But in an even more dramatic twist, a palace insider claims the royal and Camilla’s ex-husband briefly renewed their relationship years after their initial affair.
“What many people don’t realise is that Anne and Andrew actually rekindled their affair about nine years ago and had a second secret relationship,” a palace source explains.
“It was after Andrew’s second wife died and after a chance meeting at Ascot, they started meeting up in private again.
“Although nothing more than friends they went away for a weekend away together to a small country cottage, tucked away from prying eyes.”
Anne and Andrew’s second attempt at being together came 30 years after they first embarked on an affair when the princess was just 19 years old.
In the early ’70s, Andrew had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with Camilla Shand – now the Duchess of Cornwall – for several years but was well known for having other flings.
Ultimately, Andrew went back to Camilla, after becoming jealous after she had a relationship with Charles and apparently submitting to pressure from their parents and the royal family’s desire to distance themselves from both of them.
With Princess Anne marrying Captain Mark Phillips just months after Camilla and Andrew wed, there was speculation the royal wedding was a kneejerk reaction by Anne after being forced to walk away from the man some royal watchers have considered the true love of her life.
But despite the pair being unable to marry, Andrew remained a fixture in Anne’s life. Their paths regularly crossing
at horsing events and the army officer even became Anne’s daughter Zara’s godfather.
When Camilla’s ongoing relationship with Charles was uncovered in the press in 1992, with the release of the infamous ‘Squidygate’ recordings, Andrew and his wife separated and then later divorced.
Princess Anne divorced the same year and married Sir Timothy Laurence just a few months later, although the couple are rarely seen together and there have been reports they now live separate lives.
In 2003 it was reported that the Queen had blocked Anne’s bid to divorce for a second time, with a senior palace source telling The People newspaper, “It is no secret that the marriage has been virtually over for some time.” But while the pair are officially still together and will celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary in December, it appears Anne’s feelings could
“Andrew has always had a special place in Anne’s heart and she was desperate for them to
be together for real this time.
“But Camilla got wind of the affair and kicked up a massive fuss over it – even though she was happily married to Charles.”
As she did back in the ’70s – and as will be explored in the upcoming third season of the Netflix hit show The Crown – the Princess Royal decided to sacrifice her own personal happiness for the sake of her family.
“Anne didn’t want to bring such scandal to the palace and so walked away, but it was with a very heavy heart,” the insider tells. “She still longs for Andrew, in many ways he’s the one who got away.”
WATCH: Princess Anne reveals she REFUSES to shake hands
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