The divorces of the Queen’s children coincided with a surge in divorce

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How many marriages end in divorce in the UK? Is it common for royals to divorce?

A ROYAL wedding is the stuff of fairytales, but with Prince Harry’s parents’ marriage ending in divorce, how common is it?

Royal wedding Princess Diana and Prince Charles' wedding was plagued by issues Photo (C) GETTY
Royal wedding Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding was plagued by issues Photo (C) GETTY

Figures from the UK Office for National Statistics for 2016 showed that a dismal 42% of marriages in England and Wales ended in divorce.

Around half of those who divorced did so within the first 10 years of marriage.

This year the number of divorces had increased by 5.8% from the previous year.

Diana, Princess Of Wales, laughing and joking with Sarah Ferguson Photo (C) GETTY
Diana, Princess Of Wales, laughing and joking with Sarah Ferguson Photo (C) GETTY

The divorce rate was highest among men aged 45 to 49 and women aged 30 to 39.

The number of divorces rose sharply from the 1970s onwards, partly because of more opportunities and being less concerned about apportioning blame.

The details of Princess Diana's dress managed to be kept a complete mystery until hours before her wedding to Charles, Prince of Wales, at St Paul's Cathedral Photo (C) GETTY
The details of Princess Diana’s dress managed to be kept a complete mystery until hours before her wedding to Charles, Prince of Wales, at St Paul’s Cathedral Photo (C) GETTY

It peaked in the mid 1990s, where 14 out of a thousand married people were getting divorced.

Sarah Ferguson She married Prince Andrew in 1986, but they divorced in 1996 Photo (C) GETTY
Sarah Ferguson She married Prince Andrew in 1986, but they divorced in 1996 Photo (C) GETTY

Divorces are not uncommon in the Royal family, as the Queen has seen three of her four children go through them after relatively short marriages.

One of the most famous Royal divorces in recent history is Harry’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Princess Anne is busiest royal of 2017 Photo (C) GETTY
Princess Anne is busiest royal of 2017 Photo (C) GETTY
Meghan Markle Princess Anne wore the Queen Mary fringe tiara at her wedding Photo (C) GETTY
Meghan Markle Princess Anne wore the Queen Mary fringe tiara at her wedding Photo (C) GETTY
Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence Photo (C) GETTY
Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence Photo (C) GETTY

The end of their unhappy marriage was finalised in 1995.

With a 13 year age gap, lack of shared interests and Charles’ love for old girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles, it became too much to handle.

The same year, Charles’ sister and the Queen’s second child divorced her first husband, Captain Mark Philips.

The Princess quickly recovered after the split, marrying her current husband, Timothy Laurence, later that year.

Prince Andrew, the Queen’s third child, divorced his childhood sweetheart Sarah Ferguson in 1992.

Curiously, the divorces of the Queen’s children coincided with a surge in divorce rates in the UK in the 1990s.

During this time divorce was beginning to be normalised.

Whilst undesirable, divorces had gained a degree of acceptance from royals.

Henry VIII brought Royal divorce to the forefront of politics.

Princess Anne has carried out more engagements in the UK than any other royal Photo (C) GETTY
Princess Anne has carried out more engagements in the UK than any other royal Photo (C) GETTY

In 1527 he petitioned for an annulment of his first marriage, and he was able to marry Anne Boleyn.

However, divorce was already common for Royals in Europe.

For example, Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine already divorced a few hundred years previously.

There was a public outcry in 1976 when Princess Margaret announced she would be divorcing her husband, the Earl of Snowden.

Meghan Markle, who will marry Prince Harry on Saturday, is herself a divorcée.

In 2002 the Church of England dropped their provision against remarriage for a divorced person.

Shock claims that Princess Anne was the reason for their relationship Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Photo (C) GETTY
Shock claims that Princess Anne was the reason for their relationship Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Photo (C) GETTY

Luckily the stigma of divorce has faded away, meaning Harry can wed his American actress.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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