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Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren are no strangers to the public. Royals like Prince William and Prince Harry are some of the most recognizable people in the world.

However, many are unaware that King Charles’ heir apparent is not the eldest of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren. That honor is reserved for Princess Anne’s eldest son, Peter Phillips.

Here’s everything we know about the private member of the royal family.

Peter Phillips Was Born In 1977

While King Charles is Queen Elizabeth’s eldest child, he wasn’t the first of his siblings to start a family. Princess Anne and her husband, Captain Mark Phillips, blessed the queen with her first grandchild on November 15, 1977, when Anne gave birth to Peter Mark Andrew Phillips.

Queen Elizabeth II with her daughter, Princess Anne and grandson, Peter Phillips at the baby boy
Queen Elizabeth II with her daughter, Princess Anne and grandson, Peter Phillips at the baby boy’s christening, 12th December 1977. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Per the BBC, the young royal was honored with a 41-gun salute at the Tower of London upon his birth. At the time, he was fifth in line to the throne.

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Despite his royal status, he was technically born a commoner. According to BBC‘s coverage of Peter’s birth, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips refused the queen’s offer of a courtesy title for their son.

He was the first royal baby to be born without a title or courtesy title in over 500 years. This means that, despite being born as the queen’s only grandchild, he was referred to as “Master” rather than “Prince” or “His Royal Highness.”

Anne and Mark reaffirmed their decision when Peter’s younger sister, Zara Anne Elizabeth, was born on May 15, 1981. Like her brother, she grew up without any royal titles.

She is the second-eldest of the queen’s grandchildren. Despite her lack of a title, Zara went on to become quite the celebrity Equestrian after competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Peter Phillips Graduated From The University Of Exeter

Peter gravitated towards sports from a young age. After graduating from Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland, the royal took a gap year and traveled to Australia.

While down under, Peter worked for Sports Entertainment Limited. After the short stint in Australia, Peter returned to England to study sports science at the University of Exeter, per Hello!. He also played on the school’s rugby league team.

After graduating in 2000, Peter went on to work for Jaguar Racing as a corporate hospitality manager. He then went on to work for Williams F1 as a sponsorship accounts manager.

According to Peter’s LinkedIn profile, he eventually left the racing world for a more business-oriented career. He eventually took on various management roles before becoming a Director for e-Mersion Media in 2019. He’s also served as the Chairman of City Racing since 2018.

In 2003, Peter met Canadian Management Consultant Autumn Kelly at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. The two went on to date for four years before announcing their engagement in 2007, as reported at the time by the BBC. They married at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 17, 2008.

Peter Phillips 30, (L) and Autumn Kelly 31, (R) on their wedding day
(IAN MCILGORM/AFP via Getty Images)

Peter Phillips Is Father To The Queen’s Eldest Great-Grandchild

It’s fitting that Peter, the eldest of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren, is also father to her eldest great-grandchild. Her Majesty became a great-grandmother when Peter and Autumn welcomed their first child, Savannah Anne Kathleen, on December 29, 2010. The couple welcomed their second daughter, Isla Elizabeth, on March 29, 2012.

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From what we can tell, Peter is a dedicated father that keeps himself busy with work. Per The Independent, he and Autumn announced their separation in 2020 and finalized their divorce in 2021. They still co-parent their daughters, although little is known about their official arrangement.

Aside from the bigger moments in his life, Peter Phillips lives a remarkably private life for a member of the royal family. His lack of royal titles has allowed him to pursue his own interests and career independently from the royal duties many of his cousins have undertaken.

Peter Participated In Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral

Despite shying away from the spotlight, it seems like Peter still had a close relationship with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, as her very first grandchild.

Peter made one of his most recent public appearances with his royal relatives when he joined his sister and six cousins during the 15-minute vigil around Queen Elizabeth’s coffin while it laid in state at Westminster Hall, per Wales Online.

(L-R): Peter Phillips, Prince William, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, King Charles III, and Prince Edward gather at Queen Elizabeth's memorial service.
(L-R): Peter Phillips, Prince William, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, King Charles III, and Prince Edward gather at Queen Elizabeth’s memorial service. (Peter Nicholls – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

According to the BBC, he also walked behind the cortege in the state funeral procession last September.

His reputation as a low-key royal is unlikely to change in the coming years, although he will always remain a fixture in the royal family as the eldest of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren.

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