Queen Elizabeth’s Feisty Daughter Princess Anne Once Foiled a Kidnapping Attempt

Princess Anne might not enjoy the spotlight as much as her siblings Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, but she sure has incredible stories as a member of the royal family. Here’s one of such stories.

The death of Prince Philip and the many dramas within the royal family sparked a revived interest in the lives of each family member. While Prince Charles and his sons enjoy the limelight, the Queen has other children with history as well.

One of those is her only daughter, 70-year-old Princess Anne. Although often regarded as the most hardworking royal, not so much is often heard of Anne, but as a younger lady, a failed kidnap attempt involving her made global headlines.

Princess Anne at the Ceremonial Procession during the funeral of Prince Philip at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 | Photo: Getty Images


As the British Princess continues to look back on her life and journey as a royal family member, the failed attempt to kidnap her will undoubtedly be a moment in history nobody can forget.

More than forty years since the incident happened, its details only reveal the courage and bravery of Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter. In an interview, the Princess recalled the 1974 incident with precision, noting how fresh it was in her mind.

Princess Anne, 19, walking the grounds of Sandringham, the Royal Family's country residence | Photo: Getty Images

Princess Anne, 19, walking the grounds of Sandringham, the Royal Family’s country residence | Photo: Getty Images

An armed 26-year-old mentally challenged man had attacked the Princess with a gun and demanded that she followed him so he could hold her ransom in exchange for $2 million.

The incident took place a few weeks after Anne’s highly publicized royal wedding, and she was reported to be returning from an event with her then-husband, Captain Mark Phillips.

While making the journey home to Buckingham Palace, their car was suddenly stopped by another driver who had quickly blocked their route. A young man, Ian Ball, stepped out of the vehicle with a handgun and was determined to get the Princess.

A journalist and Anne’s driver tried to intervene, but the well-prepared Ball shot them and made his way for Anne’s Rolls Royce. Ball then approached the Princess and demanded that she stepped out of the car, but her reply left him stunned.


The 70-year-old royal was quoted to have said to Ball, “not bloody likely,” after he demanded she stepped off the car. Despite the incident happening decades ago, the Princess noted in a documentary that the moment was photographed in her memory.

Anne had previously prepared herself for a difficult moment like that. However, despite how terrifying the moment was, Anne stood her ground and refused to step out.

The moment finally came to an end after a passerby knocked down the gun-wielding Ball and brought the nightmare to an end. In reaction to the incident, the Queen was reported to have awarded a medal to all four people shot in the process of rescuing her daughter.


In a previous interview, Anne noted that she withheld herself from hitting Ball despite how furious she was at him; she restrained herself because she did not want him to shoot at her.

At first, Princess Anne saw no reason to be rude to her attacker and recalled doing her best to stay calm and polite, but she lost her calm after Ball became violent and ripped her dress.

After the event, Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and attempted kidnap charges and was imprisoned indefinitely under the Mental Health Act. It was confirmed that his actions were in isolation.


After that incident, Princess Anne and her then-husband Mark stayed together for over a decade, but after 19 years together, they ended their union. The former couple had two children together: Peter and Zara.

A few months after her first union ended, Anne found love with Timothy Laurence, an officer in the British Royal Navy. The duo tied the knot in 1992 and are still married and do not have kids together.

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