Ian Ball blocked the princess’s car on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace in central London and wounded four people with gunshots. The Queen’s only daughter and her then-husband, Captain Mark Phillips, were en route to the Palace when a car swerved in front of their chauffeur-driven limousine.
The Princess, then 23, had just attended a charity event in Pall Mall when Ball, 26, brought them to a halt with his Ford Escort.
As royal police protection officer James Beaton and driver Alex Callender got out of the limousine, Ball began to shoot.
Mr Beaton’s own weapon jammed and he was shot three times by the assailant.
She described being “scrupulously polite” with the would-be kidnapper at first.
She said: “We had a sort of discussion about where or where not we were going to go.”
The ensuing struggle saw Anne and her first husband Mark Phillips fighting back against Mr Ball, and at one stage the Princess said she did a “backward somersault into the road”.
Eventually, the attempt came to an end after passer-by Ronnie Russell punched Mr Ball in the head.
He was arrested by police after trying to run away into St James’ Park.
Afterwards, the Queen awarded a medal to all four people shot in the attempt, according to the Independent.
Ball was sent to Hampton hospital under the Mental Health Act for an unspecified amount of time.
Princess Anne spoke about the ordeal again on ITV’s Anne: The Princess Royal at 70 documentary, in which she said the memories of the occasion are “like photographs”.
In addition, Mr Beaton, her protection officer said on the programme: “Princess Anne, because she was so cool, calm and collected, I think it kept the situation in control.”
He added his own gun appeared to have jammed when he attempted to fire it.