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Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips and Canadian wife Autumn to divorce

Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips attend day five of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2019 in Ascot, England.
Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips attend day five of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2019 in Ascot, England. Getty Images

The Queen‘s grandson Peter Phillips and his Canadian wife, Autumn Phillips, announced their intention to divorce on Tuesday.

The couple have been married for 12 years. They said in a statement that they informed their family of their decision last year, Reuters reports.

Peter, Princess Anne‘s eldest child, and Autumn share two children — Savannah, 9, and seven-year-old Isla.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle are moving to Canada — Here’s what we know

“They had reached the conclusion that this was the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship,” a spokesperson for the royal couple said.

“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 and Isla.”

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Buckingham Palace hasn’t commented on the matter, though the statement revealed that both families were saddened by the news.

Prince Harry speaks out about decision to step away from royal duties
Prince Harry speaks out about decision to step away from royal duties

The 42-year-old Peter met Autumn in her hometown of Montreal while attending the city’s Grand Prix in 2003. At the time, he was working for the Formula 1 racing team BMW Williams. She was working at the BMW hospitality suite.

Autumn became the first Canadian to marry into the Royal Family when they said “I do” at Windsor Castle in 2008. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married at the same historic venue a decade later.

Both Peter and Autumn have no royal titles because of Princess Anne’s decision to decline the courtesy offered to her by the Queen. Anne’s decision is said to have been made to allow her children, including equestrian Zara Tindall, a more normal life.

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This latest royal news follows Harry and Markle’s announcement that they’d be stepping away from their senior royal duties, giving up their Royal Highness titles and spending part of their time living in Canada.

—With files from Reuters

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meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca