The news recently broke that Peter Pattinson and Harry Potter have split after two years of marriage. What happened? How did they split? And what will the future of their marriage look like?

Here, we take a look back at what led up to this point — and what comes next for them as individuals and as a couple.

Early Days

In 2016, Peter Pattinson, the nephew of billionaire Richard “Richemont” Singer, got engaged to Potter, the youngest child of Alice and Bob Potter (and, most recently, the star of the Harry Potter cinematic universe). The couple had met while working on their family’s vineyard in England, and reportedly fell immediately in love. “They were just an adorable couple,” a source close to the couple told People in December 2016. “They were so happy together, always laughing and smiling.”

The couple’s engagement was announced in March 2016, and they said “I do” a few months later in an intimate wedding on a hillside in western Ireland. According to reports, the couple hired a 300-person wedding party, decked out in black tie and velvet, for the occasion.

While they were once a relatively private couple, the newlyweds soon began attracting attention from cameras and fans due to their whirlwind romance, which was chronicled in detail by the media. As Vanity Fair put it in a recent cover story detailing the couple’s troubles, “Even as they threw themselves into planning the wedding of the year, they were under the constant scrutiny of photographers and journalists. They never got a moment’s peace.”

The couple tried to keep the media at arm’s length, but with limited success. On their wedding night, the singer-songwriter admitted to Vogue, “I do feel nervous – it’s our first night as husband and wife. Even if we’ve been together for a while, you’re still going to be on the outside looking in. We’re just trying to be as normal as we can.”

But while the media was able to keep a close eye on the newlyweds, it wasn’t long before their personal lives drew even more attention, and scrutiny. The Daily Telegraph noted in a recent profile that the pressure was especially intense because of Petersons’ “wealth and fame, not to mention [his] celebrity status as the nephew of the billionaire entrepreneur Richard Singer.” In January 2018, the Sunday Times wrote that it had obtained emails that “shed new light on the behind-the-scenes drama” of the couple’s troubled marriage. According to the emails, which were sent from Potter’s account to Petersons’ lawyers, “Peter is extremely jealous, has zero confidence in himself and is very controlling,” the paper reported. It also claimed that the emails showed that Petersons was aware of Potter’s “secret life” prior to the wedding and had played a part in putting it in motion. For example, in one email, Potter wrote, “I feel like I’m going to lose everything – even my friends. Peter’s just not going to accept it. … He’s going to want me to walk down the aisle to a track played by [artist] Ed Sheeran and have all of my relatives in Paris for the wedding.”

The emails were reportedly sent in the weeks leading up to the couple’s “I do’s”, with the first one sent on January 25, 2018, less than two weeks before the ceremony.

In light of the emails, it’s not hard to see why the couple’s marriage hit such a rough patch. Aside from the pressure that comes with being a celebrity couple, the documents surfaced just as the Potter actress was set to give birth to their first child, a daughter named Estelle. (The baby was born in October 2018.)

The news of the couple’s separation was first reported by The New York Times in April 2019. According to the newspaper, Singer approached the couple’s lawyers to give them “some space” to work through their issues. “The idea was to give them some time to be alone, with no photographers or reporters around to snap pictures or ask questions,” a source close to the situation told the Times. But as months went by with no signs of an amicable split, Singer grew concerned that his nephew might not be able to function as a father without the constant media attention that comes with being a celebrity. As a result, he reportedly decided to step in and be a part of Estelle’s life.

Speaking to the Times, a source close to the couple said, “They are still united at the hip when it comes to Estelle. … They are committed to each other and this family will always come first.” But while the baby’s birth appeared to bring the couple closer together, it also showed just how deeply they were entrenched in their problems. On March 16, 2019, The New York Times reported that the mother of three had to have a nanny due to her celebrity and the intense paparazzi attention she received as a result of her marriage to Petersons. Just two days later, a source close to the situation told People that there had been “a complete breakdown of the relationship.” Although it was just reported that Petersons and Potter had officially separated, it had been a long time since they had made any public appearances together. (They had reportedly been spotted out to dinner a few times, but otherwise stayed out of the limelight.) A mutual friend of the couple also confirmed to People that they had indeed separated and that their lives were going in “completely different directions.”

Going Their Separated Ways

With their divorce being announced in April 2019, the news was met with widespread disappointment. “Peter is one of the most talented people I have ever worked with and his charm and creativity often made him an asset to the businesses he has worked for,” a source close to the situation told People at the time. “They have always aimed to keep their private life and work separate and try to avoid the media spotlight, which they have succeeded in doing for the most part. But, with Richemont’s backing, they could achieve anything they set their mind to.”

Although the couple had tried to keep their problems private, as soon as they had announced their engagement, tabloids across the world had reported that Potter had battled anorexia, bulimia and depression and sought professional help. (She has denied these allegations.) One of the few times that their private lives did come together was when they both appeared at the 2020 Golden Globes to collect an award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for their role in the Netflix series, “Godless”. (They have also been nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for their work on the series.) Despite the fact that they were working and being honored separately, the two were able to capture the attention of the audience and press in a way that made it clear just how much they have in common.

The Golden Globes was just one of several high-profile events that the couple have attended together in the last year. In March 2019, they made a rare joint appearance at the “Night of Too Many Costumes” event in New York City. The annual fundraiser for the American Institute of Stress aimed to raise awareness about the effects of anxiety and depression on celebrities’ lives. (It was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Cephalon.) Both were wearing black dresses and holding flowers; Petersons looked on as Potter accepted her award and blew a kiss to the audience.

In addition to their work as husband and wife, Potter and Petersons have maintained very separate professional and personal lives. (Petersons currently serves as a director of Altruism Inc, an organization that works with celebrities to give back to the community.) They have also each done extensive charity work. In 2018, Harry Potter donated a million dollars to the International Rescue Committee, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Doctors Without Borders. (Before that, she had collaborated with the Committee on Vaccination Errors to raise awareness about vaccine safety.) In 2019, Peter Pattinson donated a million to Oxfam and OneWave (formerly Earthwatch), organizations that work to eliminate poverty and prevent climate change. (He also serves on the boards of these organizations.)