The Crown Couldn’t Save Them! Royal Divorces Through the Years

Royal love has rough patches too. Prince Charles and Princess Diana made headlines nearly three decades ago when they divorced, but they were hardly the first couple in the royal family to call it quits on their marriage.

The 1990s were a particularly negative period for the brood. Three of Queen Elizabeth II’s children ended their relationships during the decade. Princess Anne was the first, breaking things off with Mark Phillips in 1992. Prince Andrew followed in 1996 by divorcing Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson. Less than three months later, Charles and Diana made their separation final.

Diana later spoke out regarding Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she said during a November 1995 interview with BBC.

The royal family experienced a dry spell of divorces for a while before being hit by two within days of each other in February 2020. First, the queen’s eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, announced his separation from wife Autumn Kelly.

“After informing HM The Queen and members of both families last year, Peter and Autumn jointly agreed to separate,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement to the Daily Mail at the time. “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.”

The palace added that both sides of their family “were naturally sad at the announcement, but fully supportive of Peter and Autumn in the joint decision to coparent their children.”

The late Princess Margaret’s son, David Armstrong-Jones — formally regarded as Viscount Linley and the 2nd Earl of Snowdon — revealed his divorce from Serena Armstrong-Jones days later. “The Earl and Countess of Snowdon have amicably agreed that their marriage has come to an end and that they shall be divorced,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

Scroll through to revisit all the divorces the British royal family has endured through the years.

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