Home / Royal Mail / Princess Anne is in hospital after suffering ‘minor injuries and concussion’ following incident on Gatcombe Park estate

Princess Anne is in hospital after suffering ‘minor injuries and concussion’ following incident on Gatcombe Park estate

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse and rushed to hospital where she is being treated for concussion and minor injuries to her head today.

The King’s 73-year-old sister, an Olympic horsewoman, was walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire yesterday when she was hurt.

It is understood that she was taking an evening stroll with horses nearby when she was hurt. The Princess Royal was left with minor wounds to the head, and her medical team are understood to 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. Her hospital stay has again highlighted how stretched the Royal Family is with the King and the Princess of Wales both being treated for cancer. 

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. 

An air ambulance was flown to the scene but not required to take HRH to hospital. The royal was given treatment before being taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol for tests, treatment and observation, with Sir Tim by her side.

Her brother King Charles was immediately informed but Anne’s engagements this week have been postponed on her doctors’ advice. She will no longer visit Canada and cannot attend a Buckingham Palace banquet for the Japanese state visit tomorrow night.

‘Her Royal Highness sends her apologies to any who may be inconvenienced or disappointed as a result,’ a royal spokesman said. 

Princess Anne arrives by carriage on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse last Thursday

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, on horseback during Trooping the Colour on June 15,

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, on horseback during Trooping the Colour on June 15,

She was later on the balcony (far right) with her family including the King, who sent his love to her today

She was later on the balcony (far right) with her family including the King, who sent his love to her today

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

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

Buckingham Palace's statement on the incident

Buckingham Palace’s statement on the incident

The Princess Royal is the hardest working royal in terms of annual engagements at a time when the King has cut back on events and Prince William has also taken time off to care for his wife. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have walked away from royal duties completely. 

Princess Anne’s cancelled engagements: NINE in just a week for the hardest working royal

TOMORROW

• Commonwealth Agricultural Conference – Gogarburn Conference Centre, Edinburgh

• Japanese State Visit state banquet – Buckingham Palace, London

WEDNESDAY

• Warsash Sailing Club’s renovated clubhouse opening – Warsash, Hampshire

• Royal Lymington Yacht Club community sailing programme – Lymington, Hampshire

• Commonwealth Agricultural Conference dinner – Royal Highland Showground, Edinburgh

THURSDAY

• Strathcarron Hospice visit – Denny, Stirling and Falkirk

• Commonwealth Agricultural Conference AGM – Gogarburn Conference Centre, Edinburgh

FRIDAY

• Spinal Injuries Association charity polo day – Cirencester Park Polo Club, Gloucestershire

SUNDAY UNTIL MONDAY

• Canada visit

A palace spokesman said Anne was ‘recovering well’ and in a ‘comfortable condition’. Subject to medical advice, she is expected to be able to return home later this week.

It is understood she has suffered concussion and minor injuries to the head, but she is expected to make a full recovery.

It is not thought that any other individual was involved in the incident It is believed that palace officials have a ‘working hypothesis’ of how the Princess sustained her injuries, but cannot be 100 per cent certain at this stage. 

A royal spokesman added: ‘Her Royal Highness is receiving appropriate expert care. No further details are being shared at this stage.

‘Her Royal Highness will remain in Southmead Hospital unless or until her medical team advise otherwise. Sir Tim Laurence accompanied Her Royal Highness to hospital.’

Announcing the news at 12.20pm today, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The Princess Royal has sustained minor injuries and concussion following an incident on the Gatcombe Park estate yesterday evening. 

‘Her Royal Highness remains in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, as a precautionary measure for observation and is expected to make a full and swift recovery.

‘The King has been kept closely informed and joins the whole Royal Family in sending his fondest love and well-wishes to The Princess for a speedy recovery.’

King Charles III, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Anne’s other siblings, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, were all informed last night.

The royal spokesman also confirmed that on doctors’ advice, Anne’s engagements for the week ahead will be postponed.

‘Her Royal Highness sends her apologies to any who may be inconvenienced or disappointed as a result,’ they added.

A planned trip to Canada at the end of this week has also been cancelled.

Plans are being examined in close consultation with the Canadian Government as to how the Princess’s proposed engagements may be adapted in her absence.

The Japanese State Visit will go ahead as planned, though the Princess will be unable to attend the State banquet tomorrow.

