Hidden Royal Love Child of Mark Phillips And Its Impact On the Monarchy

Princess Anne and her ex-husband, Captain Mark Phillips, have made the headlines once again due to unearthed reports that have come to surprise the followers of this Royal couple. This time, Phillips and his relationship with his illegitimate child have kept the tabloids running. Keep reading to find out all about his daughter and how the Monarchy reacted?!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Mark Phillips attend a garden fete at Great Somerford, Wiltshire, 21st June 1975.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Mark Phillips attend a garden fete at Great Somerford, Wiltshire, 21st June 1975.


THIS ROYAL COUPLE IS NO STRANGER TO SCANDALS

While the world might have been distracted by most recent controversies within the Royal Family, such as Megxit for instance, it doesn’t mean that the older generations of the royals didn’t break any rules or make the news. In fact, Princess Anne and her husband have been on the front page of newspapers several times.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Anwar Hussein | Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Mark Phillips wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding with Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (R) on November 14, 1973 in London, England.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Anwar Hussein | Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Mark Phillips wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding with Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (R) on November 14, 1973 in London, England.

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips got married in a dreamlike ceremony back in 1973, and eventually had their two children, Peter in 1977, and Zara in 1981. Just three years after their daughter was born, the couple’s relationship was in turmoil, to the point where they would even sleep in separate hotels while traveling. But why was that?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Lichfield Archive | HRH The Princess Anne with Captain Mark Phillips and Peter Phillips in the grounds of their home at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire on 10th June 1980.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Lichfield Archive | HRH The Princess Anne with Captain Mark Phillips and Peter Phillips in the grounds of their home at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire on 10th June 1980.


THE INTIMATE LETTERS THAT BROKE THE COUPLE

In 1989, The Sun published private letters that were sent between Princess Anne and the Queen’s equerry Commander Timothy Laurence, which took the Palace by surprise. These letters exposed Anne’s affair and showed the public what her marriage really was: a fictional love.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Julian Parker / UK Press | Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the first day of The Royal Ascot race meeting, on June 16th, 2015 in Ascot, England.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Julian Parker / UK Press | Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the first day of The Royal Ascot race meeting, on June 16th, 2015 in Ascot, England.

Buckingham released a statement, saying “We have nothing to say about the contents of personal letters sent to [Anne] by a friend which were stolen and which are the subject of a police investigation.” The truth is, this opened up the doors for the Princess and Phillips to separate, even though it took some years until their divorce came through.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library  | Captain Mark Phillips At Gatcombe Horse Trials At Gatcombe Park.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Captain Mark Phillips At Gatcombe Horse Trials At Gatcombe Park.


HOWEVER, PRINCESS ANNE WAS NOT THE ONLY CHEATER IN THE COUPLE

In 1985, Princess Anne initiated the proceedings to get a divorce as she found out that Captain Mark Phillips had a love affair with Heather Tonkin, a New Zealander with whom he had a romantic relationship in 1984 that eventually led to a pregnancy. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Mark Phillips attend a garden fete at Great Somerford, Wiltshire, 21st June 1975.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Mark Phillips attend a garden fete at Great Somerford, Wiltshire, 21st June 1975.

Phillips’s love child was named Felicity and was just four years younger than her royal half-sister, Zara. However, recent reports from royal sources have stated that the Captain has been “in denial” about his illegitimate daughter since the moment she was born. But why is that? Almost four decades after the love affair, new details were revealed!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bryn Colton | Captain Mark Phillips, the husband of Princess Anne, in the pit lane ahead of the 1986 Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide Street Circuit in Adelaide, Australia, 26th October 1986.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bryn Colton | Captain Mark Phillips, the husband of Princess Anne, in the pit lane ahead of the 1986 Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide Street Circuit in Adelaide, Australia, 26th October 1986.


WHO IS THE MOTHER OF PHILLIPS’ LOVE CHILD?

Heather Tonkin is a former art teacher who lived in Auckland and is rumored to have met the Captain in a riding clinic in that same city, while he was still married to Princess Anne. According to the rumors, Phillips and Tonkin spent the night together at a nearby hotel, however, they didn’t expect what would happen next.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ross Land | Heather Tonkin who is in litigation with Captain Mark Phillips over the fathering of her daughter Felicity.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ross Land | Heather Tonkin who is in litigation with Captain Mark Phillips over the fathering of her daughter Felicity.


AN UNEXPECTED PREGNANCY AND THE REACTIONS THAT FOLLOWED

Sometime later, Heather discovered she was pregnant, but Mark wasn’t happy about it, to the point that he tried to convince his lover not to have the child. Heather had very different ideas, and chose to keep the baby, who she affectionately nicknamed “Bunny”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Fox Photos / Hulton Archive | Anne, the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips pose on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, UK, after their wedding, 14th November 1973.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Fox Photos / Hulton Archive | Anne, the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips pose on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, UK, after their wedding, 14th November 1973.


