It added: “They had reached the conclusion that this 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.”
It’s been reported the couple informed the Queen while visiting Balmoral late last northern summer and, according to royals correspondent Richard Kay, she urged them not to make a hasty decision.
While there was immediate speculation that Autumn could return to her home country – and Meghan and Harry’s current base – Canada, this has been refuted by royal sources.
For the time being Autumn is remaining with their daughters, Savannah, 9, and Isla, 7, at the family’s country home on Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Park estate. Peter bases himself in London, in a Kensington apartment, for work during the week and will continue to return to the Cotswolds barn conversion at weekends.
A friend close to Peter told The Sun that the split had been initiated by Autumn. “Peter is absolutely devastated by this and just didn’t see it coming,” said the pal.
“He thought he was happily married and had the perfect family with two lovely daughters. But he is now in total shock.”
Behind closed doors, the monarch is privately more than a little upset about the split. “The Queen is furious over Peter and Autumn’s divorce,” says a royal insider. “She can’t believe the royal family is having to endure more bad news.”
“She’s still dealing with the fallout from Harry and Meghan’s break from the royal family – to have to deal with such a public and messy divorce with young children involved is incredibly disappointing for her. Now was the time for solidarity and calm in the royal family, not scandal.”
To show a united front, the Queen has demanded the Duke and Duchess of Sussex return home. “Another split would be an absolute nightmare for the royal family and the pressure is now on for Meghan and Harry to stay together,” says the source.
“The Queen has also ordered Harry and Meghan home so they can make a public appearance at an event. With this recent divorce scandal she wants a public show of solidarity, and a visit back home to the UK will do just that.”
MEGHAN AND HARRY'S SECURITY FEARS
Since packing their bags and moving to Canada, rumours about Harry and Meghan’s security plans have been rife.
Now, former bodyguard to Michael Jackson, celebrity adviser and self defence expert Matt Fiddes (above left) has revealed to New Idea exactly how much security the couple will need in their new home.
“They are going to become the biggest superstar couple in history,” Matt says.
“There will be a hunt for them wherever they go. They’re going to need three bodyguards per person including Archie as he is going to need security too.”
Matt reveals they may be looking at a security staff of at least 10 and will need bullet-proof cars for public outings. And the danger surrounding their son Archie is a real threat.
“The issue for them is more like a kidnap and ransom attempt,” says Matt. “Like with Michael’s kids, they had their own security team and bodyguards.”
And all that security doesn’t come cheap. “They are looking at between $13-19 million a year,” Matt reveals. But the question on everyone’s lips is, who will pay for this?
“I would imagine what will happen is the Queen will keep [their security] in place until they build up their income,” predicts Matt.
“It’s knowing who to trust, but knowing Harry I think he would take his current team and put them on a private salary.” Of course, there’s public feeling that the couple shouldn’t be entitled to security paid for by the monarch, but Matt disagrees.
“Harry was born into royalty; he can’t help it. He didn’t try to become a star,” he explains. “So, I think the UK needs to keep him safe. After what happened to Diana … had she had her royal protection she would still be alive.”
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