Fergie, who has recently been loving posting pictures of herself with her ex on Instagram, made a hasty retreat when the Duke arrived and was spotted catching a British Airways light from Aberdeen Airport.
Rules around Sarah’s attendance at Balmoral began to be relaxed about six years ago, and she has rarely been apart from Prince Andrew of recent months.
‘In previous years the duchess has left the day before the Queen’s husband arrives,’ an insider told the Daily Mail.
‘This year he arrived yesterday, several days earlier than expected, which is rather strange, so the duchess left.’
Fergie had been expected to spend as much as a week at the historic estate with Andrew and their daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Fergie and Andrew have been a high-profile item of late, seemingly escalating their apparent affections even as the Prince’s name is increasingly linked to the Jeffrey Epstein sex slave scandal.
He has denied accusations he indulged in sex sessions with underaged girls, allegedly supplied to him by deceased US billionaire Epstein.