MARK PHILLIPS AND HIS NON ACCEPTANCE OF THE CHILD

According to a close friend of the Captain, “He just never accepted it and he couldn’t cope with it.” He did, however, pay his secret lover $12,000 a year in child support, but always refused to have anything to do with her. It was a true tragedy for this family. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Mark Phillips at an equestrian event, circa 1985.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Mark Phillips at an equestrian event, circa 1985.


A DNA TEST IS REQUESTED TO GIVE A BETTER LIFE TO FELICITY

Eventually, Mark Phillips stopped paying the child support, but Heather was not having it. Even though he refused to have his name on the birth certificate, a court order in 1991 requested a DNA test that would end up proving he was the father of the child.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Captain Mark Phillips.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Captain Mark Phillips.

“I am doing what I am doing for my child. I hope and pray Mark will do the right thing and make a proper and legally binding settlement on her. I wish I could wake up one morning in the knowledge that the record had been put straight and I don’t have to worry anymore,” Heather said in an interview.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and her husband Mark Phillips out exercising their horses at the Crookham Horse Trials, circa 1980.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and her husband Mark Phillips out exercising their horses at the Crookham Horse Trials, circa 1980.


HOW HEATHER HAS RESPONDED TO PHILLIPS’ BEHAVIOUR

“Nothing can compensate for the tears I have cried while trying to plan for Bunny’s future when at any moment I could find myself penniless. Bunny throws her arms around me to comfort me, asking why I am sad. But I have never been able to tell her,” the mother continued.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Evening Standard / Hulton Archive | British Army officer and equestrian Second Lieutenant Mark Phillips posed with his horse Chicago in England on 8th September 1970.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Evening Standard / Hulton Archive | British Army officer and equestrian Second Lieutenant Mark Phillips posed with his horse Chicago in England on 8th September 1970.

“My ambition is to get Mark's public acceptance of her and to be able to enter his name on her birth certificate," she added. However, that is not what has happened so far, and Felicity has come forward sharing how heartbroken she is about her father’s lack of interest in her.

Image Credits: Getty Images / D. Morrison / Daily Express / Hulton Archive | Queen's Dragoon Guard and horseman Mark Phillips interviewed by the press near his tank, UK, 1st June 1973.

Image Credits: Getty Images / D. Morrison / Daily Express / Hulton Archive | Queen's Dragoon Guard and horseman Mark Phillips interviewed by the press near his tank, UK, 1st June 1973.


FELICITY’S OBSESSION WITH HER ABSENT FATHER

Felicity finally discovered who her father was by the young age of only 8 when she had a school project to do about her family tree. According to some sources, she then decided to try and learn as much as possible about her father and the rest of the family.

Image Credits: Getty Images / David Levenson | Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips arriving at Westminster Pier on November 16, 1982 with other Royal's to welcome Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for a State Visit.

Image Credits: Getty Images / David Levenson | Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips arriving at Westminster Pier on November 16, 1982 with other Royal's to welcome Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for a State Visit.

The Daily Express has even reported that when Felicity was a child, she would spend hours reading about the Royal Family, as well as having a book about Mark and his career on her nightstand, so she could learn more about him. However, the truth is that this passion and devoted interest was one-sided. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne With Her Husband, Mark Phillips, Weeks Before The Arrival Of Their Daughter, Attending The Wedding Of Her Sister-in-law.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne With Her Husband, Mark Phillips, Weeks Before The Arrival Of Their Daughter, Attending The Wedding Of Her Sister-in-law.


CAPTAIN MARK PHILLIPS DIDN’T EVEN SEND A CARD

“She’d have liked a card or something, some sort of recognition,” Heather’s former boyfriend confessed about how Felicity never had any interaction with her father, continuing that “She wished she had a father to go to school interviews, that sort of thing. I saw her cry about it.” 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Georges De Keerle | Captain Mark Phillips on January 26, 1989 in London, England.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Georges De Keerle | Captain Mark Phillips on January 26, 1989 in London, England.


HOW THE ROYAL FAMILY REACTED TO THE ILLEGITIMATE LOVE CHILD

A source from Buckingham Palace has commented that “The story heaped shame on the royal family”. In fact, according to them, Phillips was not the only one that didn’t want to have anything to do with Felicity, as the whole royal family shared his feelings.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Keystone / Hulton Archive | The wedding of Anne, Princess Royal to Mark Phillips, London, UK, 14th November 1973.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Keystone / Hulton Archive | The wedding of Anne, Princess Royal to Mark Phillips, London, UK, 14th November 1973.


PHILLIPS HAS BEEN AVOIDING THE TOPIC FOR DECADES

Back in 1999, Phillips was planning to go to New Zealand to an equestrian event, and during an interview, he was asked if he intended to visit his daughter. However, his only response was “Wrong subject”, which is really not a nice way to talk about a child.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Mark Phillips at a Horse Trials, circa 1975.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Mark Phillips at a Horse Trials, circa 1975.


