The Queen is used to her children divorcing, but now the scourge has spread to her grandkids.
And for a woman so set on the concept of marriage being a lifelong commitment for the good of her church and her country, yet another messy and premature break-up will be galling.
It’s also, let’s be blunt, the last thing the embattled monarchy needs right now after 12 months from hell.
Of course, when all that is put to one side there is a very sad personal heartbreak here.
Peter Phillips is the Queen’s beloved oldest grandson and an important figure for the royal family behind the scenes who has been close to William and Harry.
Autumn’s decision to ask to separate will be heartbreaking to Peter, given she was undoubtedly the love of his life and he has been open about being smitten from day one.
As a friend told The Sun: “He is devastated.
“It just seems they have grown apart, but it’s come as a bolt out of the blue for Peter and he’s very upset.”
Sports marketing consultant Peter, 42, and Autumn, 41, who is a management consultant, have two children – Savannah, 9, and Isla, 7.
The Queen is also said to be deeply “upset” by the news of their split, as she reportedly shares a close relationship with both Autumn and Peter.
Now the royals face the prospect of yet another one of their young families splitting their time between the UK and Canada, Autumn’s homeland where their children have dual citizenship.
Even the suggestion that Autumn might be in some way inspired to follow the lead set by Harry and Meghan and spend more time in Canada will cause fury.
It’s been a disastrous year for the Queen, which some commentators have branded a second annus horribilis.
Prince Philip injured two members of the public in a car crash then fell ill, disgraced Prince Andrew had to step back from royal duties after a catastrophic interview about his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and last month Harry and Meghan announced they were quitting the UK.
A senior royal source said: “The Queen must wonder what she has done to deserve this.
“Peter Phillips has always been a favourite of hers, and Prince Philip and she will be crestfallen by this, especially on top of all the other bad news.
“It makes you wonder what’s going to happen next.”
It’s not an exaggeration to say that, at 93, the Queen will feel like she’s watching the disintegration of her once solid family unit.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission