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The Royal Separation: The statement from Buckingham Palace

THE statement read: 'It is announced from Buckingham Palace that, with regret, the Prince and Princess of Wales have decided to separate. Their Royal Highnesses have no plans to divorce and their constitutional positions are unaffected. This decision has been reached amicably, and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children.

'Their Royal Highnesses will continue to carry out full and separate programmes of public engagements and will, from time to time, attend family occasions and national events together.

'The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, though saddened, understand and sympathise with the difficulties that have led to this decision.

'Her Majesty and His Royal Highness particularly hope that the intrusions into the privacy of the Prince and Princess may now cease.

'They believe that a degree of privacy and understanding is essential if Their Royal Highnesses are to provide a happy and secure upbringing for their children, while continuing to give a wholehearted commitment to their public duties.'