THE FATHER TRIED TO BLAME THE MOTHER, AS ALWAYS

New Idea reported that a source commented that “Like a lot of men who [do this] resulting in a pregnancy, Mark blamed the woman concerned.” Not only did Phillips try to avoid any type of conversation about this, but so did his agent, they would never speak about it. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bryn Colton | Captain Mark Phillips, the husband of Princess Anne, in the pit lane ahead of the 1986 Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide Street Circuit in Adelaide, Australia, 26th October 1986.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bryn Colton | Captain Mark Phillips, the husband of Princess Anne, in the pit lane ahead of the 1986 Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide Street Circuit in Adelaide, Australia, 26th October 1986.

In fact, during a meeting between Heather and Mark’s business agent, James Erskine, he told the mother that “If you want to cause a flap, everyone’s just going to deny it,” adding that the “clout” lay with Mark and “when this thing hits the fan, your daughter’s life will be ruined.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / David Hallett | Heather Tonkin arriving at Manukau District Court.

Image Credits: Getty Images / David Hallett | Heather Tonkin arriving at Manukau District Court.


A CHILD IGNORED BY HER FATHER AND HIS FAMILY

“Zara has never been in touch with her – nobody has,” Felicity’s grandmother told the Daily Mail back in 2011, explaining that not only didn’t Mark try to contact his daughter but his children from his first marriage, who are Felicity’s step-siblings, also kept quiet.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Trott / Daily Express / Hulton Archive | English Olympic gold-medal-winning horseman Mark Phillips with his son Peter Phillips, UK, 11th September 1983.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Trott / Daily Express / Hulton Archive | English Olympic gold-medal-winning horseman Mark Phillips with his son Peter Phillips, UK, 11th September 1983.


USING FELICITY AS AN EXCUSE: PRINCESS ANNE’S APPROACH

According to a source that spoke to People, Princess Anne took the DNA test that proved Mark was Felicity’s father as the “excuse she needed to get Mark out of Gatcombe [Anne’s country house where they lived together],” continuing that “Mark has had it ... Anne’s hand will be strengthened significantly.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne And Her Husband, Mark Phillips, Waving As They Leave The Dorchester Hotel In London.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Princess Anne And Her Husband, Mark Phillips, Waving As They Leave The Dorchester Hotel In London.


WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE THEN?

The years have passed and little Felicity is now an adult herself, but how have things changed since then? Well, Mark has since married Sandy Pflueger, and they had a child together in 1997. However, they did get divorced in 2012 after some reports that Mark left her for another woman 32 years younger than him, Lauren Hough.

Image Credits: Getty Images / ROTA | Captain Mark Phillips and his wife Sandy smile on their way to the chapel at Kensington Palace on July 31, 2004 in London. Lady Divina Windsor, the 26-year-old 20th in line to the throne wed 33 year-old Maori renovator Gary Lewis, a former sheep shearer from Gisbourne, New Zealand.

Image Credits: Getty Images / ROTA | Captain Mark Phillips and his wife Sandy smile on their way to the chapel at Kensington Palace on July 31, 2004 in London. Lady Divina Windsor, the 26-year-old 20th in line to the throne wed 33 year-old Maori renovator Gary Lewis, a former sheep shearer from Gisbourne, New Zealand.

Felicity herself has been happily married since 2015 with polo player Tristan Wade, which comes as a joke from the universe as he has a regular fixture on the polo circuit and has played at the Royal Windsor Cup in front of the Royal Family.

Image Credits: Getty Images / John Phillips | HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales awards The Royal Salute Coronation Cup in Windsor Great Park on July 25, 2015 in Egham, England.

Image Credits: Getty Images / John Phillips | HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales awards The Royal Salute Coronation Cup in Windsor Great Park on July 25, 2015 in Egham, England.


THE SECRET ROYAL NEPHEW

In 2017, Felicity and her husband had their first child, James, however, he can expect little to no acknowledgment from his aunt and uncle, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips. More than that, his own grandfather, Captain Mark Phillips, still refuses to be acknowledged as his grandfather.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ben Stansall | Captain Mark Phillips attends day one of The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on August 30, 2007 in Stamford, United Kingdom.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ben Stansall | Captain Mark Phillips attends day one of The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on August 30, 2007 in Stamford, United Kingdom.

Even though the baby was born years ago, it is still a reminder of one of the greatest scandals that ever rocked the Buckingham Palace and, that compared to the most recent controversies, takes the top of the scale in terms of disgraceful news to come out of the Royal Family.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Zara And Peter Phillips With Their Mother, Princess Anne, Arriving In Scrabster, Scotland.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tim Graham Photo Library | Zara And Peter Phillips With Their Mother, Princess Anne, Arriving In Scrabster, Scotland.

Nevertheless, it seems that Felicity has made sure that her son James will have the childhood she was denied by her father - one where he is surrounded by love, attention, and care from a loving and present father. What do you think about Captain Mark Phillips’ approach to the situation? Let us know what you would have done differently in the comments below! And make sure to share this story with your Royal Family loving friends!

ⓘ The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on, or available through this ENG.AMOMAMA.COM is for general information purposes only. ENG.AMOMAMA.COM does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

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