Did Princess Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles Date, Per 'The Crown'?

It's the other royal love triangle.

Anne Parker-bowles
(Image credit: Tim Graham)

Most people, royal fans or otherwise, already know about the royal love triangle between Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles. The consequent scandal prompted two high-profile divorces and one of the messiest breakups in royal history. But one of the lesser known royal love triangles—which dovetails with that one—is the one between Princess Anne (Charles' sister), Andrew Parker Bowles, and Camilla, who would later go on to be Andrew's wife, and then ex-wife. As The Crown is expected to depict in season three, Anne and Andrew dated while Andrew and Camilla were off and on, and Anne was reportedly the reason that Andrew (played by Andrew Buchan) and Camilla broke up. So what's the true story behind the fictional depiction?

Andrew dated both Camilla and Anne.

Andrew, both before and during his marriage to Camilla, was known for not being faithful. Apparently, before getting engaged to Camilla but while the couple was still dating, Andrew was seen out on a number of occasions with Anne. This apparently infuriated Camilla and caused her to explore her relationship with Charles (in a "tit-for-tat" move to teach Andrew a lesson).

Biographer Penny Junor explained, "So when she was introduced to Charles and he thought she was pretty special...he thought she was a bit of alright and she thought, 'Andrew is at the moment off with Princess Anne, you know her brother, teach Andrew a lesson.' So she had a fling with Charles."

But Anne and Andrew were only together briefly.

It's not totally clear how serious the relationship between Anne and Andrew was, but after they broke up, Andrew went on to marry Camilla (so it's likely that was the stronger relationship). Even though the Queen apparently invited Andrew to Windsor Castle while Anne and Andrew were dating, Anne wouldn't have been able to marry Andrew for the very simple reason that he was Catholic. Some sources say that this led to heartache on Anne's part, but that's probably speculation. Andrew was her first boyfriend, so that may have played a part in how outsiders saw the relationship.

Anne With Parker-bowles

(Image credit: Tim Graham)

Anne and Andrew's relationship shows up in The Crown.

Spoilers for season three. Andrew doesn't get a whole lot of screen time in The Crown season three (he'll probably get more in season four, which will see the extramarital affair between Charles and Camilla), but when he does, it's his relationship with Princess Anne that's in focus. There's really no way we could know about the intimate details of their IRL relationship, but season three presents the narrative that the relationship is largely sexual, with Andrew telling Anne he can't promise her anything romantically and is concerned about taking advantage of her. (Anne assures him that he isn't.)

Throughout season three, Andrew's role is to be more of a plot device than anything else—to be one-half of the Andrew/Camilla duo that's entangled with the Anne/Charles sibling duo at first, and, later, to take Camilla away from Charles—and there's not a lot of character development to that end. As Camilla and Charles continue to gravitate towards one another in season four, however, with disastrous consequences, it's likely that he'll get more of a role as his marriage breaks down.

Anne and Andrew keep in touch.

What's hilarious is that the exes are friends and see each other regularly, particularly at horse racing and other social events:

Hat, Fedora, Headgear, Fashion accessory, Cowboy hat, Recreation, Outerwear,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hat, Event, Tradition, Fashion accessory, Recreation, Fedora,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hat, Headgear, Fashion accessory, Human, Fedora, Recreation, Cowboy hat, Suit, Tourism,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fashion, Hat, Outerwear, Headgear, Suit, Formal wear, Uniform, Event, Gesture, Dress,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Community, Event, Fun, Photography, Conversation,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

So it seems like there's no bad blood between them. (Camilla and Andrew are also, apparently, amicable too.)

For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.


Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.