A hero who received a medal for saving the Queen's daughter was later forced to sell it to pay for his own funeral

Anita Durairaj

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The George Medal - Queen Elizabeth IICredit: Hsq7278; CC-BY-SA-4.0

Ronnie Russell was the hero who saved Princess Anne from being kidnapped in 1974. At the time, Russell was a boxer.

In 1974, the attempted kidnapping of Princess Anne involved a man called Ian Ball. Princess Anne was in a limousine when Ball boxed her car in.

Ball who was armed approached the princess and told her that he intended to kidnap her with a ransom of two to three million pounds. Fortunately, Russell was talking a walk in the area and he came to the rescue punching Ball and getting Princess Anne to safety.

Russell gained widespread fame and was awarded the George Medal for bravery by Queen Elizabeth II.

The George Medal is the second highest honor that is given to civilians in the UK. At the time that Russell received the award, only 600 George Medals had been awarded.

Decades later in 2020, Russell suffered ill health. According to the Metro, he suffered from rare inflammatory Adult Onset Stills disease. He also suffered from cancer and strokes. In addition, he lived as a pensioner in a council house. Due to his poor health, Russell decided he had to sell his valuable George Medal.

Russell claimed that he would need the funds for his own funeral and did not want his family to bear the burden.

Russell's George Medal sold at auction for 50,000 British pounds to a private, anonymous collector in the U.K.

While Russell ended up having to sell his treasured possession, he does not have any regrets. He has claimed that he is a royalist and that he would have died to save members of the Royal Family.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.

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