HL Deb 21 March 1974 vol 350 cc367-9

My Lords, your Lordships will have learned with a deep sense of horror of the attack last night by an armed man in an attempt to kidnap Her Royal Highness Princess Anne when she was on her way back to Buckingham Palace with her husband after fulfilling an official engagement.

I am sure your Lordships would wish me to send to Princess Anne and her husband, Captain Phillips, our sincere sympathy at this abhorrent act and also an expression of relief that neither she nor her husband was hurt. Our thoughts must also go to Her Majesty the Queen, who is separated by duty from her daughter at this time. The Royal Family fulfil many public duties, for which we owe them a great debt of gratitude, and I hope that this sort of attack will not in future make it harder for them to do so. I know that we should all be losers if our Royal Family could not continue to appear so freely in public as they have done in the past.

Finally, my Lords, I believe that your Lordships would not wish this opportunity to pass without sending our expressions of sympathy to those who were injured during this attack, especially to those who in the course of their duty were seeking, with undoubted courage, to protect Her Royal Highness. My Lords, I hope to be able to inform the House at some time after 3.30 p.m. of any further facts relating to this attack.


My Lords, from this side of the House I should like warmly to endorse the Statement by the noble Lord the Leader of the House. It is admirable to see the way in which Princess Anne and her husband, Captain Phillips, mercifully unharmed after this incident, are carrying on with their normal duties in such a calm manner. Also encouraging is the very prompt and effective action taken by the police. A man has now been charged, and there is no more that can be said on that aspect to-day.

The whole House will, I know, wish to echo the sympathy which the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, expressed to those who were injured. The police officers and the driver seem to have acted most courageously and bravely when faced with an armed man, as does at least one member of the public who was injured as a result.

The Government have kept Parliament very fully informed about this incident and for that we are grateful. No doubt the Home Secretary will be reviewing as a matter of urgency the security implications to other members of the Royal Family and public figures, and we look forward to hearing any further matters of fact in any Statement that may be made by the Home Secretary in another place later to-day. We should certainly like any such Statement repeated in this House.


My Lords, in the unavoidable absence of my noble friend Lord Byers, I should like to associate noble Lords on these Benches with the Statement made by the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, and with the speech made by the noble Lord, Lord Windlesham. We are indeed shocked that such an attempt should have been made It is particularly disturbing at a time like the present, when our own Royal Family move about extremely freely in our society—something which can be done in very few countries nowadays. We would also extend our sympathy to those who have been injured in the attempt, and I look forward to hearing a further Statement from the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, in due course.


My Lords, as one who officiated at the wedding of Princess Anne and her bridegroom at Westminster Abbey I feel yesterday's outrage in a special way. On that day of the wedding millions all over the world were watching and sharing with the young bride and bridegroom in their happiness, and I believe that Princess Anne and her husband to-day know that those same people all over the world are supporting them with sympathy and love and admiration. For all of us, I think the incident is one more vivid disclosure of just how evil evil can be, and it will stir us in our determination that evil shall be overcome.

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