The busiest royal by number of days worked in 2024 (January to April) 
Royal Number of days
Anne 68
Edward 38
Duke of Gloucester 33
Sophie 32
Camilla 29
Duke of Kent 28
Charles 21
Duchess of Gloucester 19
William 17
Alexandra 1
A poll for 2023 found Princess Anne is the most popular member of the Royal Family

A poll for 2023 found Princess Anne is the most popular member of the Royal Family

Princess Anne smiles as she attends the third day of Royal Ascot in Berkshire last Thursday

Princess Anne smiles as she attends the third day of Royal Ascot in Berkshire last Thursday

Princess Anne will miss eight engagements across England and Scotland as well as a visit to Canada over the coming week after suffering head injuries on her estate.

The Princess Royal is being treated at Southmead Hospital in Bristol after she is believed to have been kicked by a horse at Gatcombe Park in Gloucesteshire.

Anne – who is often dubbed the country’s ‘hardest-working royal’ – will miss a series of events this week in locations including London, Hampshire and Edinburgh.

According to the official royal diary, Anne was expected to travel to the Gogarburn Conference Centre in Edinburgh tomorrow for the Commonwealth Agricultural Conference in her role as president of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth.

As for the state banquet tomorrow, the palace spokesman said: ‘The Japanese State Visit will go ahead as planned, though sadly Her Royal Highness will be unable to attend the state banquet tomorrow.’

Anne with Lady Sarah Chatto and opposite husband Sir Tim Laurence at Ascot last Thursday

Anne with Lady Sarah Chatto and opposite husband Sir Tim Laurence at Ascot last Thursday

On Wednesday, Anne was then due to open Warsash Sailing Club’s renovated clubhouse in Hampshire as the president of the Royal Yachting Association.

On the same day, she was expected to cross the county to also learn about the Royal Lymington Yacht Club’s community sailing programme in her role as patron.

And Anne was then due to head back to Edinburgh for the Commonwealth Agricultural Conference’s dinner at the Royal Highland Showground.

On Thursday, Anne was going to visit Strathcarron Hospice in Denny, Stirling and Falkirk.

And on the same day she was due to be back in Edinburgh for the Commonwealth Agricultural Conference’s annual general meeting.

She was also scheduled to attend the Spinal Injuries Association’s charity polo day on Friday at Cirencester Park Polo Club in Gloucestershire.

And then the Canada visit was scheduled for Sunday and Monday, but she will no longer be able to fly out to the country.

The princess’s accident is the latest health upset to the hit the royal family this year, with both the King and the Princess of Wales diagnosed with and undergoing treatment for cancer, and Sarah, Duchess of York, having skin cancer.

Anne is a key member of the King’s slimmed-down working monarchy, and has played an important role as she stepped up in support of Charles amid his condition.

The princess, often dubbed the hardest-working royal, is known for her no-nonsense approach and her commitment to royal duty.

At Trooping the Colour earlier this month, she was pictured expertly keeping her horse under control when it appeared agitated.

Anne won the individual championship at Burghley in 1971, and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

In 1976, she took part in the Montreal Olympics as a three-day eventer with the British equestrian team.

The princess survived an attempted kidnapping in 1974 when a gunman tried to abduct her and then-husband Captain Mark Phillips as they were driven along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.

She kept her cool, and when the gunman, Ian Ball, told her to ‘Come with me for a day or two’ because he wanted £2 million, she replied it was not ‘bloody likely, and I haven’t got £2 million’.

Princess Anne’s other horse riding accidents: From breaking finger as a schoolgirl to cracking vertebra and being knocked unconscious when her steed fell on her – and the time Clare Balding ‘nearly killed’ the royal during a race

By Harry Howard, History Correspondent 

Princess Anne’s injury involving a horse is just the latest example of how she has been hurt indulging her passion.

The Princess Royal, 73, was injured yesterday at her Gatcombe Park estate and is being treated in hospital for concussion and minor injuries to her head.

It comes nearly 60 years on from when she cracked a bone in her finger in December 1964 after getting it caught in the rein while riding a horse at her school in Benenden, Kent, aged 14. 

Then, more seriously, she was knocked unconscious and cracked a vertebra when her horse fell on her at the Portman Horse Trials in Dorset in April 1976.  

Anne also suffered concussion and bruises but was told by doctors that the hairline crack in her back was not serious enough to stop her from competing at the Montreal Olympics that summer. 

On another occasion, broadcaster Clare Balding admitted to having ‘nearly killed’ Anne during a horse race in the 1980s. 

