Autumn Phillips

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Autumn Phillips
Autumn Patricia Kelly

(1978-05-03) 3 May 1978 (age 42)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Alma materMcGill University
(m. 2008; sep. 2019)

Autumn Patricia Phillips (née Kelly, 3 May 1978) is the Canadian-born wife of Peter Phillips, who is the son of Anne, Princess Royal and the eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. After graduating from McGill University in 2002, Autumn Kelly met Peter Phillips in her birthplace and hometown of Montreal, Quebec. Their engagement was announced in July 2007, and were married in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, on 17 May 2008. They have two daughters. The couple separated in September 2019.

Early life[edit]

Autumn, her twin brother Christopher "Chris", and her older brother Kevin, were born in Montreal, Quebec, to Kathleen "Kitty" (née McCarthy) and Brian Kelly, an electricity company executive.[1] She was baptised on 18 June 1978, at Saint John Fisher Parish Church, and raised in Cedar Park, Pointe-Claire, in the English-speaking West Island region of Montreal.[2][3] Her parents divorced when Autumn was eight years old, after which her mother married commercial pilot Ron Magas, and her father married Lynne, with whom he has two children, Jessica and Patrick.[2]

Autumn's family continued to live in the Pointe-Claire area, where she attended a Roman Catholic parochial school, and then St. Thomas High School, a Roman Catholic foundation.[4] It was reported in 2007 that St Thomas' was where Autumn had both excelled at sports and had also studied alongside fellow student and friend, actress Casey McKinnon.[2][5] Autumn then attended McGill University, during which time she worked as a bartender, model,[2] and actress, appearing in the 1996 film Rainbow, taking the non-speaking, though credited, role of Tigrette Number 3,[6] and later in the television series Sirens.[6] Autumn graduated from McGill in 2002, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian studies, whereupon she started a career as a management consultant.[7][8]

Marriage and family[edit]

Autumn attended the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix where, while interviewing with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, she met Peter Phillips, who was, at the time, working for Williams F1. She did not know until six weeks later, when she saw him on television, that he was Queen Elizabeth II's grandson.[8][9] She then moved to the United Kingdom, living with Phillips in a Kensington, London, apartment and a cottage on the Gatcombe Park estate.[10] Before meeting Phillips, she had accepted a job with an American computer firm in England,[8] and later worked as a personal assistant to broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson,[8] while also attending royal events, such as the dinner party at the Ritz Hotel for the Queen's 80th birthday.[11]

Autumn's engagement to Peter Phillips was announced by Buckingham Palace on 28 July 2007,[12] and the Queen subsequently gave her consent to the union, as required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772, after a meeting of her British Privy Council on 9 April of the following year.[1] Phillips proposed to her with "a platinum ring containing an oval centre diamond with more diamonds on either side".[13] Prior to the marriage, Autumn, raised Roman Catholic and educated at Catholic foundation schools,[14] was received into the Church of England (Anglican), which does not re-confirm people who were raised in churches acknowledging the Apostolic succession. Had she remained Catholic after her marriage, under the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701 her husband would have lost his place in the line of succession to the throne.[3][15] That fact received widespread press coverage and drew attention to the Act of Settlement's bar on Catholics ascending to the throne, and prompted calls in both Canada and the United Kingdom for the respective prime ministers to consider the issue.[3][16] She did not, however, give up her Canadian citizenship.[17][8] Some reported unease was also caused in royal circles when Autumn and Phillips were interviewed and photographed by Hello! magazine, for an apparent fee of £500,000.[8][18]

The couple married on 17 May 2008, at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, with 300 guests in attendance.[18] The service conducted by David Conner, Dean of Windsor,[19] and Autumn's dress designed by Sassi Holford.[20] For the occasion, the Princess Royal lent Kelly the Festoon Tiara which she had received as a gift in 1973 in Hong Kong,[21] and Kelly wore a necklace and earrings from her husband.[18] Her six bridesmaids included Zara Phillips, her husband's sister.[18] The couple had a carriage procession before going to Frogmore House for a reception.[18] In 2010, they returned to London after living in Hong Kong, where Peter Phillips had a job with the Royal Bank of Scotland, heading its sports sponsorship activities in the region.[22]

In February 2020, Autumn and Peter Phillips confirmed that they had been separated since 2019, and that they intended to divorce.[23][24] In the public statement, it was said that both Autumn and Peter Phillips remain in Gloucestershire to raise their children.[25] The divorce will be the first one in the royal family in a decade, and the first time a grandchild of Queen Elizabeth gets a divorce.[26]


Their first child, and the Queen's first great-grandchild, Savannah, was born on 29 December 2010 at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.[27][28] With dual citizenship, the child is the first Canadian citizen to be in the line of succession to the thrones of the Commonwealth realms. She is 16th in line to the throne.[29] On Saturday, 23 April 2011, the baptism of Savannah took place at the Church of the Holy Cross, Avening, Gloucestershire, near the Princess Royal's home, Gatcombe Park.

