The Queen's grandson Peter Phillips' divorce case headed to court (albeit remotely)

Peter and Autumn Phillips

Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images

It is the first royal divorce in decades, but now, Peter Phillips is set to finalise details of his split from wife of over a decade, Autumn Phillips, with a court case this week.

The pair, who share two children, 10-year-old Savannah and nine-year-old Isla, will have their case heard by High Court judge Mr Justice Peel in the Family Division. Neither party will be present in court, instead it will be conducted virtually via video conference, with lawyers speaking on behalf of each of the couple.

Peter and Autumn Philips with their two daughters, Savannah and Isla

Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images

The couple announced their separation at the beginning of last year, having notified the family at the end of 2019. In a statement released in early February 2020, they said: ‘After informing HM The Queen and members of both families last year, Peter and Autumn jointly agreed to separate. They had reached the conclusion that this was the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship. The decision to divorce and share custody came about after many months of discussions and although sad, is an amicable one.

‘The couple’s first priority will remain the continued well being and upbringing of their wonderful daughters Savannah (nine) and Isla (seven). Both families were naturally sad at the announcement, but fully supportive of Peter and Autumn in the joint decision to co-parent their children.

‘Both Peter and Autumn have remained in Gloucestershire to bring up their two children where they have been settled for a number of years. Peter and Autumn have requested privacy and compassion for their children while the family continues to adapt to these changes.’

On their wedding day in 2008

Pool / Tim Graham Picture Library / Getty Images

The couple met at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2003, and were married five years later at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Autumn converted from Catholicism in order to marry Peter, who as a member of the Royal Family is Church of England.

The news of their divorce came less than a week before that of the Queen’s nephew, the 2nd Earl of Snowdon, and his wife Serena, the Countess of Snowdon.

The Phillips’ divorce is the first for this generation of the Royal Family. Peter’s mother and father, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, divorced in 1992. Meanwhile Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, parted ways officially in 1996, and Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York separated in 1992.

Peter was recently in the headlines after he was chosen to separate his cousins Princes William and Harry at their grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last month, following tensions between the brothers over Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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