The Impressive Naval Career Of Princess Anne's Husband

There's more to the royal family than just Queen Elizabeth, like Anne, the Princess Royal. As Britannica explains, Anne was born on August 15, 1950, in London, England, and is the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II. Given her status in the royal hierarchy, she was second in line to succession to the crown. As a young girl, Anne was quite talented with equestrian sports, competing in various horsemanship events and even winning a few championships. 

Anne married naval officer Timothy Laurence, who was one of Queen Elizabeth's aides, in December 1992. As Hello! Magazine says, Laurence and Anne both got married at the Crathie Parish Church. The two don't currently have children from their own marriage, but Laurence is a committed stepdad for Anne's other children. On top of this, Laurence was fairly respected while in the Royal Navy and acquired a few promotions and accolades. But there's even more to Laurence's military career that some people may not know about. 

Who is Sir Timothy Laurence?

Timothy Laurence was born in Camberwell, London, on March 1, 1955. As IMDb says, his royal lineage has him related to Prince William, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, and more. He's also the son-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II. As Hello! Magazine explains, Laurence was first notably equerry to Queen Elizabeth before he was married to Anne. One can think of an equerry as basically a close royal assistant, as they are often with the king or queen at all times. They can be both confidants and close friends to the royal family and may know details about monarchs that many others may never know. 

Thanks to a naval scholarship, Laurence got his military start at the University of Durham, which prepared him for several personal interests, such as editing for his school newspaper. Laurence eventually found his way into the Royal Navy, where he received glowing accolades and praise from his peers. His military achievements didn't stop there, as he continued to accumulate even more. 

He had an impressive naval career

During Timothy Laurence's time in the navy, he steadily rose through the ranks with sheer grit and determination. As Grazia Daily says, Laurence gained esteem for his role on the HMS Cygnet, a royal patrol boat that was fending off IRA gunrunners in 1986. The Irish Republican Army (or IRA) is an Irish paramilitary group dedicated to ending British imperialism in Ireland and bringing complete Irish reunification. This reunification involved freeing Northern Ireland from the grip of British imperialism and returning the province back to the Irish people. 

This maritime conflict occurred in 1986. Laurence was in charge of neutralizing the IRA's plan to smuggle weapons and other munitions across the British Isles. As AP News explains, five people were eventually captured and sentenced for the crime. Laurence himself had a hand in assisting with this apprehension — as a second navigating officer, he led the patrol boat that arrested the gunrunners. 

Timothy Laurence captained several ships

Like every other military division, the Royal Navy has its own set of ranks. As the Royal Navy website says, everyone starts off as a midshipman, which is basically the rank for new in-training recruits. The next rank is lieutenant, which is typically given automatically after 30 months. The next ranks are lieutenant commander, commander, captain, commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral, and finally admiral, the highest rank anyone can achieve. One is promoted in rank after demonstrating outstanding capability in core traits. 

Timothy Laurence found himself quickly rising through the ranks of the Royal Navy. As Royal Central explains, he went from midshipman to lieutenant commander in a short period of time. He was the captain of the HMS Cumberland in 1995, and he eventually became vice-admiral in 2007 for having contributed greatly to the Royal Navy (per British Royal Family History). Laurence eventually retired from the navy altogether.