Princess Anne is in hospital today after suffering ‘minor injuries and concussion’ at her home on the Gatcombe Park estate.

Buckingham Palace announced the Princess Royal is being kept in hospital under observation following an incident last night as she walked on the grounds. 

The Palace said the Princess Royal was left with minor wounds to the head and she is reported to have been kicked by a horse. 

However, the Olympic medal winning equestrian is expected to make a full recovery.

The injury is an unusual one for Princess Anne who has famously enjoyed a reputation as Britain’s most robust Royal, seemingly avoiding major illness. 

Princess Anne is an Olympic medal winning horsewoman and has only suffered a few  injuries from horse riding in the past

Princess Anne is an Olympic medal winning horsewoman and has only suffered a few  injuries from horse riding in the past

The King's 73-year-old sister, was walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire yesterday when she was hurt. The Olympic-medal winning horsewoman was given medical care before being taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol for tests, treatment and observation. Pictured, Princess Anne arrives by carriage on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse last Thursday

The King’s 73-year-old sister, was walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire yesterday when she was hurt. The Olympic-medal winning horsewoman was given medical care before being taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol for tests, treatment and observation. Pictured, Princess Anne arrives by carriage on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse last Thursday

She suffered a number of falls from horses over the years such as this example at Towcester Racecourse in 1983

She suffered a number of falls from horses over the years such as this example at Towcester Racecourse in 1983

She has even previously blasted excessive health and safety rules and regulations for hindering youngsters’ decision-making, particularly in ‘risky’ sports. 

Here, MailOnline details the 73-year-old’s health history and scares from her latest injury, to escaping a brush with Covid to a botched kidnapping attempt.  

A horse-riding hand injury at 14

In 1964, at the age of just 14, Princess Anne was taken to hospital with a hand injury after a horse‐riding accident near her school in Kent.

The young princess cracked a bone in the little finger of her right hand after catching it in the rein of her pony. 

She was taken by car to a London hospital and the bone was set.

At the time a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: ‘The Princess’s condition is perfectly satisfactory.’

Foiled kidnapping, aged 23

Princess Anne miraculously escaped unharmed from one of the most extraordinary royal moments of the modern era when a man attempted to kidnap her at gunpoint.

The then 23-year-old Anne was being driven down The Mall to Buckingham Palace when, on the evening of 20 March 1974, would-be kidnapper Ian Ball used his Ford Escort car to force the limousine to stop.

Anne’s then husband Captain Mark Phillips, who was with Anne at the time, attempted to shield her from the incoming fire before attempting to bundle her out the other side of the car to safety.

Her police bodyguard, Detective Inspector Jim Beaton tried to intervene in the attempted kidnapping, but his gun jammed, and he was shot three times in the chest and arms.

A further three people were shot by Ball — including Anne’s chauffeur and another policeman.

Ball told Anne he was going to kidnap her and ordered her to get out of the car, reportedly saying: ‘Please, come out… You’ve got to come.’

The no-nonsense royal is said to have replied, ‘Not bloody likely’ — part of an exchange she later described as ‘very irritating’.

As the princess later recalled, she finally ‘lost her rag’ when her dress was ripped in the disturbance.

Ball was finally stopped by officer Peter Edmonds who bundled him to the ground, after the foiled kidnapper was punched in the head by passing former boxer Ronnie Russell.

Speaking in 1984 about the ordeal to chat show host Michael Parkinson, Anne said she had been ‘scrupulously polite’ to her attacker, because it would have been ‘silly to be too rude at that stage’ but said she lost her temper when he ripped her dress.

Ball went on to plead guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping and is still imprisoned at Broadmoor Hospital under the Mental Health Act.

Cracked spine and Olympic fall in ’76

Princess Anne suffered two horse related injuries in 1976 the first when she was knocked unconscious and cracked a vertebra when her horse fell on her at the Portman Horse Trials in Dorset in April. 

She spent the night in hospital for observation.  

Later that same year at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, the famously outspoken royal suffered another worrying equestrian-related incident accident.

Her horse Goodwill, failed to make one of the jumps on the course, bringing the royal down with the fall. But she went on to remount and finish the event.

The Princess later admitted in an interview: ‘It was going very well and then I don’t remember anything else. Nothing at all.’

Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence remained at Princess Anne's side as she was rushed to hospital with a concussion. Pictured: The couple at Queen Elizabeth's funeral in 2022

Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence remained at Princess Anne’s side as she was rushed to hospital with a concussion. Pictured: The couple at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in 2022 

Writing in her 1991 autobiography Riding Through My Life, she admitted she had later watched a video of her Olympics performance back and ' said she 'did not look right'

Writing in her 1991 autobiography Riding Through My Life, she admitted she had later watched a video of her Olympics performance back and ‘ said she ‘did not look right’

Recalling the moment Goodwill fell, she said: ‘As far as I’m concerned, the lights went out.’

