Oh no! Queen Elizabeth‘s eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, and longtime wife Autumn Phillips are divorcing after 12 years of marriage. Buckingham Palace announced the news in a statement to the Daily Mail on Monday, February 10.
“After informing HM The Queen and members of both families last year, Peter and Autumn jointly agreed to separate,” the statement read, adding that Peter, 43 — who is the son of the 93-year-old monarch’s daughter Princess Anne — and Autumn, 41, “reached the conclusion that this was the best course of action” for their two children, Savannah, 8, and Isla, 7.
“The decision to divorce and share custody came about after many months of discussions and, although sad, is an amicable one,” the palace continued. “The couple’s first priority will remain the continued well-being and upbringing of their wonderful daughters, Savannah and Isla.”
The statement noted “both families were naturally sad” but extremely “supportive of Peter and Autumn in the joint decision to coparent their children.” In order to make things work, the former couple — who first met at a Formula One Grand Prix event in 2003 and tied the knot at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in 2008 — have chosen to remain in Gloucestershire to continue raising their little girls.
“Peter and Autumn have requested privacy and compassion for their children while the family continues to adapt to these changes,” the statement concluded.
News of Peter and Autumn’s heartbreaking divorce is another public family drama the queen has had to deal with since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their decision to step back from their royal duties. The couple, who are the proud parents of 9-month-old son Archie, announced their decision to split their time between the U.K. and North America in a shocking statement.
Since announcing their controversial decision, the Duke of Sussex, 35, and the former Suits actress, 38, have been living life in a quaint town in Canada. “It’s a lifestyle Harry’s never experienced before, and he’s loving every minute of it,” a royal insider recently shared with Closer Weekly. “He finally feels at peace and has never been happier — and the same goes for Meghan.”
However, Harry and Meghan might be returning to London sooner than fans may think considering the U.K.’s annual Commonwealth Service is quickly coming up on March 9. According to a separate insider, Elizabeth is hoping the Sussexes will return to town for the special event.
“Elizabeth has asked Harry and Meghan to return to the UK for the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey — it’ll be one of their last royal engagements,” the source shared with Closer. “She’d love to see him again. And in spite of all the drama, she misses Harry too and doesn’t want him to feel alienated from the family.”