Captain Mark Phillips has come clean on his affair with a rider 30 years his junior - just days before his daughter Zara Phillips competes for Team GB in the Olympics.

The 63-year-old, who coaches the US eventing team, caused an internet storm after leaving his second wife Sandy for fellow equestrian Lauren Hough, 35.

Princess Anne's former husband said he will quit his job after the Olympics, but claimed it was not because of the online criticism about his relationship with Ms Hough, who is also on the US coaching team.

"I don't read chatrooms and all that rubbish," Capt Phillips told Britain's Country Life magazine.


"I have the total support of the team and that's what matters. I'm not out to win a popularity contest," he added.

Capt Phillips was married to Princess Anne for 19 years before divorcing in 1992.

In 1997 he married Sandy Pflueger and they have a daughter, Stephanie, aged 14.

- Herald Online