National & International

Princess Anne’s kidnap saviour to sell medal

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A former boxer who saved Princess Anne from a kidnapping is selling his medal to help pay for his own funeral, according to Sky News.

Former heavyweight boxer Ronnie Russell,  72, was awarded the George Medal after he protected Princess Anne after an attempted armed kidnapping in 1974.

On 20th March of that year, Ian Ball halted Princess Anne and her then husband Mark Phillips’ car with his Ford Escort in central London. Ball charged out of his car and opened fire, injuring the princess’ chauffeur and personal detective but leaving the then married couple unharmed.

Then 28, Mr Russell was driving home to Kent and spotted the incident, believing it to be simply caused by road rage. He punched Ball and acted as a ‘human shield’ for Princess Anne. Ball had planned to kidnap the royal and demand a £3m ransom.

Along with the medal, Mr Russell is also auctioning a letter from Downing Street notifying him of the awarding of the medal, as well as a telegram from Princess Anne.

Mr Russell said: “I still believe that the life of a member of the Royal Family is much more important than mine. I just stood rigid and braced myself, waiting for the shot I expected to come and hit me in the back.

“I feel very sad about it. I was honoured receiving it (the medal), but I have been forced into the situation.”

Image source: PA

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