PRINCESS ANNE ensured her mother the Queen did not have to face a massive Royal Family crisis when she took a key decision on the future of her children, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams claimed.
Princess Anne is considered to be one of the most hard-working members of the Royal Family, having long committed her life to the service of the Crown through years of charity and honorary military service as a Rear Admiral in the British Navy. Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams suggested on CTV News the Princess Royal may have further helped her mother The Queen when she decided to rebuff Her Majesty’s offers to have her children hold a title. Princess Anne is the mother of Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall and neither of them received a style at birth despite their grandmother reportedly offering one to both children.
Peter Philipps on Tuesday announced he and wife Autumn Phillips (née Kelly) had decided to divorce after 12 years of marriage.
But Mr Fitzwilliams signalled Anne’s decision at his birth ensured the Queen does not have to be overly concerned about the break up: “It has to be mentioned Princess Anne was absolutely right with former husband Mark Phillips in not giving Peter or his extremely popular sister, the olympian equestrian Zara, royal titles.
“Hence the fact this isn’t particularly big news here.”
Peter and Autumn confirmed the split in an official statement after earlier reports suggested Princess Anne’s son had been taken by surprise by the decision.
Princess Anne may have helped the Queen avoid a headache by not giving Peter and Zara titles (Image: GETTY)
The Queen is believed to have offered Anne to style her children at birth (Image: GETTY)
The statement revealed talks of divorce had been going on for months and both the Royal Family and Autumn’s family had been informed about their plans to put an end to their marriage.
A spokesman for the couple said: “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.
Peter and Autumn Philipps regularly attended family events alongside the Queen and other senior royals (Image: GETTY)
Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips announced they would divorce after 12 years of wedding (Image: GETTY)
The spokesman added: “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.”
The couple met at the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix in Autumn’s hometown of Montreal and because of his lack of title, she is believed not to have been aware of his connection to the Royal Family until a few weeks after they began dating.
Mr Fitzwilliams added: “She apparently didn’t know who Peter Phillips was when they met at the Canadian Grand Prix.
If their divorce is finalised, Peter and Autumn will become the first royals of their generation to break up (Image: GETTY)
Princess Anne herself divorced from Peter and Zara’s father in 1993 and later remarried Timothy Lawrence (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)
“It was only a few weeks later, apparently, she saw it on television. That subsequently led to an engagement four years later and then a marriage ion St George’s Chapel, Windsor in 2008.”
Peter and Autumn Phillips share two daughters, Savannah, 9, and Isla, 7, who the couple agreed to share custody of after their break up.
If Peter and Autumn finalise their split they will be the first royal couple of their generation of royals to divorce.
All of the Queen’s children except Prince Edward have been through divorces and the Queen is particularly averse to royal splits.
She allowed Prince Edward’s wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex more time to adapt to royal life ahead of their wedding in the hope it would ensure a long-lasting marriage.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK