At first, everything seemed to be going fine in the couple’s relationship. Princess Anne continued to be a horse rider, and indeed she competed in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Mark Phillips, meanwhile, carried on with his military career, and he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1975. What’s more, the couple had two children: Peter Phillips, born in 1977, and Zara Phillips, born four years later.
As time went on, however, the marriage began to deteriorate. Princess Anne’s brother, Prince Charles, famously didn’t like Phillips much. Indeed, Charles apparently nicknamed his brother-in-law “Foggy” – because he was supposedly thick and wet. And it appears that Princess Anne herself may have agreed with such sentiments as time went on. Come 1984, in fact, the couple were checking into separate hotels – not even separate rooms – on at least one trip abroad.
As a result, there was media speculation that the pair were staying married for the sake of their children. But in the latter half of the ’80s, more and more rumors of infidelity started to hit the headlines. For instance, in 1985 the tabloids reveled in the story of Peter Cross, a royal bodyguard who was fired for his alleged over-familiarity with the Princess. Captain Phillips also frequently felt obliged to deny rumors of affairs.