The count of Snowdon, the son of the late Princess Margaret, and his wife, the countess of Snowdon, have “amicably” agreed that their marriage will end and get divorced, a spokesperson for the couple has said.
The count – David Armstrong-Jones – who is known for his high-end furniture company and his wife Serena divorce after more than 25 years of marriage.
The announcement comes after the grandson of the queen Peter Phillips and wife Autumn revealed last week that they are separating.
Born in Clarence House in 1961, the count spent much of his early life in Buckingham Palace, where he was educated alongside his cousin, Prince Andrew.
David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, during a Reggae evening with his wife Serena
David was in his late teens when his parents completed their bitter split in 1978, but his father stayed close to the royal family and even shot the Queen’s official 80th birthday portrait.
Unlike his cousin, David shunned a military career to pave the way in furniture design and set up his own company, now known as Linley’s.
The Queen’s nephew has written a series of books on furniture and interiors, and his pieces are stored at luxury retailer Harrods with Elton John and Mick Jagger seeming to be fans.
He is believed to have inherited many of his mother’s estimated £ 20 million fortune together with his sister Sarah in 2002, but lives a decidedly normal life, cycling home from work on his bike.
He described his perfect Sunday in an interview with The Telegraph and said: “We have a cooked breakfast and when we are in Gloucestershire, we clamber in the back of an old Land Rover with the dogs and go for a walk.
David and his wife Serena attend the burial of the 1st Earl of Snowdon in St Martin’s Church Fitcham Norfolk
‘We will then roast or bake a delicious piece of meat. I am a very methodical cook – it appeals to my logical side. Afterwards there is never more washing up: I do it while I continue. “
Although he has no official royal role, David has guarded the lying state of the Queen Mother, his grandmother, and occasionally takes part in events such as Trooping the Color and Christmas in Sandringham.
David, who inherited the title Earl of Snowdon at the death of his father in January 2017, is known as the “royal carpenter” for his high-end furniture store, Linley. He was fifth in the row before the throne when he was born and is now 21st in the succession row.
He is honorary president of Christie’s auctioneers for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India. He was promoted to the role in 2015 from his former role as president of Christie’s UK.
With his parents, Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret, in 1964. David was born in 1961 and spent much of his early life at Buckingham Palace, where he was educated alongside Prince Andrew.
Linley was plucked by Prince Charles, his first cousin, number two in his The Prince’s Foundation, a new merger of his charitable obligations, in 2018 – an appointment that raised eyebrows when he was chosen as the heir to the throne sons William and Harry.
Last night a friend said: ‘David is very, very close to the Queen and Prince Charles. He goes to Sandringham at Christmas and appears in Balmoral in the summer.
“He is the grandson of George VI and part of the inner circle of royals.
“But he is also Mr. Non-grand Royal. He dives on his bike in a high-vis jacket and is mistaken for a traffic controller. He is popular and social.
“And he is the hardest working king – albeit not for the royal family. He is endless abroad because of the role of his Christie.
“He is their go-to rainmaker executive. But all the traveling put pressure on marriage.
“Serena spends most of her time in Gloucestershire. He lives in Kensington. It was a slow drift apart. I think the impetus for her is with her, but she is very sad about it.
“It’s getting tough for David. Everyone is surprised. Even if things were not perfect between them, they are both very family oriented. Their main focus now will be to ensure that they and their two children remain a family, even if they no longer live together as a couple. “
He has been romantically associated with Susannah Constantine and Nicola Fornby in the past, but in 1993 David married Serena Stanhope, daughter of the landowner Earl of Harrington and a distant cousin of Princess Diana, in the church of St Margaret in Westminster.
The new viscount was praised for her Bruce Robbins dress, known for its resemblance to Princess Margaret’s 1960 wedding dress by Norman Hartnell.
Serena, who now has the title of Countess van Snowden, opened her own fragrance store, Serena Linley Provence, where she sold soap and candles from the French region, but it closed in 2014.
The family is thought to divide their time between a flat in Chelsea in London, a ‘small’ cottage in Gloucestershire and the Chateau d’Autet in Provence.
They spent many happy holidays at the Chateau, a 19th-century French hunting lodge, which they bought in 1998 – the same home where the Duchess of Cambridge stayed when she was photographed topless.
Linley was plucked by Prince Charles, his first cousin, number two in his The Prince’s Foundation, a new merger of his charity obligations, in 2018 – an appointment that raised eyebrows when he was chosen as the heir to the throne sons William and Harry.
Last night a spokesperson for David and Serena said: “The count and countess of Snowdon agree that their marriage has ended and they will get a divorce. They ask that the press respects their privacy and that of their family. “