PUBLISHED: 08:32, Tue, Nov 17, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:32, Tue, Nov 17, 2020
The Crown season four depicts the Princess Royal deeply unhappy in her marriage to Mark, and includes the claim that she had an affair with her bodyguard Peter Cross. In the Netflix drama, the Queen tells her daughter that it has been brought to her attention that Anne has become “intimate” with Sergeant Cross and that it was recommended that he be posted back to desk duty. Anne tells her mother that he is the “only thing” that makes her happy, imploring the Queen not to take him away from her.
In real life, it was reported that Anne had become “overly familiar” with her royal protection officer, who was swiftly transferred away from royal duties.
However, what they did not mention in the Netflix drama is that Mark also had an affair during the couple’s marriage and even had a secret child with another woman.
Anne and Mark married in a beautiful wedding in 1973, and had their son Peter in 1977, followed by Zara in 1981.
However, by 1984, their relationship was on the rocks and they would regularly check into separate hotels when travelling together.
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Princess Anne and her ex-husband Mark Phillips (Image: GETTY)
Erin Doherty as Princess Anne in The Crown (Image: Netflix)
They separated in 1989 after love letters between Anne and her now-husband Timothy Laurence were stolen and sent to the press.
At first, they vowed not to divorce but that changed in 1991 when an art teacher from New Zealand, Heather Tonkin, told the Daily Express that Mark fathered her daughter Felicity five years before.
She said: “My ambition is to get Mark’s public acceptance of her and to be able to enter his name on her birth certificate.”
Mark denied the claim but it was soon revealed that he had been making payments ‒ a total of £6,000 per year ‒ to Ms Tonkin for five years under the guise of officially hiring her as a consultant on “equestrian matters”.