Queen Elizabeth’s Grandson Peter Phillips and Wife Autumn Announce Divorce

Queen Elizabeth's eldest grandson Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn announced they will be separating after 12 years of marriage.

By emily belfiore Feb 11, 2020 1:07 PMTags
Peter Phillips, Autumn PhillipsMax Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips are calling it quits.

On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth's grandson announced that he and his wife are separating after 12 years of marriage. In a statement from the couple, it was revealed that the 42-year-old royal, who is the son of Princess Anne and Her Majesty's eldest grandson, had informed the royal family of their decision last year. As parents of daughters Savannah, 9, and Isla, 7, Peter and Autumn shared that they wish to proceed with their divorce in an amicable way for the sake of their young girls.

"They had reached the conclusion that this was the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship," a spokesperson said. "The decision to divorce and share custody came about after many months of discussions and although sad, is an amicable one. The couples' first priority will remain the continued well-being and upbringing of their wonderful daughters Savannah and Isla."

Following the news, Buckingham Palace expressed its sadness over Peter and Autumn's separation, but didn't directly comment since it remains a private matter.

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Peter and Autumn married in 2008 at the queen's Windsor Castle residence, which is where Queen Elizabeth's other grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also tied the knot back in 2018. The longtime couple met in 2003 at the Montreal Grand Prix, where Peter worked for the Formula 1 racing team BMW Williams. At the time, Autumn was working in the BMW hospitality suite.

News of Peter and Autumn's split comes at a time of turmoil for the royal family. Just one month prior, Harry and Meghan had blindsided the royals with their unprecedented announcement that they would be stepping back from their royal duties.

Watch: Prince Harry & Meghan Markle to Step Back as Members of Royal Family

After careful consideration and meetings between Her Majesty, Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William, the monarch and the Duke of Sussex molded out a new plan for him and Meghan to achieve their financial independence from the royal family and their desired "geographical balance" for their son Archie Harrison.

Before carving out their new roles, Queen Elizabeth and the royal family were doing their best to navigate through her youngest son Prince Andrew's public scandal in November, when it was alleged that he had connections to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in the wake of the late financier's sex trafficking charges. As news of this broke, the 59-year-old royal stepped down from his royal duties.