Princess Anne has been recovering in hospital with concussion after it was thought she was struck on the head by a horse.

The King’s sister, 73, was walking around her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire on Sunday evening when the incident occurred.

But, because of the injuries she sustained, she appears unable to recall exactly what happened.

An air ambulance was called and she received treatment on the scene before being taken by road to hospital. Her husband Sir Tim Laurence accompanied her. She is also understood to have minor head wounds and will be kept in for observation for a number of days – meaning all her engagements have been cancelled, along with a working visit to Canada on Thursday.

She is, however, conscious and comfortable and expected to make a ‘full and swift recovery’.

Princess Anne has been recovering in hospital with concussion after it was thought she was struck on the head by a horse

Princess Anne has been recovering in hospital with concussion after it was thought she was struck on the head by a horse

Princess Anne has been recovering in hospital with concussion after it was thought she was struck on the head by a horse

Princess Anne at Royal Ascot last Thursday. She is also understood to have minor head wounds and will be kept in for observation for a number of days – meaning all her engagements have been cancelled

Princess Anne at Royal Ascot last Thursday. She is also understood to have minor head wounds and will be kept in for observation for a number of days – meaning all her engagements have been cancelled

Princess Anne at Royal Ascot last Thursday. She is also understood to have minor head wounds and will be kept in for observation for a number of days – meaning all her engagements have been cancelled

The Princess Royal during the Trooping of the Colour. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘ Her Royal Highness remains in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, as a precautionary measure for observation and is expected to make a full and swift recovery'

The Princess Royal during the Trooping of the Colour. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘ Her Royal Highness remains in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, as a precautionary measure for observation and is expected to make a full and swift recovery'

The Princess Royal during the Trooping of the Colour. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘ Her Royal Highness remains in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, as a precautionary measure for observation and is expected to make a full and swift recovery’

The Princess Royal is being treated at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, part of North Bristol NHS Trust, a 45-minute, 30-mile drive, from her Gloucestershire home. She is expected to be discharged later this week (stock image)

The Princess Royal is being treated at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, part of North Bristol NHS Trust, a 45-minute, 30-mile drive, from her Gloucestershire home. She is expected to be discharged later this week (stock image)

The Princess Royal is being treated at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, part of North Bristol NHS Trust, a 45-minute, 30-mile drive, from her Gloucestershire home. She is expected to be discharged later this week (stock image)

What is known is that horses were nearby at the time of the accident and her medical team say her wounds are consistent with a ‘potential impact’ from being headbutted or kicked by an animal or animals.

As a result, Buckingham Palace officials have concluded a ‘best working assumption’ of how Anne’s injuries were sustained.

The Princess Royal is being treated at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, part of North Bristol NHS Trust, a 45-minute, 30-mile drive, from her Gloucestershire home.

She is expected to be discharged later this week. It is the major trauma centre for the region, a sign of how serious the incident was treated. Her accident is the latest health concern to affect the Royal Family, following the King and Princess of Wales’ cancer diagnoses. Already one of the hardest-working royals, even into her 70s, she has lately played an even more significant role.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The Princess Royal has sustained minor injuries and concussion following an incident on the Gatcombe Park estate yesterday evening. Her Royal Highness remains in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, as a precautionary measure for observation and is expected to make a full and swift recovery.

‘The King has been kept closely informed and joins the whole Royal Family in sending his fondest love and well-wishes to the princess for a speedy recovery.’ Princess Anne is a skilled rider who competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971. Her Gatcombe Park estate, where she lives with her husband and her children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, is an equestrian haven.

On Sunday she was said to be walking within its ‘protected perimeter’ when the accident occurred. It is not known whether she was alone, although her husband and children were all on the estate at the time. The Palace said it was would not confirm whether or not the Princess was with anyone at the time.

A list of Princess Anne's cancelled engagements. Ailsa Anderson-Cole, Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary who also worked with the Princess Royal, told the Mail: ‘She will be livid at not being able to fulfil her commitments... and loathes letting people down’

A list of Princess Anne's cancelled engagements. Ailsa Anderson-Cole, Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary who also worked with the Princess Royal, told the Mail: ‘She will be livid at not being able to fulfil her commitments... and loathes letting people down’

A list of Princess Anne’s cancelled engagements. Ailsa Anderson-Cole, Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary who also worked with the Princess Royal, told the Mail: ‘She will be livid at not being able to fulfil her commitments… and loathes letting people down’

The King, Queen, Prince of Wales and Anne’s other siblings, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of York, were all informed immediately

The King, Queen, Prince of Wales and Anne’s other siblings, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of York, were all informed immediately

The King, Queen, Prince of Wales and Anne’s other siblings, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of York, were all informed immediately

Gatcombe Park In Gloucestershire - Home Of Princess Anne. An air ambulance was called and she received treatment on the scene before being taken by road to hospital. Her husband Sir Tim Laurence accompanied her

Gatcombe Park In Gloucestershire - Home Of Princess Anne. An air ambulance was called and she received treatment on the scene before being taken by road to hospital. Her husband Sir Tim Laurence accompanied her

Gatcombe Park In Gloucestershire – Home Of Princess Anne. An air ambulance was called and she received treatment on the scene before being taken by road to hospital. Her husband Sir Tim Laurence accompanied her

An air ambulance was despatched but the decision was taken to transfer her to hospital by road.

Locals said they saw the air ambulance land at around 9.15pm. One said: ‘I thought “oh my goodness, I hope it’s not Anne”.’

The King, Queen, Prince of Wales and Anne’s other siblings, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of York, were all informed immediately. A spokesman also confirmed that, on doctors’ advice, Her Royal Highness’s engagements for the week ahead will be postponed.

She had eight engagements across the country before she was due to leave for Canada on Thursday. ‘Her Royal Highness sends her apologies to any who may be inconvenienced or disappointed as a result,’ the palace said.

Ailsa Anderson-Cole, Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary who also worked with the Princess Royal, told the Mail: ‘She will be livid at not being able to fulfil her commitments… and loathes letting people down.’

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