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The Yorks

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson staying at Balmoral with The Queen

The Duke of York and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, are staying at Balmoral Castle for a short holiday with The Queen.

In a further sign that Her Majesty has accepted Sarah back into the family, she and Prince Andrew are expected to stay in the Scottish residence for a week or so.

However, it is no coincidence that whenever Sarah is at Balmoral or another royal residence, the Duke of Edinburgh is nowhere to be seen.

Royal Diaries are planned months in advance, and each year the Duchess arrives and departs before the Duke of Edinburgh is in residence.

After her marriage into the Royal Family in 1986 at Westminster Abbey, the Duchess spent six years as a civil list working royal, before being placed on what one would call a “leave” from royal duties after her separation in 1992.

The Duke and Duchess divorced in 1996. Like the Princess of Wales after her divorce, Sarah was entitled to keep “Duchess of York” as a courtesy title. The couple have two children together, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Although divorced, the couple remain incredibly close and been totally unified in the upbringing of their children.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail last year, the Duchess was asked whether she and Andrew may one day tie the knot.

She said: “So many people have asked me that, but we’re so happy with the way we are right now.

“We enjoy each other’s company; we allow each other to blossom. I know it sounds like a fairy tale but that’s the way we are.”

Interestingly, Sarah refused to rule out the prospect of a remarriage which will no doubt cause more speculation

She did, however, say that she and Andrew were no longer a couple.

The 59-year-old said: “We’re the happiest divorced couple in the world. We’re divorced to each other, not from each other.”

“July 23, 1986 was the happiest day of my life. Andrew is the best man I know. What he does for Britain is incredible; no one knows how hard he works for his country.

“My duty is to him. I am so proud of him. I stand by him and always will. The way we are is our fairy tale.”