This week, the latest in a string of bombshells hit the royal family: the queen's grandson, Peter Phillips, announced he had split from his wife Autumn after 12 years of marriage.

But just a few days later, the royal has popped up here in New Zealand, looking jovial as he attended the Halberg Awards' black tie charity bash in Auckland last night.

The eldest son of Princess Anne, Phillips posed for a number of photos at the 57th annual ISPS Handa Halberg Awards for sporting excellence, grinning alongside former Prime Minister Sir John Key and All Black great, Richie McCaw.

It marks his second outing since he and Autumn, 41, released a statement confirming they had separated.


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The couple, who married at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in 2008, revealed they had informed their families of their "amicable" decision to divorce "last year" after deciding it was "the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship".

Peter Phillips with his wife, Autumn, in happier times. Photo / Getty Images
Peter Phillips with his wife, Autumn, in happier times. Photo / Getty Images

The couple still live under the same roof in Aston Farm, on Princess Anne's Gloucestershire estate, Gatcombe Park. Here they will continue to raise daughters Savannah, 9, and Isla, 7, together.

However the Daily Mail reports that either Autumn or Peter is expected to eventually move out to another property on the 700-acre estate.

Princess Anne's daughter Zara Tindall also lives on the estate with her husband Mike and their daughters Mia and Lena, with whom Savannah and Isla have a close relationship.

Peter and Autumn were last seen in public together when they joined the Queen and Prince Charles at the Braemar Highland Games in September last year.

The family did not join other senior royals at church at Sandringham on Christmas Day and Mr Phillips was pictured on the Norfolk estate without his wife last month.

The statement issued by Gerard Franklin, the couple's official spokesperson, reads: "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. The decision to divorce and share custody came about after many months of discussions and although sad, is an amicable one.

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

"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 have remained in Gloucestershire to bring up their two children where they have been settled for a number of years. Peter and Autumn have requested privacy and compassion for their children while the family continues to adapt to these changes."

Just hours after the bombshell announcement Mr Phillips, who is an ambassador for ISPS Handa, attended a golf tournament for players who are blind or disabled in Australia.

He was snapped smiling alongside personal trainer and golf instructor, Andrea McGann.

The Phillips' separation is the latest in a string of explosive developments within the Royal Family, following Prince Andrew's decision to step down from duties amid the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure last month.

The breakdown of Autumn and Peter's marriage will be particularly painful for the Queen, 93, who enjoys a close relationship with her grandson's wife.