Divorce can be a touchy topic — particularly where members of the royal family are concerned.
While few objected to Prince Harry’s nuptials to Meghan Markle, a divorcée, the subject once ended a monarchy — King Edward VIII stepped down from the British throne in 1936 after being condemned for his proposal to Wallis Simpson, an American who had been married twice before.
“Historically the Church of England’s position was that divorce was OK, but remarriage was not,” Arianne Chernock, an associate professor of history at Boston University, told History.com ahead of Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May 2018.
A divorce also ended a loving relationship for Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister, Princess Margaret. The royal was reportedly coerced not to accept a proposal from Group Captain Peter Townsend due to his prior marriage to Cecil Rosemary Pratt (née Pawle).
Ironically, she went on to marry Antony Armstrong-Jones, whom she would divorce in 1978 after 18 years of marriage and two children together.
Needless to say, royal families the world over have come a long way in their thought process as far as the topic of divorce is concerned.
They certainly weren’t alone, either: Prince Andrew and Duchess Sarah Ferguson, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and Monaco’s Princess Caroline and Philippe Juno all count themselves among the growing list of royals to end their marriages prematurely. And some have even gone on to (gasp!) remarry.
Scroll through to find out which royal couples have called it quits.