Queen's 'favourites' Peter Phillips, Autumn confirm divorce, to stay in United Kingdom

The Queen's grandson Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn will divorce after 12 years of marriage, the couple has confirmed. 

On Tuesday, The Sun revealed the pair, considered to be among the Queen's "favourite", were to separate. It was said the decision was Autumn's and that Peter, the son of Princess Anne, was devastated.

The couple have now confirmed the news, releasing a statement that said the split 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," a spokesperson said. 

"The couple's first priority will remain the continued well-being and upbringing of their wonderful daughters, Savannah and Isla."

On Tuesday, The Sun cited sources saying the Queen was upset by the news, which had come out of nowhere and shocked friends of the pair. 

The couple's spokesperson said both families were "naturally sad" at the announcement, but supported Peter and Autumn.

"Both Peter and Autumn have remained in Gloucestershire to bring up their two children where they have been settled for a number of years."

That seems to pour water on the idea that Autumn may flee to Canada, where she was born, similar to what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have recently done. 

Prince Harry and Meghan have decided to split their time between the UK and North America as they step back from their roles as senior royals. That decision by the pair sparked an unprecedented disaster for the royal family due to the lack of consultation key figures had about the move. 

Peter met Autumn at the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix and they were married in 2008 at Windsor Castle. Peter, who is 15th in line to the Crown, most recently courted attention when he appeared in a Chinese milk company's advertisement.