The Bizarre Kidnapping Attempt On Princess Anne That Shocked The World

One of the strangest things to ever happen to the UK’s Royal Family occurred one night in March, 1974. A lone gunman forced the car carrying Princess Anne and her husband off the road. What happened next shocked the world, led to serious questions about royal security and highlighted the UK’s woeful record on mental health. Here is the strange story of Ian Ball – the man who tried to kidnap Princess Anne.

Forced To A Halt


On the night of March 20th, 1974, the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, and her husband of four months, Captain Mark Phillips, were driving back to Buckingham Palace in London from a charity ball when their car was forced to come to a stop by a Ford Escort driven by a man named Ian Ball. Ball planned to kidnap the princess, and he’d chosen this moment to carry out his devious plan.

The Protection Officer And The Chauffeur Try To Intervene


After blocking the princess in, Ball jumped out of his car and pulled out a gun and began firing. Princess Anne’s royal protection officer, Inspector James Beaton, jumped from Anne’s car and tried to return fire. However, his pistol jammed and he was shot by Ball. Ball then shot Anne’s chauffeur, Alex Callender, after he jumped from the car and tried to disarm him. Ball then advanced on the princess’s car, gun in hand.