royal correspondent Juliet Rieden explained in April:

"[It's] based on the tally of her annual engagements — 457 in 2023 according to the Court Circular, compared to 425 carried out by the King.

"While this is not an entirely accurate workload analysis — much is done by King Charles and Queen Camilla aside from engagements — it does give a clear indication of just how much of the often mundane public service toil Anne takes on."

Where does Princess Anne live?

Princess Anne has a residence at St James's Palace in London but spends most of her time in the country at Gatcombe Park, which is where she was injured.

Her country home sits between the villages of Minchinhampton and Avening in Gloucestershire, a ceremonial county in south-west England.

It's about 10 kilometres from Highgrove House, a private residence of King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Gatcombe Park is a working farm that, according to the royal family's website, "has some 230 Wiltshire horn ewes, 14 white park cows, six Highland cows, and two Gloucester old spot sows".

Princess Anne is out of hospital after suffering horse-related head injury. It wasn't her first (1)

Queen Elizabeth II bought the property in 1976 for Anne and her then-husband, Captain Mark Phillips.

She now lives there with her current husband, Sir Timothy Laurence.

Royal fans got a rare glimpse at the inside of the home in 2021 when the royal family uploaded a photo of Anne and Timothy watching the rugby.

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Zara also lives at Gatcombe with her husband Mike Tindall and their children Mia, Lena, and Lucas.

Does Princess Anne spend a lot of time around horses?

Yes – she's an Olympic equestrian rider.

The sport is so much a part of her life, the royal published an autobiography on her equestrian career, titled Riding Through My Life, in 1991.

Princess Anne is out of hospital after suffering horse-related head injury. It wasn't her first (2)

As well as being a European three-day event champion, Anne became the first Olympian in the British royal family as a member of the equestrian team at Montreal 1976.

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The Games were also another instance of the Princess Royal suffering a horse-related injury.

She was concussed when her horse slipped and brought her to the ground but managed to remount and complete the course.

The Princess Royal has reportedly said in an interview she suffered memory loss as a result.

“It was going very well and then I don’t remember anything else. Nothing at all."

Her daughter Zara went on to compete in London 2012, where she won silver in team eventing.

The equestrian circuit is also how the Princess Royal met Captain Philips, who was her teammate at the 1971 European championships.

The Princess Royal traditionally takes up a more active role in the annual Trooping the Colour parade, riding in her military uniform, rather than participating from a carriage.

This year was no different – she was even praised on her horsemanship after maintaining control over her excitable horse Noble during the procession.

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Until this year, the Gatcombe Park grounds hosted the annual Festival of British Eventing over the first weekend in August.

This year's iteration was cancelled due to economic pressures.

"Following the adverse weather experienced at Gatcombe last year, which led to the abandonment of the event, and due to the ever-increasing costs associated with operating on a greenfield site, it has made the event unfeasible to run," a statement from event organisers said.

In the past, the prestigious equestrian event attracted top Olympians and more than 40,000 paying spectators each year.

The courses were designed by Princess Anne, who also personally presented prizes to competition winners.

Princess Anne is out of hospital after suffering horse-related head injury. It wasn't her first (2024)
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