David M. Benett/Getty
August 08, 2016 07:15 AM

Princess Beatrice and her longtime boyfriend Dave Clark have split after nearly a decade of dating.

A friend tells PEOPLE, “It is very much a break. It is amicable and mutual. They both need space after a period of ten years to see what they both want.”

That means they will still be talking and in theory could reunite.

“They are both open-minded about what might happen in the future,” the source adds.

That has led to speculation that they may, in some way, be following the route of Beatrice’s cousin Prince William who split from the then Kate Middleton only to reunite a few months later and move towards marriage.

The friend denies there was an ultimatum from Beatrice, who turned 28 today, about settling down. The source suggests that the princess and Clark will be talking about whether they have a future together “once they have had time apart.”

“Her family are both open minded and supportive. They both need space and lets see where it goes from here.”

Want to keep up with the latest royals coverage? Click here to subscribe to the Royals Newsletter.

Beatrice’s family, including sister Princess Eugenie and parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, are reportedly “completely shocked” by the news.

Beatrice’s cousin Prince William introduced the couple after they met during a study abroad program at the University of Edinburgh. They met for the first time at a birthday party held by Sean Brosnan, son of Pierce, and the two hit it off immediately.

The duo were often spotted out in London and even ran the London Marathon together in 2010.

Princess Beatrice even moved to San Francisco and then New York City to be with her boyfriend as he climbed the ranks with taxi app Uber.

Until the birth of Princess Charlotte, Princess Beatrice was sixth in line to the throne and required to ask permission from the Queen before accepting a proposal of marriage.

Princess Beatrice’s mother couldn’t have been happier with her daughter’s partner.

“I call him Mr. Smiley,” Ferguson told PEOPLE in 2008, “because he smiles and he’s happy. I love Dave. He’s cool.”

“I’m really proud that he’s with Beatrice,” she added. “Beatrice is so special, it takes someone very nice to be with her – to appreciate how good she is.”

You May Like

EDIT POST