The couple announced in October 2011 that they were expecting their second child. On 29 March 2012, at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Autumn gave birth to another girl, Isla Elizabeth, who is 17th in line to the throne.[30] On Sunday, 1 July 2012, the baptism of Isla took place at St Nicholas's Church, Cherington, Gloucestershire.


  1. ^ a b "No. 58674". The London Gazette. 21 April 2008. pp. 6077–6078. Consent to marriage of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly
  2. ^ a b c d Grice, Elizabeth (31 July 2007). "A perfect Autumn prepares to join the Royal Family". The Daily Telegraph.
  3. ^ a b c Petre, Jonathan (3 August 2007). "Peter Phillips may renounce succession". The Daily Telegraph.
  4. ^ Editors, Gazette. "New School, Both Big, Unique". The Montreal Gazette, 19 October 1962. Retrieved 16 August 2015. This (St Thomas') is the first Catholic High School to house both French and English and under the one roof...CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Elsworth, Catherine (8 August 2007). "Autumn Kelly". The Daily Telegraph.
  6. ^ a b "Autumn Kelly was in Bob Hoskins film". The Daily Telegraph. 17 May 2008.
  7. ^ Barr, Sabrina (11 February 2020). "Queen's grandson Peter Phillips splits from wife Autumn after 12 years of marriage". The Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Pierce, Andrew (17 May 2008). "Autumn Kelly, Peter Phillip's fiance". The Daily Telegraph.
  9. ^ "Canadian Autumn Phillips talks about joining life with the Royal Family". CBC. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Peter Phillips's fiancée renounces her Catholic faith so he can keep his place in the Royal succession". Evening Standard. 2 May 2008. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013.
  11. ^ Quinn, Ben (6 December 2006). "Young royals put on the Ritz for Queen's 80th birthday party". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Princess Anne's son set to marry". BBC. 28 July 2007.
  13. ^ "A Close Look at the British Royal Family's Engagement Rings". Vogue. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Peter and Autumn Phillips to divorce after 12 years of marriage". Brinkwire. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2020. Kathleen and Brian sent their daughter to a Roman Catholic primary school and St. Thomas High School, part of a church foundation...
  15. ^ Pierce, Andrew (1 May 2008). "Peter's fiancée converts to save succession". The Daily Telegraph.
  16. ^ Spector, Norman (30 August 2008). "Why Canada must take on Britain over the 1701 Act of Settlement". The Globe and Mail.
  17. ^ "Hometown of Canada's royal to be Autumn Kelly takes new status in stride". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Royal marries in Windsor wedding". BBC. 17 May 2008.
  19. ^ Pierce, Andrew (17 May 2008). "Queen will meet Prince Harry's girlfriend Chelsy Davy at Peter Phillips wedding". BBC.
  20. ^ "Sassi Holford :: Royal Wedding at Windsor Castle". 2008. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  21. ^ Chang, Mahalia. "The 17 Most Jaw-Dropping Tiaras Worn By Royal Brides". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  22. ^ Sudhaman, Arun (20 August 2008). "Phillips to lead RBS regional sponsorship". Archived from the original on 1 December 2008.
  23. ^ Ellery, Ben (11 February 2020). "Queen's grandson Peter Phillips 'to split from his wife' after 12 years". The Times (subscription required).
  24. ^ "Peter Phillips: Queen's grandson and his wife to divorce". BBC News. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  25. ^ Ward, Victoria (11 February 2020). "Peter Phillips confirms separation from wife Autumn, saying it is best for their daughters". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  26. ^ Vanderhoof, Erin (11 February 2020). "The Royal Family Faces Its First Divorce in a Decade". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Mrs Peter Phillips has given birth to a baby girl, 30 December 2010". 30 December 2010. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010.
  28. ^ "First Great-grandchild for Queen". BBC News. 30 December 2010.
  29. ^ "Queen's first great-grandchild has Canadian roots". CTV. 30 December 2010. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  30. ^ Hallemann, Caroline (26 June 2019). "Meet Isla Phillips, Queen Elizabeth's Great-Granddaughter". Town & Country. Retrieved 28 February 2020.

External links[edit]

Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Duchess of Sussex
Mrs Peter Phillips
Followed by
Princess Beatrice