• Two royal couples have announced their plans to divorce in recent weeks: Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, and David Linley and Serena Linley of Snowden.
  • Since Queen Elizabeth II and Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh's marriage, there have been five divorces in total, making the divorce rate at Buckingham Palace approximately 190 per 1,000 people.
  • The royal divorce rate is 48 times higher than for men in the UK and 43 times higher than for women.
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Two royal couples announced their divorce plans in recent weeks: Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, and David and Serena Linley of Snowden.

Considering the relatively small size of the British royal family, that's a lot in the span of a month. For whatever reason — perhaps because of the intense scrutiny faced by royal couples — the royal divorce rate is significantly higher than the general population in both the US and the UK .

David Linley and Serena Linley.
David M. Benett / Getty Images

The royal divorce rate is up to 48 times higher than the UK rate

Since Queen Elizabeth II and Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh were wed in 1947, there have been 12 marriages in the royal family and four divorces among the Queen's direct descendants (excluding her sister and descendants) — bringing the royal divorce rate to approximately 190 per 1,000 people. 

The rate is high when compared to the UK national divorce rate — 7.5 divorces per 1,000 married men and 8.4 per married women as of 2017, according to UK's Office for National Statistics.

That makes the royal divorce rate 48 times higher than for men in the UK and 43 times higher than for women.

The difference is even more extreme in the US. While there is a common statistic floating around that the US divorce rate hovers at 50%, this finding is based on outdated information. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the US divorce rate as of 2018 is 2.9 divorces for every 1,000 people.

This makes the royal divorce rate about 66 times higher than in the US. 

With intense expectations as to how people belonging to the royal family should act both from the outside world and within Buckingham palace, the royal life may be too intense for some marriages to thrive. 

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