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A timeline of the romance between Peter and Autumn Phillips


Stephen Lock/ i-Images

Following reports that the Queen’s eldest grandson Peter Phillips is to separate from his Canadian wife, Autumn, after 12 years of marriage, Royal Central is taking a look back at their love story.

In June 2003, a 25-year-old Autumn Kelly was working as a promoter at the Canadian Grand Prix. Peter Phillips attended the event as he was working for Williams F1 at the time.

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A friend of Peter’s would later tell The Telegraph he was “smitten” with the blonde beauty.

“He had to go off to do some official business but within half an hour he was back and had managed to get her mobile telephone number, her email address and invite her and three of her friends to the Formula One post race party,” he said.

“He certainly wasn’t going to let her disappear.”

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Earlier that day, Autumn had accepted a position working for a computer company that would see her moving to England a few months later.

After Peter returned to England, the two kept in touch by phone and email, with the intention of picking things up when she later made the big move to London.

Autumn would later reveal that she had no idea Peter was a member of the British Royal Family until six weeks later when she was at home watching TV.

Seeing him standing next to Prince William during his 18th birthday celebrations, Autumn pointed out the “really gorgeous English guy’” she’d been seeing to her mother.

After finding out his royal connections, Autumn told Hello! magazine that her mother Kathleen ‘Kitty’ Kelly, exclaimed to her “Oh Autumn! What have you gotten yourself into?”.

The couple dated for several years with Autumn and Peter living together in an apartment in Kensington.

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Buckingham Palace announced their engagement on July 28, 2007.

Peter told Hello! that he had planned to propose while the couple enjoyed a balloon ride in Gloucestershire- but bad weather had spoiled his plans. Instead, he popped the question while they took their dog for a walk in the rain. Autumn, told the publication the proposal was completely unexpected.

“He went down on one knee in the downpour and produced a ring from his pocket. I certainly didn’t see his question coming on this particular day. I looked horrible, in my wellies with wet hair” she said, adding ”I said ‘Yes’ straight away.”

The beautiful engagement ring Peter had selected had a large central oval diamond with a selection of smaller diamonds on either side. Peter also traveled to Ontario, Canada to seek permission to propose from Autumn’s father Brian Kelly.

Born a Catholic, Autumn would convert to Anglicanism so Peter could keep his place in the line of succession. He is currently the 15th heir to the throne.

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Peter was the first Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren to marry when he tied the knot with Autumn on May 17, 2008, at St George’s Castle at Windsor Castle in front of 300 guests.

The couple would cut a deal with Hello! which granted the magazine exclusive photos and interviews on the day for a reported £500,000. Friction was said to be caused between Peter and his cousins Prince William and Harry following the event as the magazine published several photos of their girlfriends, Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge and Harry’s ex Chelsea Davy.

Autumn wore an Italian duchesse satin and Chantilly lace gown with a three-tiered sash at the waist by British designer Sassi Holford.

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She also borrowed her mother-in-law, Princess Anne’s Festoon tiara.

The designer spoke to Hello! about the experience, saying that “doing such a gown does kind of encompass all the emotions the bride feels on her day – I was excited, then terribly nervous, then full of joy.”

Afterward, the newlyweds had their reception at Frogmore House nearby.

The couple did not receive any titles upon their marriage, as the Princess Royal declined titles for both Peter and his sister Zara when they were born to give them a “normal life”.

After the wedding, they moved to Hong Kong due to Peter’s position with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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In July 2010, Buckingham Palace announced the couple was expecting their first child. “Peter and Autumn Phillips are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in December,” read a statement on their behalf. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh as well as Autumn’s family have been informed and are delighted with the news”.

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The pair would move back to England before their daughter Savannah Anne Kathleen was born on 29 December 2010 at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. The child’s name was first revealed publicly during a church service in Sandringham when the reverend shared a prayer for “Peter and Autumn Phillips and their daughter Savannah”.

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On 29 March 2012, the couple’s second daughter, Isla Elizabeth, was born at the same hospital they welcomed her big sister, weighing in at seven pounds and four ounces.

The adorable children joined several other young royals including Mia Tindall, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, and Maud Windsor, as members of Princess Eugenie’s bridal party in October 2018.

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While Peter and Autumn are not full-time working royals, they are seen attending events with the wider Windsor clan including Royal Ascot, Trooping the Colour and Christmas festivities at Sandringham.

Autumn has previously praised the family to CBC for supporting her. “They were very welcoming when I first came in,’ she said.

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“They’re just a family, they’re happy, they have great relationships with each other — they’re very close.’

On February 10, 2020, The Sun reported that the couple was separating.

The couple confirmed their separation on 11 February 2020 saying it was best for their daughters and that the split was amicable.

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About author

Kylie is a journalist whose words have appeared in some of Australia and New Zealand's best selling magazines including Woman's day, Girlfriend, OK and that's life! and online at Daily Mail Australia. Kylie has a strong interest in royal fashion and her wardrobe contains over 100 of the same dresses, shoes and clutches, seen on the Duchess of Cambridge. When not writing, you'll find her searching for Sydney's best brunch spot. Follow her on Instagram @theladywallace