If the horse had not fought to remain upright, she said, ‘I wouldn’t be here now’.

Writing in her 1991 autobiography Riding Through My Life, she admitted she had later watched a video of her performance back and ‘did not look right’.

According to her book, her brothers afterwards teased her that ‘you went so much better after your fall, we ought to bang you on the head before you start next time’. 

Bad chest infection after Russia visit

In September 2016 Princess Anne was forced to cancel several days of royal engagements after being admitted to hospital with a bad chest infection in Scotland where she was holidaying with the late Queen and Prince Philip.

It was only a brief visit however and after tests were conducted at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary she returned to Balmoral.

The then 66-year-old was thought to contracted the infection as a consequence of a cold she seemingly developed while on a visit to Russia.

A source close to the Princess told the Mail at the time: ‘She was in Russia last week and had a stinking cold which has now developed into a chest infection.

‘She did go to hospital for tests but is back at home at Balmoral with the Queen now. She is, however, cancelling her next few days of engagements until she is feeling better.’

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said she was told to rest up by medics.

‘On doctors’ orders she has cancelled her engagements for the coming week. She is resting privately at home.’

Princess Anne on her horse Goodwill, just before a fall at the second obstacle of the cross-country section of the European Three-Day Event championships in Kiev. While she had to withdraw she didn't suffer any reported injury on that occasion

Princess Anne on her horse Goodwill, just before a fall at the second obstacle of the cross-country section of the European Three-Day Event championships in Kiev. While she had to withdraw she didn’t suffer any reported injury on that occasion 

Southmead Hospital in Bristol where the Princess Royal is being treated after she 'sustained minor injuries and concussion'

Southmead Hospital in Bristol where the Princess Royal is being treated after she ‘sustained minor injuries and concussion’

However, it wasn’t a quick recovery as hoped and Princess Anne had to cancel a planned trip to Africa later that month instead resting at her home at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire.

A Palace spokesperson said at the time: ‘As a precaution, on the advice of doctors, the princess will not undertake the planned visit to Botswana and Mozambique at the end of the month.’

However, in a further cementation as one of Britain’s hardest working Royals, she was still attending events in the UK.

At the time she was cited walking unaided but uncharacteristically wan and wearing four layers of clothing despite the mild weather.

Did Anne manage to avoid Covid?

The Royal even seemingly avoided Covid when her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, has tested positive for the disease in December 2021.

In line with government guidance, the couple isolated at home for 10 days, forcing them to miss Christmas Day with the late Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. 

Princess Anne is among the few senior Royals not to have contracted the virus during the pandemic.  

King Charles, Prince William, Queen Camilla and the late Queen Elizabeth were all known to have tested positive. 

The King contracted Covid for the first time in March 2020 — early in the pandemic — and lost his sense of taste and smell. 

The late Queen, meanwhile, tested positive in February 2022. 

Last year, giving a rare glimpse of the Royals’ view on the pandemic’s restrictions, Princess Anne said the Covid lockdown robbed her father Prince Philip of social interactions before his death in 2021. 

Asked if the defining image of her mother alone in grief at his funeral was a ‘thievery’, she said: ‘Yes, you’re quite right. 

‘In some ways I’m glad we didn’t see that, at that moment. When you see the photograph it’s much worse somehow.’

She added that the lockdowns robbed her father and other older people of social interaction and stimulation, saying that the ‘switch to online’ didn’t work for everyone.

‘Covid stole from my father, who lost a lot of the people who would have gone to see him and come and talk to him and have those conversations that would have kept him interested. He lost all of that’, she said. 

‘I’m sure that there are lots of families who will tell you the same thing. For the older generation, losing those contacts – online didn’t do that for everybody’.

The Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire where the incident happened (file picture)

The Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire where the incident happened (file picture)

‘Minor injuries and concussion’ this week

Buckingham Palace today announced Princess Anne has been hospitalised with a ‘minor head injury and concussion’.

The King’s sister was walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire yesterday when she was hurt.

The Princess Royal was left with minor wounds to the head, and her medical team believe these are consistent with a potential impact from a horse’s head or legs.

But due to the concussion sustained by the Princess, precise details of the accident are unable to be ascertained at the moment, MailOnline understands.

She is expected to make a full recovery but will miss nine engagements in the coming seven days, including a royal visit to Canada this Sunday.

Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and her children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, were all on the estate at the time she was injured.

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