CBC Digital Archives

What? Princess Anne got married?

Luxurious white bridal gowns, horse-drawn carriages, princes and princesses preparing to live "happily ever after" — for fans of the British Royal Family, there's nothing quite as thrilling as a grand royal wedding. As the spring nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton approach, CBC Digital Archives looks back at British royal weddings since 1947.

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Queen Elizabeth's only daughter, Princess Anne, was married in an extremely high-profile ceremony. Televised around the world, it was estimated that 500 million people watched the princess marry Mark Phillips, an army lieutenant. In this 1973 CBC Radio clip, host Peter Gzowski phones the chaps from Monty Python's Flying Circus in London to get their take on the royal nuptials -- but the cheeky British comedians insist they have no knowledge whatsoever of today's big event.
• Princess Anne was born on August 15, 1950. She was 23 years old at the time of her wedding to Mark Phillips. In 1987 her mother bestowed her with the title The Princess Royal.
• Unlike other royal spouses, Phillips took on no title after his marriage.

• The wedding day, Nov. 14, 1973, was declared a national holiday in Britain. Cheering crowds lined the streets as the newly married royal couple made their way, via horse-drawn carriage, from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

• The couple had two children: Peter, born in 1977, and Zara, born in 1981.

• Princess Anne and Mark Phillips divorced in April 1992. In December of that same year, Princess Anne got remarried to Timothy Laurence, a commander in the Royal Navy. In 1997, Mark Phillips also remarried. His bride was Sandy Pflueger, an American equestrian athlete.

Monty Python's Flying Circus was an innovative, influential sketch comedy show airing on BBC Television from 1969 to 1974. The show was known for its surreal, absurd and often satirical style of humour. Members of the Monty Python comedy team were Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Graham Chapman.

Medium: Radio
Program: This Country in the Morning
Broadcast Date: Nov. 14, 1973
Guest(s): Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Host: Peter Gzowski
Duration: 3:50
Photo: AP Photo/Courtesy of PBS, Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd.

Last updated: November 12, 2014

Page consulted on November 12, 2014

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