Queen Elizabeth Returns to London After Winter Stay at Sandringham Amid Divorce of First Grandchild
After a difficult start to 2020, Queen Elizabeth is now dealing with yet another blow
Queen Elizabeth‘s winter break has officially ended.
The 93-year-old monarch was seen at the King’s Lynn railway station early Tuesday, leaving her Sandringham estate to return to London. The Queen traditionally stays at Sandringham through Feb. 6, the date her father King George VI died in 1952 and she became the new monarch.
Her appearance comes as her eldest grandchild Peter Phillips announced that he and wife Autumn Phillips are divorcing after 12 years of marriage. Peter is the first of the Queen’s grandchildren to divorce. Princess Anne’s son, 42, and Autumn, 41, will share custody of their two children — Savannah, 9, and Isla, 7.
Last week marked the beginning of the Queen’s royal duties in 2020, as she visited the Royal Air Force Marham in Norfolk and the Wolferton Pumping Station, following in the footsteps of her father who opened the original station on February 2, 1948.
Although these were the first official events for the Queen, she’s had a busy start to the year due to family drama. This year’s countryside escape was first interrupted by grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s shocking announcement that they are stepping back as senior members of the royal family. Additionally, Brexit was officially enacted into U.K. law on Jan. 31, ending the long back-and-forth between Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who asked the Queen to step in last fall, and the British parliament. And on Tuesday, the news of her first grandchild’s divorce was announced.
Peter Phillips, a sports marketing consultant, met Autumn, a management consultant, in 2003 in her hometown of Montreal in Canada at the Formula One Grand Prix. They wed at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in 2008.
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The last public royal event the couple attended together was the 2019 Braemar Highland Games in Scotland alongside Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on Sept. 7.
Peter and his younger sister Zara Tindall, who is married to former rugby player Mike Tindall, were brought up without royal titles. The Queen extended a courtesy title to Anne’s children, which she declined. Peter and Zara are also not considered working royals and hold jobs outside of the royal family.