On the night of March 20, 1974, crazed gunman Ian Ball tried to kidnap Princess Anne It was the kidnap attempt which nearly took the life of the daughter of the Queen

On the night of March 20, 1974, crazed gunman Ian Ball tried to kidnap Princess Anne

It was the kidnap attempt which nearly took the life of the daughter of the Queen.

On the night of March 20, 1974, crazed gunman Ian Ball used his Ford Escort car to force the limousine carrying Princess Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips to stop as it was being driven down The Mall.

He then used a pistol to fire volleys of shots through the Austin Princess’s windows, prompting the devoted Captain Phillips to shield his wife before he tried to bundle her out the other side of the car.

Anne’s police bodyguard, Detective Inspector Jim Beaton, tried to intervene to protect his charge but his gun, a Walther PP, jammed and he was shot three times in the chest and arms.

In the ensuing melee to stop Ball, a further three people were shot – including Anne’s chauffeur and another policeman.

Ball was finally stopped when he was bundled to the ground by officer Peter Edmonds after being punched in the head by passing former boxer Ronnie Russell, who had led Anne to safety.

Whilst Ball was later declared to be mentally ill, it emerged in 2014 that he had claimed in police interviews that ‘one good thing’ to come out of his ‘audacious’ crime was that officials would ‘have to improve’ Anne’s protection.

Anne is now one of the members of the Royal Family who only receive protection during engagements and official duties, whilst the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate get full-time police bodyguards.

On Sunday, it emerged Prince Harry is taking legal action against the Government over its decision to remove his UK police security after he and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down as working royals two years ago.

Yesterday, Harry was told by former head of royal protection Dai Davies that he cannot ‘pick and choose’ when he wants to visit the UK and receive bodyguards.

Mr Davies pointed out that Anne does not get full-time protection despite her ordeal.

Ball used his Ford mersin escort car to force the limousine carrying Princess Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips to stop as it was driving down The Mall. He then used a pistol to fire volleys of shots through the Austin Princess’s windows, prompting the devoted Captain Phillips to shield his wife before he tried to bundle her out the other side of the car.Above: The aftermath of the kidnap attempt. Ball’s car is seen blocking the path of the royal limousine

Anne’s police bodyguard, Detective Inspector Jim Beaton, tried to intervene to protect his charge but his gun, a Walther PP, jammed and he was shot three times in the chest and arms

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