Who Is Peter Phillips, The Queen’s ‘Favourite Grandson’?

Peter will stand vigil at the Queen's lying-in-state.

Peter Phillips

by Guy Pewsey |
Updated on

Most of us recognise key members of the royal family but you'd be forgiven for wondering who some of the lesser known members of the family. After all, not every Windsor chose a life of duty and cutting ribbons. Look at Peter Phillips, a beloved member of the family who isn't as familiar to many as his relatives, and yet walked behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin as it travelled to Westminster Hall, and who will be standing vigil at the Lying in State along with The Queen's seven other grandchildren.

This isn't the first sombre occasion that has thrust Philip into the spotlight as he also took centre stage in April while walking between Prince William and Prince Harry at the funeral of Prince Philip. However, for their grannie's procession the brothers put on a united front and walked alongside one another.

Philip's anonymity is surprising considering he's been around for longer than William, Harry, Beatrice or Eugenie. As the eldest child of Princess Anne and her ex husband Captain Mark Phillips, he is the late Queen's first grandchild. In fact, he has been referred to as having been the Queen's 'favourite grandson', and Peter has gone on record as saying that they were 'very close.'

Why is Peter Phillips not a prince?

Unlike his cousins, he is not a prince: titles are passed through the male line, and since Captain Mark Phillips doesn't have one, neither do his children Peter and Zara. According to the BBC, Princess Anne and her ex-husband allegedly 'rejected an offer from the Queen of titles which would have enabled their children to be born into the peerage.'

Is Peter Phillips married?

Peter married Autumn Kelly in 2008, and the pair had two children, Savannah and Isla. But they separated in February 2020.

A statement read that 'after informing HM The Queen and members of both families last year, Peter and Autumn jointly agreed to separate. They had reached the conclusion that this was the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship. 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 will remain in Gloucestershire to bring up their two children where they have been settled for a number of years.'

In 2021 they reached a mutual decision on the terms of that divorce, concerning things like child custody and finances.

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