Back in April 1976, Anne was knocked unconscious and cracked a vertebra when her horse fell on her at the Portman Horse Trials in Dorset

Back in April 1976, Anne was knocked unconscious and cracked a vertebra when her horse fell on her at the Portman Horse Trials in Dorset

In 1964, Anne cracked a bone in her finger after getting it caught in a rein while riding at her school in Benenden, Kent. Above: The Princess Royal leaves the King Edward VII hospital with her arm wrapped up

In 1964, Anne cracked a bone in her finger after getting it caught in a rein while riding at her school in Benenden, Kent. Above: The Princess Royal leaves the King Edward VII hospital with her arm wrapped up

In 1973, Anne had to withdraw from the European Eventing Championships being held in Kyiv, Ukraine, after falling from her horse and landing on her face.

Two years later, in April 1975, she was thrown into the River Avon when her horse, Mardi Gras, failed a jump. 

And in October that year, the Princess fell off her horse after colliding with a steed being ridden by her then-husband, Captain Mark Phillips.  

In 1982, she ended up submerged in water again after falling from her horse, Stevie B, into the lake at the Badminton Horse Trials.  

Anne later admitted that she remembers ‘nothing at all’ about her 1976 fall.

She said in an interview: ‘It was going very well and then I don’t remember anything else. Nothing at all.’

Her former lady-in-waiting, Jane Holderness-Roddam, told ITV: ‘She was that concussed that she couldn’t remember – and still to this day I believe can’t remember – the rest of the course.’ 

Captain Mark Phillips was watching in anguish on the sidelines.

Princess Anne lies unconscious after falling from her horse - which then rolled on top of her - at the Portman Horse Trials, 1976

Princess Anne lies unconscious after falling from her horse – which then rolled on top of her – at the Portman Horse Trials, 1976

Onlookers look helpless as they stand and kneel around Princess Anne after her accident at the Portman Horse Trials, 1976

Onlookers look helpless as they stand and kneel around Princess Anne after her accident at the Portman Horse Trials, 1976

Princess Anne is carried into the King Edward VII Hospital after her accident at the Portman Horse Trials

Princess Anne is carried into the King Edward VII Hospital after her accident at the Portman Horse Trials

In April 1975, Anne was thrown into the River Avon when her horse, Mardi Gras, failed a jump

In April 1975, Anne was thrown into the River Avon when her horse, Mardi Gras, failed a jump

In 1973, she had to withdraw from the European Eventing Championships being held in Kyiv, Ukraine, after falling from her horse and landing on her face

In 1973, she had to withdraw from the European Eventing Championships being held in Kyiv, Ukraine, after falling from her horse and landing on her face

In 1982, she ended up submerged in water again after falling from her horse, Stevie B, into the lake at the Badminton Horse Trials

In 1982, she ended up submerged in water again after falling from her horse, Stevie B, into the lake at the Badminton Horse Trials

Her horse, Candlewick, fell on top of her after she came a cropper. 

Captain Phillips helped to carry her into a waiting ambulance.

Anne, who has been riding horses since she was two-and-a-half, said in an interview in the 1970s that she ‘frequently’ had felt sheer terror riding a horse.

‘I do all the time,’ she said. ‘I strongly object to getting run away with – that frightens the life out of me. Luckily it doesn’t happen too often.’  

Balding, a former amateur jockey, collided with Anne when they competed in the same event in the 1980s.

She told the Telegraph earlier this year: ‘Well, it was in a race when I’d only been competing a couple of years. I got in her path, we collided and she was nearly unseated. I think she’s forgiven me. She knows I didn’t do it on purpose. 

Princess Anne after falling from her horse at Towcester Racecourse in 1983

Princess Anne after falling from her horse at Towcester Racecourse in 1983

Princess Anne looks at her horse Stevie B after they took a taumble at the Burghley Horse Trials, 1981

Princess Anne looks at her horse Stevie B after they took a taumble at the Burghley Horse Trials, 1981

The Daily Mail's front page after Anne was knocked unconscious at the Portman Horse Trials in 1976

The Daily Mail’s front page after Anne was knocked unconscious at the Portman Horse Trials in 1976

The Mail's coverage when Anne was knocked unconscious at the 1976 Portman Horse Trials

The Mail’s coverage when Anne was knocked unconscious at the 1976 Portman Horse Trials

‘Funnily enough, when she gave me my CBE, having previously presented me with an OBE, she leaned over and said “Mmm, I think we’ve been through this before”.’ 

In 2008, Anne was kicked by a horse at her home and later needed the help of a walking stick afterwards.

However, her skills on horseback are widely respected.

At the age of 21 she won the individual title at the European Eventing Championship and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

She competed for Britain in the equestrian three-day event at the Montreal games in 1976, riding the Queen’s horse Goodwill – the same animal that she fell from in Kyiv.  


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