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The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"No special celebrations are planned"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 15 August, 2000, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
Anne marks her half century
Princess Anne
Anne: Arguably the hardest working of all the Royals
Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, celebrates her 50th birthday on Tuesday.

In typical low-key style the princess is due to celebrate her milestone birthday in private with her family at the Royal Family's Balmoral estate.

Arguably the hardest-working of all the Royals, Princess Anne carries out hundreds of official engagements every year.

She is associated with more than 200 organisations, among them the Save the Children Fund, of which she is president, and her own Princess Royal Trust for Carers, which raises awareness of the UK's estimated six million carers.

Busy schedule to continue

The princess recently told the BBC she had no intention of giving up her busy schedule, which last year saw her complete 700 official engagements.

She is among several members of the Royal family who have celebrated important birthdays this year - most memorably the Queen Mother, who turned 100 just 11 days ago.

Prince William saw in his 18th birthday, Prince Andrew his 40th and Princess Margaret her 70th.

An official celebration in the form of a grand ball for 700 guests took place at Windsor Castle in June to celebrate all the royal birthdays.

And as a tribute to her only daughter's tireless charity work, the Queen is due to host a reception at Windsor Castle on November 30 with more than 600 representatives from the charities, regiments and organisations with which she is involved.

The Princess Royal
Anne carries out hundreds of engagements a year
Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise was born at Clarence House on August 15, 1950, second child of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Just 18 months later, her mother became Queen and the family moved to Buckingham Palace.

She was taught at home in a small class by governess Catherine Peebles before going to Benenden School, Kent, at the age of 13, the first sovereign's daughter to attend boarding school.

She left five years later, with six O-levels and two A-levels and instead of going to university she entered the public life of the Royal Family.

Since then she has come to be regarded as the busiest and most hard-working of all the Royals and is well-known for her no-nonsense approach.

Her love of horses is well-documented and in 1971 the princess was nominated as Sportswoman of the Year by the Sports Writers' Association and BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

In 1976 she competed in the Montreal Olympics as a three-day-eventer.

On November 14 1973 Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey. The couple's first son, Peter, was born in 1977, followed by the birth of a daughter, Zara, in 1981.

Anne and Capt Philips separated in 1989 and in 1992 she married Commodore Tim Laurence.

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