PRINCESS ANNE’s life “started to go wrong” in the early Eighties when her husband Captain Mark Phillips started spending a lot of time away from home, according to a royal expert.
He said: “I think the lowest point was when Mark decided he’d have a life of his own and didn’t just want to be the appendage wandering around in public engagements and wanted to run his own horse business, building jumps and courses around the world.
“He went off and she was lonely and that’s when her life started to go wrong.
“She was in a house, mostly by herself – I know it sounds hard to believe – but she was alone in a house.”
Princess Anne’s life apparently started to go wrong when her husband started working away a lot (Image GETTY)
Princess Anne, her bodyguard Peter Cross and her husband Mark Phillips (Image: GETTY)
During this time, Anne had two young children – Peter, who was born in 1977 and Zara, who was born in 1981.
It was also around then that she allegedly started her illicit romance with royal protection officer Peter Cross.
However, after Scotland Yard became aware of the affair, Mr Cross was promptly sacked.
James Whittaker, former royal reporter at the Daily Mirror, told the documentary: “When this came to the bosses, of course, at Scotland Yard – they’re the people who supply the protection officers – of course, they freaked out and Peter Cross was moved out very fast indeed.”
Anne married Mark in 1973 (Image: GETTY)
Not only that, but the press got wind of it and it was splashed across the newspapers.
Harry Arnold, former royal reporter at The Sun, said: “I was told from an absolutely amazing source that he was having an affair with Princess Anne.
“I couldn’t use the word affair, so I invented the phrase that he became ‘over-familiar’ with Princess Anne.”
Mr Arnold also reported that Mr Cross continued to see Anne, even after he was removed from work at the palace.
Princess Anne and Mark Phillips had a rocky relationship (Image: GETTY)
Anne’s children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall (Image: GETTY)
He claimed she used the pseudonym Mrs Wallis when she wanted to contact him – potentially a reference to Wallis Simpson.
After their alleged affair was exposed, Anne stopped seeing Mr Cross, who left Scotland Yard and “went into hiding”.
However, Mr Arnold told Channel 4 that two years after it all came out in The Sun, Mr Cross actually got in touch with him and confirmed the story.
Mr Arnold claimed he said: “When you wrote that story I was still married and I couldn’t admit it, but yes it was true – and I can tell you that it was true because I am now divorced.”
Mr Cross sold his story to the News of the World in 1984.
The royal journalist said he believes the alleged affair means Anne was “unhappily married and knew she had made a mistake”.
The pair stayed together for several more years, but in 1989 announced their intention to separate as the marriage had been under strain.
They eventually divorced in April 1992 – and Anne quickly remarried to Timothy Laurence in 1989, who she had been seeing since 1989.
Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence in 1993 (Image: GETTY)
Mr Laurence was a Commander in the Navy and had been an equerry to the Queen.
Letters he wrote to Princess Anne were stolen from the Palace in 1989 and delivered to The Sun, but instead of publishing their contents, they handed them over to Scotland Yard.
Mark married Sandy Pflueger in 1997, which whom he had another daughter, Stephanie.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK