If so, can they have their happy ever after?
Tony Moore, a councillor with Relationship Ireland, says it is not that unusual for couples to get back together. “I am actually seeing a couple tonight who are getting back together after being separated for almost double that time,’’ he says.
“The most important thing is for the couple to understand why they separated in the first place and to work on that.’’
Sarah’s appearance at Balmoral Castle, last month, prompted speculation of a remarriage.
“Mark my words, they will remarry, it is only a matter of time,’’ said one friend.
The couple, who are both 53, were seen smiling and waving as they drove back to Aberdeen airport following their stay. This was Sarah’s first invitation to Balmoral Castle since 1992, the year when sensational photographs were published showing financial adviser John Bryan sucking her toes in St Tropez.
Often described as the “happiest unmarried couple,’’ Moore says Prince Andrew and Sarah’s great friendship is a “crucial part of the jigsaw’’ if they are to remarry. “The fact they both still live together shows the strength of this friendship. Their problem will be dealing with outside pressures, like the in-laws,’’ he says.
Indeed, in an interview with a US magazine, in 2000, Sarah said that she and Prince Andrew had talked about remarrying, but his father, Prince Philip, had forbidden it.
Dickie Arbiter, Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary, suggested that if the couple wanted to remarry, they may have to wait until the prince’s father has passed away.
“Even if Andrew does want to marry her, he won’t do anything while his father is alive. It is very telling that Fergie’s recent stay at Balmoral did not coincide with Prince Philip’s visit. She left before he arrived,’’ he says.
Moore says second-time relationships can survive pressures from friends and relatives, who can be difficult to deal with. “Everyone always has an opinion or an agenda. You don’t even have to ask people their advice. They will tell you: ‘Don’t get back together ... you will be better off without them.’
“My advice is to ignore them and ask yourself: ‘What do I really, really want?’ he says.”
That neither Andrew nor Sarah has had a successful long-term relationship during their separation is a bonus, but that their trump card is being parents.
“It seems Prince Andrew, especially, has always carried a banner for her,’’ he says.
“But being parents to their two daughters is obviously a strong bond. They have taken their roles seriously and have a great respect for each other.’’
It is very common for children of divorced parents to encourage them to get back together again, says Moore.
“There are obviously exceptions, but, in my 20 years of experience, I have found that most children long to see their parents together,’’ he says.
“Beatrice and Eugenie will want to know why they broke up in the beginning, and maybe won’t truly understand why their parents did separate.’’