What happened to Princess Anne during 'horse riding' accident

The Princess Royal was admitted to hospital with concussion after suffering injuries consistent with being kicked by a horse.

File photo dated 20/06/24 of Princess Anne arriving by carriage on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. The Princess Royal
Princess Anne pictured on day three of Royal Ascot last week. (Alamy)

Princess Anne has spoken out for the first time since she left hospital after being treated for minor head injuries and concussion sustained in a horse riding accident.

She was due to go to Canada on Sunday to attend First World War commemorations on Monday, but was unable to travel.

The Princess Royal said it was "with deep regret" that she could not be there "as you commemorate the brave efforts and sacrifices of the members of the Newfoundland Regiment who went into battle on the first day of the Somme".

She added: "I have fond memories of joining you in 2016, on the 99th occasion that the people of this island commemorated the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, and I am deeply saddened that I'm unable to join you again, and I send you my warmest best wishes on this special day of commemoration."

Her comments came more than a week after she was injured at her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire. She was discharged five days after she was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Anne's husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, said in a statement: “I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all the team at Southmead Hospital for their care, expertise and kindness during my wife’s short stay.”

The Telegraph reported that Anne, the King's sister, had suffered memory loss, but added that it only relates to the incident and is expected to be temporary.

The Princess Royal, a skilled horsewoman who competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, was walking within the protected perimeter of her Gatcombe Park estate when the incident happened.

Neighbours said they "thought the worst" when the emergency services scrambled to her estate. One man, who didn't want to be named, said: "I saw an air ambulance landing on her estate and I thought ‘oh my goodness, I hope it’s not Anne’. And then the police helicopter started circling about 10 minutes later and I thought the worst."

Her medical team said her head injuries are consistent with a potential impact from a horse’s head or legs. Emergency services, including an air ambulance, were despatched to the estate and the princess received medical care at the scene before she was transferred to Southmead Hospital for tests, treatment and observation.

Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence leaves Southmead Hospital in Bristol where the Princess Royal is being treated after she
Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence leaving Bristol's Southmead Hospital where the Princess Royal was being treated. (Getty Images)

She was accompanied by her husband Vice Admiral Tim Laurence.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said at the time: “Her Royal Highness is recovering well, is in a comfortable condition and is being kept in hospital as a precautionary measure for further observation.”

The princess’s daughter Zara Tindall and son Peter Phillips were on the estate, along with her husband.

The King and Queen, and the princess’s siblings the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, and nephew the Prince of Wales were notified on Sunday evening.

Zara Tindall leaving Southmead Hospital in Bristol where the Princess Royal is being treated after she
Zara Tindall also visited the Princess Royal in hospital. (Alamy)

As a result of the injuries, Anne missed the state banquet for the Japanese state visit on Tuesday.

It is not clear exactly what happened to cause the injury nor the exact nature of the treatment Anne she received.

The Mail Online reported she cannot recall what happened, while the Telegraph reported that it only relates to the incident and is expected to be temporary. These reports have not been confirmed.