Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall’s secret sister who shared their horsey life on Princess Anne’s Gloucestershire estate

Everybody knows that Princess Anne keeps her family close at her 700 acre country estate in Gloucestershire. But few people know that her children Peter and Zara Phillips have a secret sister who was brought up on a nearby farm on the Gatcombe Park estate.

Stephanie Phillips is the daughter of Peter and Zara’s father Captain Mark Phillips and his second wife Hawaiian equestrian Sandy Pflueger. When Ella’s parents split in 2012, the 23-year-old horse lover is said to have been brought up on the farm where Ella’s father was chairman of the Festival of British Eventing.

But she is not the poor relationship and despite the age difference, they are clearly very close. Captain Phillips is said to have been Aston Farm, which is part of the Gatcombe estate bequeathed by the Queen as a wedding present, when he and Princess Anne divorced in 1992.

But he is a respected equestrian on the global stage and is said to be worth between £15 and £20 million in his own right. Stephanie’s profile of ella says she studied at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, which caters for boarders and day students, and she lists Shelburne House under her education of ella on her profile of ella.

READ MORE: Prince William’s emotional reaction to Zara Tindall left her ‘very surprised’

After A-Levels she went to the University of Worcester from which she graduated in 2020. Like her mother, who was part of the US dressage team in the 1984 Olympics and worked across the world, and her father who spent years in America training the US team, Stephanie seems to enjoy traveling.

But she is obviously making her way in the world of horses because her Facebook profile says she is sponsored by Voltaire Design. From the outside it seems that there is no bad blood between Captain Phillips, who has spent a lot of time in America, and his ex-wife Princess Anne and his second husband Sir Timothy Laurence.

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The whole extended family have been pictured talking and laughing at equestrian events where Zara has been competing. Photographs show she was very close to Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall and was a flower girl at both their weddings.

One cute snap on social media shows Stephanie giving Mike Tindall a piggyback and others show her in a fancy dress with brother Peter and his estranged wife Autumn. In one post she describes Peter as ‘the best big brother’.

But the images that truly show how close they are are the ones of her royal niece Isla Phillips and a message from Autumn saying: “She loves her Aunty Steph.”

Peter and Autumn Phillips daughters Savannah and Isla and Zara and Mike Tindall’s two eldest, Mia and Lena all live on the Gatcombe Estate and are very close. Stephanie lives in nearby Worcester and has been dating William Hosier since 2019.

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Her father met Princess Anne at equestrian events and they married in November 1973 in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Peter was born four years later and Zara was born in 1981 but by the time they split in 1989 they were both thought to be involved with other people.

In 1991 paternity tests confirmed Captain Phillips had fathered a daughter, Felicity, with New Zealand art teacher, Heather Tonkin in 1985 when he was still married. It is not known if Felicity has met Zara, Peter and Stephanie but in 2017 Felicity Wade and her husband Tristan welcomed baby James into the world in their home of New Zealand.

Captain Phillips and Anne divorced in 1992 and his married Stephanie’s mother in 1997, nearly missing the wedding in Gloucestershire after getting stuck in the US where he was working.

Their solicitors confirmed they had separated and intended to get divorced in 2012 but the families love of horses has kept them close.

This article was originally published in April 2021, and updated in May 2024.