United Kingdom

Peter Phillips and estranged wife Autumn trying to agree finances in divorce

The Queen's grandson and his estranged wife are trying to settle their divorce case, the High Court has heard.

Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips, both 43, announced their separation in February last year, describing their split as 'sad' but 'amicable'.

The pair said at the time that they would share custody of their two daughters and that the decision was 'the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship'.

At a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Mr Justice Peel was told that the former couple are 'continuing to endeavour to settle the case' over their finances.

The Queen's grandson and his estranged wife are trying to settle their divorce case, the High Court has heard. Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips (pictured together in June 2019), both 43, announced their separation in February last year, describing their split as 'sad' but 'amicable' 

A further hearing is due to take place next month, in the event that the pair are unable to reach an agreement.

The Princess Royal's only son, Mr Phillips is the first of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's grandchildren to divorce.

Mr Phillips first met Autumn Kelly at the 2003 Montreal Grand Prix, when he was working for Formula One racing team BMW Williams and she was employed in the main BMW hospitality suite.

He invited her to a post-race party and they kept in touch when he returned to England.

But the Queen's grandson did not tell Ms Kelly he was a member of the royal family at first.

She found out after spotting him in a TV programme about the Duke of Cambridge, and confessed to being scared at the prospect of dating a Windsor.

The pair said at the time that they would share custody of their two daughters, and that the decision was 'the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship'. At a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Mr Justice Peel was told that the former couple are 'continuing to endeavour to settle the case' over their finances. Pictured: The couple are seen on the Buckingham Palace balcony in June 2019 with their two daughters Savannah, 11, and Isla, nine 

Mr Phillips proposed during a rain shower as they walked their dog and the pair wed at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in 2008.

Their eldest daughter Savannah, aged 10, was born in December 2010, whilst Isla, nine, arrived in March 2012.  

The couple announced they were separating in February last year. 

A source close to the family told Vanity Fair at the time that their break-up came after a long period of discussion.

They said the royal family felt 'sad but supportive of the situation'.  

They added: 'At the moment they are still sharing the marital home in Gloucestershire and there are no plans for a quickie divorce, there's no rush and there is no suggestion of Autumn going to Canada.'

The source revealed the couple had 'very sadly grown apart', and said they'd been having discussions about their marriage for 'some time'.

The Princess Royal's only son, Mr Phillips is the first of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's grandchildren to divorce (pictured with Prince Charles and the Queen at the Braemar Games in September 2019) 

Meanwhile they added that the royal family had been aware things 'hadn't been going well' since the autumn of that year.

A statement released on behalf of the couple last year said the decision to divorce was an 'amicable' one which they made after deciding it was 'the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship'.

Like his sister Zara and her husband Mike Tindall, Peter and Autumn lived on Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire.

Autumn is good friends with Zara, who a bridesmaid at her wedding.  

The statement announcing their divorce was issued by Gerard Franklin, their official spokesperson.

Itread: 'After informing HM The Queen and members of both families last year, Peter and Autumn jointly agreed to separate.

Autumn is good friends with her sister-in-law Zara Tindall, with sources revealing the two remain close despite the marriage break-up 

'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 and Isla.

'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 made headlines in March 2021 after he spent the night at the home of one of his sister Zara's closest school friends during a 460-mile business trip to Scotland because he couldn't find a hotel room.

Mr Phillips proposed during a rain shower as they walked their dog and the pair wed at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in 2008 

At the time, the father-of-two denied he was having an affair with elegant married blonde Lindsay Wallace who hosted him for the night.

Princess Anne's son was spoken to by the authorities after neighbours spotted his luxury 4x4 on her drive and called the police claiming the pair were breaking lockdown rules.

One neighbour said: 'What we are dealing with is one rule for one and another for the rest of us. Everybody is sick of it.'

Lindsay, a mother-of-two who was understood to have recently split from her husband Andrew, is a close friend of Peter's sister Zara and got back in contact with him at a recent reunion for their £40,000-a-year boarding school, Gordonstoun.

A source close to the royal has told Hello Magazine at the time that they were not dating and he only stayed there because of a lack of hotels in the area. 

But another insider told The Sun Mr Phillips is 'besotted' with the daughter of a wealthy oil executive and had been 'keeping things under wraps'.

Former PA Autumn Kelly fell for her Prince Charming Peter Phillips BEFORE realising he was a royal, meaning she had to renounce her Catholicism to marry him

Autumn, born into a normal, middle-class Canadian family, has been taken from a personal assistant to a respected - and much-loved - member of the royal family. 

Autumn's early years are a world apart from the grand royal residences and media glare of her former husband's - and starts with a modest cottage in Cedar Park, Pointe-Claire, in the English speaking West Island region of Montreal.

The separation of Peter and Autumn Phillips brought an end a 17-year royal romance that reads like a real-life fairytale, one in which Autumn, born into a normal, middle-class Canadian family, is taken from a personal assistant to a respected - and much-loved - member of the royal family. Pictured, the couple at Royal Ascot while they were dating

Autumn was one of three children born to Kathleen and Brian Kelly. Her twin brother, Chris, is a bricklayer and roofer, and their other brother, Kevin, works as a chef.

Autumn's parents divorced when she was eight and both later remarried. Kathleen, known as 'Kitty', to pilot Ron Magos and Brian, an executive at an electricity company, to a woman named Lynne, with whom he had two more children. 

Kathleen and Brian sent their daughter to a Roman Catholic primary school.

At her local state school, St Thomas High, Autumn was widely considered the class beauty, and excelled at sport, particularly football and ringette, which is similar to ice hockey.

