February 22, 2013 · 0 Comments
Wedding bells in the air for Prince Harry as things get more serious with ‘girlfriend in waiting’ Cressida Bonas
Despite his playboy persona, Prince Harry has made no secret of his desire to settle down if he could find the the ‘right person’ who was ‘willing to take on the job’.
Now it seems he has found ‘The One’ in the form of Cressida Bonas, a member of the so called BBB Crew – Blue-Bloods And Blonde – who he has been dating since last year.
Despite being coy when quizzed about his love life while in Afghanistan at the end of last year, the Prince made no secret of his affection for the 24 year old beauty this week as they were pictured embracing on the slopes during a ski holiday with his uncle Prince Andrew and family.
Public display of affection: Prince Harry embraces Cressida Bonas on the ski slopes in Switzerland this week
In love: The couple are said to be ‘keen to spend as much time together as possible’
Family friend: Cressida, pictured with Sarah Ferguson, has long been acquainted with her princess daughters
Now the pair are set to attend the wedding of Cressida’s half-sister, Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, who is marrying Sir Richard Branson’s businessman son Sam in South Africa next week.
A source told today’s Sun that the Prince is keen to accompany Cressida to the wedding because: ‘Harry and Cressie are at the exciting stage of a relationship where they just want to spend as much time together as possible.’
Date night: The blue blood blonde was first linked to the Prince last May when they were seen leaving a night club together
Girlfriend in waiting: Prince Harry has been coy about their relationship until now
Wedding bells: The couple are due to attend the wedding of Sam Branson to Cressida’s half sister Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe
As any woman in a fledgling relationship will know, a beau agreeing to attend a family wedding with you is a promising sign of commitment.
So while Harry, 28, may be a long way from popping the question himself, his recent behaviour suggests he’s now prepared for Cressida to go from being his casual date to filling the role of royal girlfriend.
Indeed, before his trip to Afghanistan, friends of privately-educated Cressida had joked that she was his ‘girlfriend-in-waiting’.
Given the intense press interest in royal love lives and the impact Harry has seen it have on the life of his late mother Princess Diana, and more recently the Duchess of Cambridge, it’s no surprise he has wanted to shield Cressida from the public gaze for as long as possible.
Blue-blood: Cressida with her mother Lady Mary Gaye at the Macmillan Cancer Relief Dog Day held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea South Grounds in July 2003
The fact his long-term relationship with Chelsy Davy broke down because she wasn’t prepared for a life in the global spotlight could have also played on his mind.
But according to the Evening Standard’s royal correspondent, Robert Jobson, Harry’s public display of affection with Cressida this week was ‘a clear message of intent’ from the media savvy prince. That message being, ‘she’s my girl, and I don’t care who knows.’
While being the subject of global media attention is new to Cressida, mingling with the rich, famous and royal, is not.
She is friends with both Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, joining the former in the world record attempt to complete the London Marathon in a human caterpillar in 2010, while the latter is said to have introduced her to Harry.
Royal circles: Cressida Bonas (second from right) went to Ascot in 2010 with friends Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie
Record breaker: Cressida, bottom right, joined Princess Beatrice in a human caterpillar to complete the London Marathon in 2010
She is the daughter of renowned Sixties It girl Lady Mary Gaye Curzon (whose father was the 6th Earl Howe) and Old Harrovian Jeffrey Bonas (her mother’s third husband) owns a fabric company called MacCulloch & Wallis.
Her parents have racked up six marriages between them so Cressida has a number of half brothers and sisters including soon-to-be a Branson, Isabella, who was once admired by Prince William, and Gabriella Wilde, a model for Burberry.
Following her parent’s separation, Cressida continued to enjoy a privileged upbringing as her bohemian mother then married multi-millionaire Christopher Shaw.
Cressida attended �30,000-a-year Stowe School in Buckingham where she showed a flair for acting as well as sport.
She was said to be one of the most popular girls at the sixth form because of her zest for fun and free spirit.
Fun: The dance student, left and far right, loves music festivals and socialising with friends
‘It was non-stop laughter and mischief for two years,’ her school friend told the Daily Mail last year. ‘Our group of girls were all quite different and arty, which is more Cress.’
She then attended Leeds University where she studied for a degree in dance and had another boyfriend with royal connections – Harry Wentworth-Stanley – whose stepfather, George Milford Haven, is a cousin of the Queen.
Dancing is the blonde’s passion and she now studies contemporary dance at The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich.
In the spotlight: The world’s media will now be watching Cressida
She is said to dislike the London Sloane party scene usually popular with the upper classes and instead prefers letting her hair down at music festivals.
Her friends say, ‘when not in the studio she’s out on the tennis court or up a mountain with her skis.’
She’s also a fan of travelling, having spent time after university working in Australia, which would suit Prince Harry when he undertakes royal tours.
He lamented travelling solo last year to Jamaica for the Queen’s Jubilee saying: ‘I’ve always said that it’d probably be easier as a couple. I don’t have anyone. I wasn’t allowed to bring anybody with me.
Perhaps that won’t be the case for much longer now things are getting more serious with Cressida.
Pedigree: Cressida, left, with mother, sister Isabella and Isabella’s father
Former flame: Prince Harry split with Chelsy Davy because life with a royal wasn’t for her
Model in the family: Cressida’s half sister Gabriella Wilde has starred in a campaign for Burberry
By Emma Brown