Queen's eldest grandson Peter Phillips confirms separation from wife Autumn

10 February 2020, 22:33 | Updated: 11 February 2020, 09:27

Peter and Autumn Phillips at Royal Ascot in June
Peter and Autumn Phillips at Royal Ascot in June. Picture: PA

The Queen’s eldest grandson Peter Phillips has separated from his wife of 12 years, with the pair saying it was "the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship".

Princess Anne’s son, 42, confirmed his split from wife Autumn, leaving him “devastated” and the Queen “upset,” according to The Sun.

A statement released on their behalf 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."

Peter is said to be the Queen’s favourite grandson.

The paper said friends are suggesting that Prince Harry and Meghan’s move to Canada could have influenced Montreal native Autumn’s decision.

The couple, who married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in 2008, are parents to daughters Savannah, nine, and Isla, seven.

Peter and Autumn with the Queen at Ascot
Peter and Autumn with the Queen at Ascot. Picture: PA

A friend told The Sun: “Peter is absolutely devastated by this and just didn’t see it coming.

“He thought he was happily married and had the perfect family with two lovely daughters. But he is now in total shock.

“Autumn is a wonderful wife and mother and a very intelligent woman but she’s been telling her friends for some time that there were issues.

“She is a favourite of the Queen and I’m sure Her Majesty will be very upset by this as well.

“It’s the last thing she needs after all her recent troubles and you get the feeling that the royal family is falling apart a little bit.”

The couple with Prince Harry (left) at church last year
The couple with Prince Harry (left) at church last year. Picture: PA

It is the latest piece of bad news for the Royal Family, who had a difficult 2019.

The year started with Prince Philip's car crash near the Sandringham Estate, before his health deteriorated, with him spending time in hospital shortly before Christmas.

Prince Andrew hit the headlines over his car-crash interview over his part in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, forcing him to retire from his royal duties.

Shortly after, Prince Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step back as senior royals and split their time between Vancouver Island and the UK.

Peter and Autumn, 41, met at the Canadian Grand Prix in 2003, with her having no idea he was a royal.

He proposed in 2007 before they tied the knot the following year.