SEPARATE homes have often been cited as the secret to a happy marriage – but the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk appear to have made do with separate wings.

When the couple decided to start living separate lives in 2011, their Arundel Castle home meant neither had to move.

Instead they could simply retreat to opposite ends of the historic home.

The Duke living in the East Wing and the Duchess in the West Wing appears to have been the best solution – as they are now reportedly getting back together.

A source close to the couple told a national newspaper on Sunday: “It was totally unexpected.

“No-one could have predicted they would get back together, least of all the Queen, who is absolutely thrilled.”

When the couple split, the Duke released a statement saying they had decided to have a trial separation and “wish to make it clear there is nobody else involved.”.

Their split was the talk of Arundel as well as influential families, including the royals, around the country.

“Everyone of any importance in the town has known about the situation,” one resident told a national newspaper at the time. “We all knew they were going to say that it was only a trial separation, but in fact we think it’s going to be permanent.”

It was believed the staunch Catholics were unlikely to get divorced, but friends are now reportedly stunned they are back together. At their wedding in 1987, held at Arundel Cathedral and attended by guests including Princess Diana, the Duke said: “I believe in marriage. When you stand up in front of 800 people and take vows, they’re not lightly broken.”

The Duke, 59, is a descendant of Edward I, a crossbench peer in the House of Lords and president of the Arundel and Littlehampton District Scouts Group.

He is also Earl Marshal, making him responsible for organising the State Opening of Parliament, the funeral of the Sovereign and accession and coronation ceremonies.

The Duchess, 54, worked as a paint specialist at Colefax and Fowler, designers and distributors of furnishing fabrics, and now helps numerous charities.

They have five children, Henry, Rachel, Thomas, Isabel and Phillip, and are believed to have reconciled while planning Henry’s wedding.


THE Norfolks have long been one of the most powerful families in the country.

In particular they were influential during Tudor times, one of the most significant and turbulent periods of English history.

Thomas Howard, the third duke of Norfolk, was one of Henry VIII’s most trusted friends.

He was also the uncle to two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and he played a major role in organising both marriages. However, he fell from favour in 1546 and was imprisoned in the Tower.

Among the other prominent Dukes was Prince Richard of Shrewsbury who was the son of Edward IV, the first Yorkist King. The next Duke, John Howard, was at the heart of one of the most important battles in English history.

He was an ally of Richard III in the War of the Roses between the house of York and house of Lancaster. He went into battle with Richard at Bosworth Field, where they were both killed.

This resulted in the start of the Tudor dynasty which changed history. The seat of the Duke is Arundel Castle. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a medieval castle but a remodelled version of what originally stood. The original structure dates from 1067 but following damage in the Civil War, it was restored in the 18th and 19th centuries.