Classmates remember her being at the centre of a clique of 'snooty' young girls, however, who called themselves The Get-Along Gang.

'They thought they were better than everyone else and could be quite bitchy. Autumn was her own number one priority. She'd throw hissy fits if she didn't get her own way and could be moody and self-involved. But she did have a generous side and could be a good friend when she dropped her airs and graces,' recalls one.

Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly pose for pictures on the cross country course at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire in 2007

She was also regarded as a party animal, 'buving' (the local slang for drinking) and smoking with her mates. 

During her teenage years Autumn landed small roles in a Bob Hoskins film and a TV series but ultimately decided to pursue East Asian studies at the city's McGill University. 

After juggling her academics with part-time work as a barmaid and model, Autumn graduated from McGill in 2002. 

She is said to have landed a management consultancy job but by June the following year Autumn was working in an events role at the Montreal Grand Prix. It is here she met her future husband, Peter Phillips. 

At the time Peter was working in a marketing capacity for the Williams Formula One team and had travelled to Canada for the high-profile event. There is disagreement over where Autumn was working, with conflicting reports suggesting the BMW hospitality tent and as a 'Budweiser girl', but one thing is agreed: there was an immediate attraction between the pair.

Peter and Autumn Phillips on their wedding day at St George's Chapel in Windsor on May 17, 2008. They have now separated. The couple sold pictures of their 2008 wedding to Hello! Magazine for £500,000, causing outrage within the royal family

Peter kept his family connections under wraps but Autumn was still charmed by the Englishman. They started a long-distance relationship, speaking on the phone every day, and Autumn travelled to the UK to visit Peter just weeks after meeting. The loved-up Canadian even accepted a job that would take her to England. 

However she only discovered her new beau was the Queen's grandson when she was watching a TV show about Prince William's 21st birthday and a photo of Peter flashed up on screen. Her mother, who was sitting by her side, reportedly said to her daughter 'What have you gotten yourself into?'  

Despite the shock, Autumn decided to pursue the relationship and took up a position as a personal assistant to Sir Michael Parkinson. 

Unlike some other royal couples, the early days of Autumn and Peter conducted the early days of their relationship largely out of the public eye, thanks largely to Peter's role as a 'non-working' royal and lack of royal title. 

This commitment to a 'normal' life remains to this day, with the couple previously saying they are normal people who 'work full time, enjoy our weekends and get on with our lives like anybody else'. 

Autumn Phillips and daughters Isla Phillips (left) and Savannah Phillips (right) eat ice creams as they watch the show jumping during the Gatcombe Horse Trails at Gatcombe Park, Minchinhampton in March 2016

After four years together, Peter popped the question and their engagement was announced on 28 July 2007. A date was set for the following year. 

Autumn was born and brought up a Roman Catholic but renounced her faith shortly before their wedding so her husband-to-be did not have to give up his claim to the throne. 

The couple tied the knot at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 17 May 2008 in front of 300 guests, including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Prince Harry.

Autumn looked resplendent in a gown by Sassi Halford and the Festoon Tiara, which was lent to the bride by Princess Anne. She finished her look with a necklace and earrings gifted to her by her husband. Among her six bridesmaids was her new sister-in-law, Zara Phillips. 

The women have gone on to form a close relationship. Both enjoy country pursuits and lived on 600-acre Aston Farm, which adjoins Princess Anne's country estate of Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire. It is not known where Peter and Autumn are now living. 

Mr and Mrs Phillips attracted media attention when they sold their wedding photos to Hello! magazine in May 2008 for a reported £500,000. The episode provoked claims the couple had exploited their Royal status. 

Happier times: Peter plants a cheeky kiss on his wife's cheek at the Cheltenham festival in 2018

Photos of the couple on honeymoon on safari in South Africa were also released to the press, prompting speculation they had received the £1,000-a-night accommodation for free - or at least at a knock-down rate - in return for their co-operation in publicising the stay.

In 2010, the couple returned to London after living in Hong Kong, where Peter had a job with the Royal Bank of Scotland, heading their sports sponsorship activities in the region. 

Autumn gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Savannah, in December 2010. Savannah was the Queen's first great-granddaughter. In October 2011 the couple announced they were expecting their second child. Isla was born in March 2012.

The couple raised their daughters in Gloucestershire and were regulars at the traditional 17th-century stone-built pub, the Ragged Cot Inn in Minchinhampton — which was also the favourite drinking hole of Peter's parents decades ago.  

She is a director of the business SCGB — the initials stand for Super Cars Great Britain — which offers guided driving holidays for supercar owners.

Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips looking cosy at the Cheltenham Festival on 15 March 2019

Set up with friend Rachael Thomson, their jaunts include trips to Split in Croatia, Venice and the Highlands. The entrance fee is £8,500, with additional expenses on top. Peter's friend, Johnny Hon, also took part.

Autumn and Ms Thomson are described in the company literature as 'elite events professionals with more than ten years' experience with High Net Worth Individual events'.

Sadly, the figures are far from impressive. Micro accounts filed in June 2019 state that the company has net assets of just £1,670 and owes £63,000.

Autumn is also the director of two other businesses. First, APP Consultancy Limited, so-called because of her initials (her middle name is Patricia), which was set up in September 2014 and is run from the farm. 

The couple have chosen to keep their daughters largely out of the spotlight, although they have joined their parents at high-profile royal events like Trooping the Colour. 

The girls have also been seen at the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham and on family days out to the Gatcombe Horse Trials.  

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