How Princess Anne Responded To Her Attempted Kidnapping

On the night of March 20, 1974, when Princess Anne was just 23 years old, she was returning to Buckingham Palace following a charity event, when a Ford Escort pulled up next to her Rolls Royce. Its driver, Ian Ball, promptly jumped out of the car, armed with two handguns, and shot the royal's driver, personal bodyguard, and a passing journalist who tried to intervene. Ball, who had a history of mental illness, intended to hold Princess Anne for ransom, but she had no intention of going with her would-be kidnapper. When Ball opened the door of the Rolls Royce, he commanded Princess Anne to get out of the car. She responded with three words: “Not bloody likely!” Ultimately, heavyweight boxer Ronnie Russell, who happened to be driving by, stopped and wrestled Ball to the ground, punching him twice in the head. As for Anne’s parting words to her assailant? “Just go away and don’t be such a silly man.” Ball was later captured and charged with attempted murder and kidnapping. He pled guilty and received a life sentence at a mental facility.