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Sir Timothy Laurence

Full name
Timothy James Hamilton
Born 1 March 1955 (1955-03-01) (age 65)
Camberwell, South London
Spouse Anne, Princess Royal
Father Guy Stewart Laurence
Mother Barbara Alison Laurence

Vice Admiral Sir Timothy James Hamilton Laurence, KCVO CB, ADC(P) (born 1 March 1955) is a senior British naval officer and the second husband of HRH The Princess Royal, the only daughter of HM The Queen. Laurence was Equerry to The Queen, 1986-1989.

Early lifeEdit

Timothy James Hamilton Laurence was born in Camberwell, South London, the son of Commander Guy Stewart Laurence (also salesman for a marine engine manufacturer) and Barbara Alison Laurence, née Symons.


Laurence was first educated at The New Beacon Preparatory School and then at Sevenoaks School, Kent, and University College, University of Durham, on a Naval Scholarship, where he received a Bachelor of Science upper 2nd class honors degree in geography. At university, he edited the student newspaper, Palatinate, and was captain of his college cricket team.

Naval careerEdit

He was made a midshipman on 1 January 1973, and acting sub-lieutenant on 1 January 1975. Upon leaving Durham he completed his initial training at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, and was posted to HMS Aurora, a Plymouth-based frigate. He was promoted to Lieutenant 10 months early, on 1 March 1977.

In 1978 he was attached to the training establishment HMS Vernon and in the next year served on the minesweeper HMS Pollington.

Laurence served briefly as Navigating Officer of the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia, and 1980 to 1982 in the same role on the destroyer HMS Sheffield. He took command of the patrol boat HMS Cygnet off Northern Ireland in 1982, as part of the patrols for IRA gun-runners.

After attending HMS Dryad for a Principal Warfare Officer course, Laurence was promoted to Lieutenant Commander (1 March 1985), and posted to the frigate HMS Alacrity. He attended the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Tactics Course (RANTACCS) at HMAS Watson, Sydney in March 1986 during which he was notified of of his first staff appointment commencing April 1986 as Equerry to The Queen. He was promoted to Commander on 31 December 1988.

In October 1989 he was posted to the new frigate HMS Boxer, and took over as Commanding Officer on 30 January 1990, at the age of 34.

Between 1992 and 1994 Laurence was with the naval staff in the Ministry of Defence, London. On 16 May 1994 he was appointed the first Military Assistant to the Secretary of State for Defense (Malcolm Rifkind), to provide military advice in his private office.

Laurence was promoted to Captain on 30 June 1995, and until 1996 was in command of the frigate HMS Cumberland. In May 1996 the ship was back from the Adriatic, where HMS Cumberland served in the NATO-led IFOR. On 27 August 1996 Laurence took command of the frigate HMS Montrose, and was captain of Plymouth-based F6, a squadron of five frigates. Until October 1996 the ship was in the South Atlantic, on Falkland Islands patrol.

From 15 July 1997 Laurence was again in the Ministry of Defence, London, as part of the 1998 Strategic Defence Review implementation team.

Personal lifeEdit

Engagement and marriageEdit

He met Princess Anne when he served as an Equerry to The Queen, when her first marriage to Captain Mark Phillips broke down. Commander Laurence and Anne were married December 12, 1992, in a Church of Scotland ceremony at Crathie Parish Church, Ballater, near Balmoral, the Church of Scotland permitting the remarriage of divorced people.

He received no peerage on marriage, but was knighted by The Queen in June 2011 as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

Princess Anne retained her country estate, Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, after her divorce, but, when they were married, she and Laurence leased as their London residence a flat in the Dolphin Square complex, in Westminster. They later returned to apartments in Buckingham Palace and now have an apartment at St James's Palace.

Later careerEdit

In 1998 and 1999 Laurence was Hudson Visiting Fellow, St Antony's College, University of Oxford. He was then posted to the Joint Services Command and Staff College as a Commodore, as Assistant Commandant (Navy), effective 15 June 1999.

From 2001 to the spring of 2004 he was back at the Ministry of Defense, as Director of Navy Resources and Programmes.

Laurence was promoted to Rear Admiral (effective 5 July 2004), and made Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff with responsibility for Resources and Plans, July 2004. On 30 April 2007 he was promoted to Vice Admiral, and made Chief Executive of Defense Estates (since renamed Defense Infrastructure Organization, as of 2008).

He became Head of Profession for the British Government's Property Asset Management community in July 2009. The community includes practitioners in construction procurement, estates & property management and facilities/contracts management. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has made Laurence an Honorary Member in recognition of this very significant span of asset management responsibility.

He retired from the Navy in August 2011.

Titles, style, honors, and armsEdit


  • 1955 - 1973: Timothy Laurence, Esq.
  • 1973 - 1975: Midshipman Timothy Laurence
  • 1975 - 1977: Acting Sub-Lieutenant Timothy Laurence
  • 1977 - 1985: Lieutenant Timothy Laurence, RN
  • 1985 - 1988: Lieutenant-Commander Timothy Laurence
  • 1988 - 1989: Commander Timothy Laurence
  • 1989 - 1995: Commander Timothy Laurence MVO
  • 1995 - 1999: Captain Timothy Laurence MVO RN
  • 1999 - 2004: Commodore Timothy Laurence MVO
  • 2004: Rear Admiral Timothy Laurence MVO
  • 2004 - 2007: Rear Admiral Timothy Laurence MVO ADC(P)
  • 2007: Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence MVO ADC(P)
  • 2007 - 2011: Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence CB MVO ADC(P)
  • 15 June 2011–present: Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence KCVO CB ADC(P)


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