Princess Anne Thwarted Her Own Kidnapping, Proving She Was Always The Best Royal

Hello, and welcome to The Reheat! Each week, I write a column summarizing the highlights of the podcast I co-host with Sadaf Ahsan. Our podcast, also titled The Reheat (what a coincidence!), re-examines the most salacious scandals of yester-year through a contemporary lens. Whether it’s a deep dive into Bennifer’s original love story from the 2000s or a meditation on the time princess Anne was almost kidnapped, we explain why each saga captured our imaginations back in the day. Sadaf and I also ask, would these stories be as scandalous if they happened in 2021? The answers to that question might surprise you!

Whenever we release a new episode, I share some of the juiciest tidbits right here, for Addicted Magazine’s lovely readers. Obviously, we hope these columns tantalize you enough to listen to our podcast. That’s where you’ll learn the fascinating details I don’t share here…

This week’s column is devoted to the story of how Princess Anne thwarted her own kidnapping back on March 20, 1974. Her brother Andrew may be a prick who’s finally receiving some sort of comeuppance for his behaviour; however, Anne is a much more moral, more accomplished, and more capable royal personage.


On the night of the botched kidnapping, 23-year-old Anne and her then-husband Mark Phillips were driving home after a night out. They were almost at Buckingham Palace when a lone gunman named Ian Ball stopped their car. Mr. Ball attempted to abduct Anne and hold her for ransom; however, this isn’t the story of a fairytale princess who was rescued. Oh no! The princess effectively saves herself in this story! We hope the facts below whet your appetite!


The Kidnapper Was Caught And Sent to a High-Security Psychiatric Hospital 

Ian Ball was apprehended by the authorities at the time of the botched abduction. At trial, testimony provided by doctors revealed Ball suffered from severe mental health problems, which were deemed a mitigating factor. Ultimately, Mr. Ball was sent to live in Broadmore Hospital, a high-security psychiatric facility. While Anne herself walked away without injuries, several shots were fired that night – some resulting in serious injuries. Listen to the episode to learn more!


At The Time of Her Kidnapping, Princess Anne Was A Star Athlete!

Princess Anne competed as an equestrian in the 1976 Olympics; however, she was already an accomplished horsewoman by the time Ian Ball attempted to abduct her. In 1971, Anne took home the gold medal at the European Championship, cementing her status as an equestrian superstar. Perhaps her athletic prowess explains the acrobatics Anne used to escape her would-be kidnapper. You’ll have to listen to our podcast to hear more details, but she’s basically Black Widow!


Princess Anne Was a Newlywed at The Time She Was Almost Kidnapped

A few months before the foiled kidnapping, Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in a televised ceremony. Their royal wedding was watched by millions, making Anne and Mark something of a 1970s “It Couple.”  Making the newlyweds even more appealing, Mark had already won his Olympic Gold medal for equestrian. At the time, they were a glamorous, athletic, attractive pair.


Anne Stayed Calm Under Pressure, Which Probably Saved Her

A total of seven men – including bystanders and the police – intervened to stop the kidnapping. However, it was Anne’s cool head that prevented disaster. When Mr. Ball insisted Anne exit her car and leave with him, her response was priceless! The princess exclaimed, “Not bloody likely!” Anne is the coolest Windsor, hands down…


Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian is a feminist writer based in Toronto. Her byline has appeared in such publications as Elle Canada, Flare, Bitch Media, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. She is also the co-host of You Do You: A Dating Podcast. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from The London School of Economics. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about politics and live-tweets The Bachelor