Speculation is growing fast that Prince Harry might be seriously thinking about popping the question to his girlfriend Cressida Bonas after she spent the weekend with him, alone, at Sandringham. Prince Harry, 29 and Cressida, 24, have been dating now for more than a year, after his split from long term partner Chelsy Davy. Harry and Cressida were introduced by the Prince’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, and very soon became seen out together regularly. They were skiing in Verbier earlier in the year and spent a summer holiday with friends in Botswana.
Recent dates have seen the pair on nights out in London, enjoying the musical The Book of Mormon, and fellow ex-soldier James Blunt’s concert. Royal watchers were expecting to see Miss Bonas at Prince George’s Christening last week, but although she is said to have been invited, she was a no-show at the small and private event.
Although neither the queen nor Prince Philip were present at Sandringham as the royal romantics partied over the weekend, the fact that Harry is taking Cressida to his grandmother’s Norfolk sanctuary is a sure sign that he has got her approval. The couple were there for three days in total, partaking in traditional British countryside pursuits, like shooting and fishing. This is not the first time that Cressida has been to Sandringham and going there is seen as a final step in the process of being accepted by the senior Royals.
So who is this girl who has captured the heart of the scallywag young Prince Harry? The pretty blonde is a dancer, and she comes from society stock, being the daughter of Lady Mary Curzon, a renowned beauty in the 1960’s. Lady Mary has had five children with three husbands, and Cressida is the child of her third, now divorced, husband, Jeffrey Bonas. Cressida is described by friends as “posh, bubbly” and also “terribly, terribly sweet.” It is pretty clear that Prince Harry is terribly sweet on her, but he will be cautious about frightening her away, after being in the media spotlight caused the demise his long and serious relationship with Chelsy. Sadly for Harry, this ended just before his brother’s wedding and he was said to be heartbroken, although it certainly did not stop him from spending much of the Big Day admiring the derriere of Pippa Middleton. To be fair, he was not alone in that activity.
So if Prince Harry now thinking about getting married himself, and mustering his courage to pop the question? Kensington Palace are keeping schtum and have declined to comment on the rumors, but many UK newspapers, including The Sun, have gone to town on the story, running the headline “Her Royal HighCress.”
It’s not so long ago that Prince Harry was bemoaning his single status on US television, and worrying that prospective girlfriends were put off by him being now fourth in line to the Throne. He had become somewhat stuck with a cheeky playboy image, owing to some of his more colourful antics, and seemed wistful about the thought of settling down. Finding someone “that would be willing to take it on” he mused, would be a challenge. Handsome Harry may now have found that dream girl.
One slight flaw in the course of this possible true love has been the concern that Kate Middleton, the person best placed to advise and counsel any future bride of Harry’s, has not been keen on Cressida. This may have something to do with the fact that Kate’s own beloved, Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, was once romantically linked to Cressida’s older sister, Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. Sources close to the royals deny this charge and claim that Kate and William are indeed “very fond” of Cressida. Kate would be an important ally for the shy young girl if she were to face the blaze of public attention that becoming Harry’s wife would bring, and now that she is a contented Mum to little Prince George, it is said she can put it behind her that Wills once had such a big crush on Isabella.
The weekend in Sandringham has certainly added fuel to the fire of the rumour mill that another royal engagement may be in the offing. Is Prince Harry planning on making Cressida his Princess? Whether cheeky Harry is about to pop the question or not, it is clear that this romance is serious and another royal wedding is not too distant a prospect.
By Kate Henderson