Mark Phillips

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Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips 1980.jpg
Phillips in 1980
Personal information
Birth name Mark Anthony Peter Phillips
Born (1948-09-22) 22 September 1948 (age 73)
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 79 kg (174 lb)
Spouse(s) Anne, Princess Royal
(m. 1973; div. 1992)
Sandy Pflueger
(m. 1997; sep. 2012)
Sport Horse riding

Captain Mark Anthony Peter Phillips CVO ADC(P) (born 22 September 1948) is an English Olympic gold-medal-winning horseman for Great Britain and ex-husband of Anne, Princess Royal, with whom he had two children. He remains a leading figure in British equestrian circles, a noted eventing course designer, and a columnist in Horse & Hound magazine.

Family background and early life

Mark Phillips is the son of Major Peter William Garside Phillips (1920–1998),[1] and Anne Patricia Phillips (née Tiarks;[2] 1926–1988). Anne was educated at Downe House and served in the Women's Royal Naval Service in World War II.[3] Her father was John Gerhard Edward Tiarks (1896-1962), who served in World War I and II, achieving the rank of Brigadier. John Gerhard was Aide-de-Camp to King George VI from 1947-1950. On 1 June 1922 he married Evelyn Florence, the youngest daughter of Percy Roland Cripps, of Winford Manor, Somerset. Actively interested in fox hunting, John was killed in an accident when hunting with the Gloucestershire Berkeley Hunt. His daughter, Anne, had married Major Peter William Garside Phillips in 1946.[4]

Mark Phillips has a sister, Sarah (died 2014).[5] Phillips was educated at Stouts Hill Preparatory School near Uley, Gloucestershire, and Marlborough College, then the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[6]

Military career

Mark Phillips in 1973

Upon passing out from Sandhurst, Phillips was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Queen's Dragoon Guards in July 1969,[7] After the expected period, he was promoted to Lieutenant in January 1971.[8] By the start of 1974, Phillips was an acting Captain when he was appointed a Personal Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II.[9] Phillips was substantively promoted to captain in July 1975.[10] Phillips retired from the Army on 30 March 1978.[11]

He continued to style himself Captain Mark Phillips,[12] as regular cavalry captains whose job principally involved horses are customarily allowed to use this honorific rank in civilian life. (Otherwise it is only majors and above who may use honorifics.)[13]

Equestrian career

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 1971–72 on Great Ovation, in 74 on Colombus and 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. Their daughter Zara won a silver medal in the three-day event with the British team in 2012.[6]

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. 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.[14]

Personal life

Phillips married Princess Anne on 14 November 1973, at Westminster Abbey.[15] They have two children:

The Queen is believed to have offered him a peerage on his wedding day, which he declined. 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 "The Honourable", or as "Lord" or "Lady".

The Queen bought the couple Gatcombe Park near Minchinhampton as a wedding present. The Prince of Wales is believed to have originated the nickname "Foggy" on the grounds that he was "thick and wet".[16][17]

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. In 1989 the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips announced their intention to separate, as the marriage had been under strain for a number of years. The couple divorced on 23 April 1992.[18][19]

On 1 February 1997, Phillips married Sandy Pflueger, an American Olympic dressage rider. Their daughter Stephanie was born on 2 October 1997.[19]

On 3 May 2012, it was confirmed by Capt Phillips' solicitors that Phillips and Pflueger had separated, intending to divorce. Phillips is reported to be in a relationship with US show jumping rider Lauren Hough who is four months younger than his son. The couple are reported to be planning to live together in Wellington, Florida.[20]

Phillips' personal wealth is thought to be in the range of £15–20 million, although he gained only a small settlement when his marriage to Anne, Princess Royal ended.[17]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Military ranks


See also List of honours of the British Royal Family by country


Honorary military appointments


Arms of Mark Phillips
Arms of Mark Phillips.svg
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.[21] He was granted hereditary supporters, a rare privilege for untitled people.
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.[21]


Name Birth Marriage Issue
Peter Phillips 15 November 1977 17 May 2008 Autumn Kelly Savannah Phillips
Isla Phillips
Zara Phillips 15 May 1981 30 July 2011 Mike Tindall Mia Tindall
Felicity Tonkin 10 August 1985
Stephanie Phillips 2 October 1997


  1. Phillips family update at the Wayback Machine (archived October 22, 2012).
  2. ''''. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  3. Tiarks, Frank. "Tiarks of Foxbury as researched by Charles A. H. Franklyn-". Linkedin. Retrieved 30 May 2015. Educated, Downe House, Newbury, Berks....served in the WRNS...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Somerset, Loxton. "Tiarks Family Tree". Copyright 1999-2005 Retrieved 29 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Sebastian, Clive. "New mum Zara mourns for aunt: Mark Phillips's sister dies suddenly aged 63". Daily Mail 17 December 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mark Phillips.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44923. p. 8768. 22 August 1969. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45287. p. 912. 26 January 1971. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46174. p. 267. 7 January 1974. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  10. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46644. p. 9641. 28 July 1975. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47508. p. 4411. 10 April 1978. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  12. Mark Phillips. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  13. Retired and Former Officers, The Army, Armed Forces, Professions, Forms Of Address | Debrett's. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  14. United States Equestrian Federation. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  15. Marriage and family. The Official Website of the British Monarchy
  16. Bradford, Sarah (2002) Elizabeth: A Biography of Her Majesty the Queen, London: Penguin, p. 593
  17. 17.0 17.1 William Langley "Captain Mark Phillips: He’s found love in the saddle (again)",, 6 May 2013
  18. Brozan, Nadine (24 April 1992). "Chronicle". New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Princess Anne's ex-husband a father again". Reading Eagle. Reading, PA. 7 October 1997. p. A10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Rayner, Gordon (3 May 2012) Captain Mark Phillips to divorce for second time after falling for 35-year-old Lauren Hough. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "News & Views". The Heraldry Gazette (57): 17. March 1974.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>