Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Peter Phillips introduces new girlfriend to Queen Camilla

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 In April, Peter Phillips, son of the Princess Royal, confirmed the reports that he and his girlfriend, Lindsay Wallace had split up.  The couple had dated for three years.    Peter and his wife Autumn, divorced in June 2021.

On May 12, Peter attended the final day of the Badminton Horse Trials at Badminton, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort.  Queen Camilla was also present.  

Peter, 46, was accompanied by his two daughters, Savannah, 13, and Isla, 12, and a new girlfriend, Harriet Sperling.  He presented Sperling to the Queen.

One witness told The Sun: “They looked completely smitten and he was grinning from ear to ear. He looked like the cat that got the cream and acted without a care in the world.”

Peter and Harriet were seen walking hand in hand at the Horse Trials, one of the most prestigious events in the equestrian season.

Harriet is a pediatric specialist nurse with the NHS. In 2009 she was an integral part of the team bringing 3-week-old Phineas Cockerham to the Evaline Children's Hospital in London. The infant had contracted a virus that could compromise his immune system.  He needed to be brought to the Evalina Children's Hospital for treatment.  "Just 20 minutes after receiving the call to collect Phineas, the retrieval team were on our way in an intensive care ambulance,"  Harriet Sperling said in 2009.   Young Phineas was at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, before Harriet's team brought him to London.   Phineas survived.

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Harriet Eleanor Sanders was born in early 1980.  Her birth is registered in Swindon, Wiltshire.  She is the daughter of the late Rupert Hugh Sanders and Mary Elizabeth Hoskins, who married in Cirencester in 1972.  In 1971,  Country Life magazine featured Mary Hoskins as one of its Girls in Pearls portraits.

Rupert Sanders, a solicitor, was a partner with Sanders Brickwood, which merged with Sewell Mullings Logie Solicitors in 2013.

Both of her parents grew up in Gloucestershire. Through her paternal great-grandmother, Dorothy Courage, she is a descendant of the Courage (beer)  landed gentry family.   In 1971, Harriet's paternal grandfather  Major Geoffrey Thomas St. John Sanders served as High Sheriff of Gloucestershire.

Harriet has three siblings, Nicholas Rupert (1975), Louisa Kate (1977), and Rebecca Alice (1986).  Her father's maternal first cousin, Timothy Rupert de Zoete (1942) married Moyra Jane Dawnay (1946), daughter of Sir Peter Dawnay and Lady Angela Montagu-Douglas-Scott, younger sister of HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.  Moyra de Zoete and HRH The Duke of Gloucester are first cousins. 

Rupert Sanders is the son of Eleanor de Zoete and Geoffrey Thomas St. John Sanders.  Timothy de Zoete is the son of Rupert Edward de Zoete, Eleanor's brother.

 Harriet is a single mother of a 12-year-old daughter, who is likely to be Georgina Isabella Sperling.  


Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard  August 30, 2023


Harriet is also a freelance writer, using her maiden name.   Her most recent article was published in March in Woman Alive, a Christian women's magazine.

"In the earlier years of my journey as a single mother to my daughter, resources were scarce, and the future was uncertain. Yet, in the absence of material security, I discovered the strength and life that comes from true selfless love. A love that is able to be solely devoted to your child."  She sees in the bond of single mother and child "a reflection of God’s unwavering love for us. It teaches us about sacrifice, about the depth of love that is costly and willing to give without expecting anything in return. This journey has deepened my faith, teaching me to trust in God’s plan and to find strength in his love."

According to Daily Mail writer Richard Kay, Peter and Harriet have been dating for a month.  Should this relationship end in marriage,  Kay notes Harriet would be the first NHS nurse to marry into the Royal Family.   Claire Booth, the wife of the Earl of Ulster, heir to the Duke of Gloucester, is a medical doctor and a Consultant Paediatric Immunologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust.

However, Harriet would not be the first nurse in the Royal Family.  HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught, Duchess of Fife (1891-1959) was a registered nurse and ran her own nursing home during the Second World War.



Harriet Sperling is "passionate about early brain development in babies and seeing children thrive" which means she has something in common with Peter's cousin-in-law, the Princess of Wales

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