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Peter Phillips, queen's eldest grandson, and wife to divorce

Queen Elizabeth's eldest grandson Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn Phillips have decided to divorce, according to a statement issued on their behalf. Phillips — the son of Princess Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips — and his wife are ending their marriage after nearly 12 years. 

The couple married in 2008 at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the same castle where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed 10 years later. Phillips met his wife, who then went by Autumn Kelly, a Canadian, at Canada's Grand Prix in Montreal in 2003, according to the BBC. 

According to their statement, the couple first notified the royal family of their split last year.

Royal Ascot 2019 - Day Five
Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips attend Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2019 in Ascot, England. Getty Images

"After informing HM The Queen and members of both families last year, Peter and Autumn jointly agreed to separate," reads the statement. 

Phillips, 42, is a member of the royal family, but does not have an official title and is not a working royal, the BBC reports. His mother, Princess Anne, rejected the queen's offer of royal titles for her two children, Peter and Zara Phillips

The couple's statement says they "reached the conclusion" that divorce "was the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship."

The couple has two young daughters, Savannah, 9, and Isla, 7, whom they raised in Gloucestershire, England. 

"The decision to divorce and share custody came about after many months of discussions and although sad, is an amicable one," reads the statement. "The couple's first priority will remain the continued well being and upbringing of their wonderful daughters."

"Both families were naturally sad at the announcement, but fully supportive of Peter and Autumn in the joint decision to co parent their children," according to the statement.

The royal family has had a tumultuous start to the year, beginning with the announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, would step back from their "senior" royal roles, and no longer be official "working members" of the royal family.

Harry and Meghan have said they plan to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America. Since their announcement, the couple has been spotted in Vancouver, Canada, where Meghan previously lived.

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