Once there were high hopes their fairy-tale romance would give the nation another Royal Wedding to celebrate.

But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Princess Beatrice has ended her relationship with long-term boyfriend Dave Clark.

Members of the Royal Family are said to be 'shocked and saddened' by the news that Beatrice, the Duke of York's eldest daughter, and her boyfriend of ten years have parted.

I understand the couple quietly called time on their romance a month ago after the failure of long and exasperated 'make or break' talks - centred on whether or not they should get married. A source close to Beatrice, 27, told The Mail on Sunday last night: 'After ten years together, Beatrice and Dave had to wonder why they were not married.

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'They talked it through and decided to take time apart to reflect on the future. They remain friends and the decision to break up was mutual.'

Beatrice's family, including sister Princess Eugenie and parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, are said to be 'completely shocked' by the news. Sarah, the Duchess of York, in particular is said to feel as though she has lost a son.

Another source said: 'Sarah considers Dave to be part of the family. She is very sad it didn't work out. They have been together longer than many marriages last.' Other branches of the family are likely to be less devastated by the news. Rumours have long circulated that Prince William did not approve of the relationship and demonstrated his dislike of Dave, 32, by refusing to invite him to the Royal Wedding in 2011. He is said to have considered Dave an 'indiscreet' addition to the extended family and was opposed to the prospect of his little cousin marrying him.

But pressure for Dave to propose intensified in May last year after the birth of Princess Charlotte pushed Beatrice down to seventh in line to the Throne, meaning she no longer had to seek permission to marry from the Queen, who would most probably have taken William's advice on the matter.

It was thought the Succession of Crown Act, which requires the first six in line to the Throne to seek Royal approval, had been the stumbling block. But when Dave failed to propose for more than a year after Charlotte was born, Beatrice decided to address the problem head-on. The source added: 'Beatrice has become a lot more assertive and confident recently. She gave Dave an ultimatum, but it backfired because he did not ask her to marry him. They both agreed that with no marriage in their future, it was time to go separate ways.

'They had a very co-dependent relationship, so they haven't yet managed to completely cut off contact. They speak occasionally and they sometimes refer to the split as 'a break'. But it has been over for a month now and there doesn't seem to be any reconciliation on the cards.'

In the past year, Beatrice has followed Dave to both coasts of America as he pursued his career with taxi app Uber.

She enrolled in a finance course in San Francisco, where Uber has its headquarters, before taking an investment banking job in Manhattan where Dave is based. Last week it was reported Beatrice left the company a month ago - around the time she and Dave parted ways. She has remained in New York and is working for friends at a consultancy.