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Royals announcing their divorce: Prince Andrew's 'amicable' split, King Charles' 'desirable' divorce & more

Princess Anne and Peter Phillips have also released statements about their splits

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
25 April 2024
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For many years, it was thought that around half of all marriages end in divorce, but Forbes statistics have suggested this number is declining.

Regardless of how common it is among the general public on a global scale, divorce becomes hugely publicised when it involves members of the royal family, such as King Charles, Princess Anne and Princess Margaret. The latter became the first royal to split from her husband since King Henry VIII in 1540, but divorce has become more common among the royals since then.

While many former couples have kept the details of their splits private, they all felt the need to publicly share the news of their marriage breakdown with the world. From Peter Phillips and his ex-wife Autumn's post-split statement to the Prime Minister's comments on King Charles' separation from Princess Diana, see what was said when royal couples separated…

Prince Nikolaos of Greece (Nikolaus von Griechenland) and Princess Tatiana of Greece attend the royal wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist in 2015 © Gisela Schober

Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana

The Greek royal family released a statement to announce that Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Princess Tatiana of Greece were divorcing after 14 years of marriage on 19 April 2024. 

The royal and the events planner tied the knot on 25 August 2010 at the 19th-century monastery of Ayios Nikolaos. Following their wedding, Tatiana - who did not welcome any children with Nikolaos - told Vogue: "I do not feel like a princess. I do not feel that I married a prince, with a title."

After over a decade of marriage, they revealed it was a "difficult" decision to split in a statement that read: "Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana after fourteen years of living together, have decided to dissolve their marriage. Both express the difficulty of this decision, the deep appreciation and respect they have for each other, but also the love with which they have walked all these years.

"The same values of respect and understanding will form the basis of their relationship in the future, a relationship of deep and sincere friendship. They will continue to live and work in Greece, a place where they both feel at home. The family will always be at their side. Thank you very much for your respect and discretion."

King Charles in military uniform stood with Princess Diana in a wedding dress© David Levenson

King Charles and Princess Diana

King Charles and the late Princess Diana tied the knot in 1981, but they were leading separate lives by 1992. While rumours circulated about the breakdown of their marriage, British Prime Minister John Major confirmed their separation at the House of Commons in December 1992, simply stating: "This decision has been reached amicably and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children."

The late Queen permitted them to divorce in 1996, and a statement was released that read: "After considering the present situation, the Queen wrote to both the Prince and Princess earlier this week and gave them her view, supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, that an early divorce is desirable. 

"The Prince of Wales also takes this view and has made this known to the Princess of Wales since the letter. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will continue to do all they can to help and support the Prince and Princess of Wales, and most particularly their children, in this difficult period."

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips waving on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day.   © Getty

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips

Following their 1973 royal wedding, Princess Anne and her first husband Captain Mark Phillips announced their separation in 1989 and finalised their divorce in 1992. Shortly after the birth of their daughter Zara, it was rumoured that they were having marital troubles and they were rarely seen together.

When Buckingham Palace confirmed their separation, the statement read: "Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, and Capt. Mark Phillips have decided to separate on terms agreed between them. There are no plans for divorce proceedings." Anne went on to marry Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

Wedding Of Prince Andrew & Sarah Ferguson© Getty

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson

After six years of marriage, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson announced their separation in 1992 and they finalised their divorce four years later. 

Buckingham Palace confirmed their "amicable" split following weeks of speculation. It read: "In view of the media speculation which the Queen finds especially undesirable during the general election campaign, Her Majesty is issuing the following statement:

"Last week, lawyers acting for the Duchess of York initiated discussions about a formal separation for the Duke and Duchess. These discussions are not yet completed and nothing will be said until they are. 

"The Queen hopes that the media will spare the Duke and Duchess of York and their children any intrusion." 

The former partners now live in the same property, Royal Lodge Windsor, and their close relationship has sparked rumours they may remarry.

Princess Margaret wearing the Poltimore tiara on her wedding day to Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960© Getty

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones

In 1978, Princess Margaret and photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones officially ended their 18-year marriage.

Kensington Palace announced their separation in 1976, and despite claiming "there are no plans for divorce proceedings," it was finalised two years later.

"Her Royal Highness, the Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and the Earl of Snowdon have mutually agreed to live apart. The Princess will carry out her public duties and functions unaccompanied by Lord Snowdon. There are no plans for divorce proceedings," the statement read.

According to The New York Times, Antony said of the split: "Firstly to pray for the understanding of our two children, second to wish Princess Margaret every happiness for her future and thirdly to express with all humility the love, admiration, and respect I will always have for her sister, her mother and indeed her entire family."

Peter Phillips and Autumn Phillips in a wedding carriage© Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA

Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly

In February 2020, Peter Phillips and his ex-wife Autumn announced that they had decided to part ways after 11 years of marriage.

The couple's spokesperson issued a statement confirming their split. "As both Peter and Autumn are not senior members of the Royal Family, it was not felt necessary to formally announce their separation last year," it began.

"However in light of media commentary the following statement is issued; after informing HM The Queen and members of both families last year, Peter and Autumn jointly agreed to separate.

"The decision to divorce and share custody came about after many months of discussions and although sad, is an amicable one," it continued.

Peter and Autumn tied the knot at St George's Chapel in Windsor on 17 May 2008, and they reached a divorce settlement in 2021.

Tessy Anthony and husband Louis of Luxembourg on their wedding day© Alain BENAINOUS

Prince Louis and Princess Tessy

Prince Louis of Luxembourg and Princess Tessy welcomed their first child Gabriel six months before they got married in 2006. Following their wedding, Louis gave up his succession rights and those of his children.

They went on to give birth to Noah in 2007 before splitting in Januart 2017 after 10 years of marriage. In a statement released by the royal palace, Louis' parents, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa confirmed the news.

The statement, written in French, read: "Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess regret to announce that Prince Louis and Princess Tessy have decided to divorce. In these difficult times, they ask for privacy."

Crown Prince Leka married Elia Zaharia in 2016© STRINGER

Crown Prince Leka II and Crown Princess Elia

Following eight years of marriage, Crown Prince Leka II of Albania and Crown Princess Elia announced they mutually decided to divorce in January 2024. A translated statement released on social media revealed their three-year-old daughter Geraldine remained their priority. 

"I officially inform you that LTM Princ Leka and Elia Zaharia have agreed to end their marriage. Since the marriage has lost its function, they have seen the way to resolve it by mutual consent by starting the necessary legal procedures," the statement read.

"Despite the trust in the institution of the family, LTM Prince Leka II believes that the values of mutual respect and understanding will form the basis of the relationship in its continuity, which will have as its motive the growth and education of LSM Princess Geraldine!!! The spiritual and physical well-being of the girl, LSM Princess Geraldine, will remain at the center of their attention, dedicated to ensuring a happy and safe life for Geraldine. LTM Princ Leka Il will not make further statements or comments and requests that the right to privacy be respected regarding this matter."

Former actress and singer Princess Elia also shared a statement thanking her followers for their "kindness" during "these difficult months". 

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