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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Source: Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Source: Getty Images

Why Is Prince Harry's Ex, Cressida Bonas, Still Close to the Royal Family?

Gaone Pule
Jul 02, 2024
09:17 A.M.
  • Cressida Bonas remains intertwined with the Royal Family post-breakup.
  • Bonas's career and personal life have flourished since parting ways with Prince Harry.
  • The enduring friendship between Bonas and Princess Eugenie highlights a lasting royal connection.
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Prince Harry's current life in the United States with his wife Meghan Markle contrasts sharply with his cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie's experiences within the royal fold.

Princess Beatrice, Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie during Trooping The Color on June 16, 2012 in London. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Beatrice, Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie during Trooping The Color on June 16, 2012 in London. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Color on June 13, 2015 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Color on June 13, 2015 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie at the Eventing Cross Country Equestrian event on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on July 30, 2012 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie at the Eventing Cross Country Equestrian event on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on July 30, 2012 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Despite the physical distance and the reported family tensions, a family insider disclosed, "They're still the best of friends and talk constantly."

Meanwhile, Cressida Bonas, a model who previously dated the Prince, has navigated her path with a grace that belies the challenges of royal association.

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Cressida Bonas attends the Vanity Fair EE Rising Star party at The Baptist at L'oscar Hotel on January 31, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas attends the Vanity Fair EE Rising Star party at The Baptist at L'oscar Hotel on January 31, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Her career leap illustrates her commitment to professional growth over royal life. Per reports, just eight months after she ended her relationship with Prince Harry to concentrate on her career, Bonas was hired as the new face of Mulberry.

Bonas's life is interwoven with notables and royalty, a testament to her heritage and the circles she moves in. Her mother Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon is the daughter of the late Earl Howe, who was married to her entrepreneur father, Jeffrey Bonas for six years.

Cressida Bonas and Prince Harry attend We Day UK at Wembley Arena on March 7, 2014 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas and Prince Harry attend We Day UK at Wembley Arena on March 7, 2014 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Notably, Bonas's presence at the wedding of her sister, Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe to filmmaker Branson, alongside Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie in March 2013, attests to her seamless fit within the royal milieu and her close relations with the family.

The narrative of the actress and Prince Harry's relationship adds a layer of fascination to her story. Introduced by Princess Eugenie in May 2012, their romance blossomed against the backdrop of royal duties and the global stage.

Cressida Bonas arrives for the WE Day event on March 7, 2014 in London. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas arrives for the WE Day event on March 7, 2014 in London. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry recounted the day he met Bonas, sharing that Princess Eugenie tapped him on his shoulder and said, “’Harry, this is my friend Cressida.’ The setting was inauspicious. Lots of people, zero privacy,” added the royal.

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The duo’s first date together was “awkward,” and he described their first kiss as “painfully awkward.” Prince Harry called Princess Eugenie the next morning, telling her his first date with Bonas had gone well but that “the ending left something to be desired,” and she agreed. The royal and Bonas went on another dinner date days later.

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However, there was added pressure on Bonas, who was thrust into the limelight by dating the Prince and had to choose between marrying into the royal family and pursuing her acting and modeling career.

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One of the “Tulip Fever” star’s friends revealed in an October 2013 interview, that she and Prince Harry were set to marry. The pal divulged:

“Harry never stops talking about marriage and children, and she has now got used to the idea. The wedding is likely to take place next year.”

Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas look on during the RBS Six Nations match at Twickenham Stadium on March 9, 2014 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas look on during the RBS Six Nations match at Twickenham Stadium on March 9, 2014 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Still, Bonas, then 24, was reportedly opposed to the idea of marriage at such a young age and was constantly in tears knowing the Prince was ready to take on such a big step. When the royal was sent to war in Afghanistan, he phoned Bonas regularly and pleaded with her to “wait for him.”

Prince Harry salutes as the Last Post is played during a Remembrance Sunday service at Kandahar Airfield on November 9, 2014 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry salutes as the Last Post is played during a Remembrance Sunday service at Kandahar Airfield on November 9, 2014 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. | Source: Getty Images

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Cressida Bonas looks at The Invictus Games closing ceremony concert at The Olympic Park on September 15, 2014 | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas looks at The Invictus Games closing ceremony concert at The Olympic Park on September 15, 2014 | Source: Getty Images

During their relationship, Prince Harry was vulnerable with her and even cried for the first time about his late mother, Princess Diana, since her burial. He remembered wiping his tears and thanking Bonas for being there for him.

Prince William and Prince Harry bow their heads during Princess Diana's funeral procession in Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997  | Source: Getty Images

Prince William and Prince Harry bow their heads during Princess Diana's funeral procession in Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997 | Source: Getty Images

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The exes’ relationship lasted for two years before it reportedly ended in 2014, marked by mutual respect and affection. Upon the announcement of their split, they were said to have remained “the best of friends.”

Cressida Bonas and Prince Harry attend We Day UK at Wembley Arena on March 7, 2014 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas and Prince Harry attend We Day UK at Wembley Arena on March 7, 2014 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

The two were last seen together in December 2017, when they attended the Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund Carol concert and St. Luke’s Church in London.

Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas watch the match during the Six Nations International rugby Union match at Twickenham on March 9, 2014 in London. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas watch the match during the Six Nations International rugby Union match at Twickenham on March 9, 2014 in London. | Source: Getty Images

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Their split, while amicable, did not sever Bonas's ties to the royals, as evidenced by her attendance at Prince Harry's wedding to Markle in May 2018, and her continued close relationship with Princess Eugenie.

Cressida Bonas arrives at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding at St George's Chapel on May 19, 2018 at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas arrives at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding at St George's Chapel on May 19, 2018 at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession on their wedding day on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession on their wedding day on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Isabella Calthorpe and Sam Branson attend the "End of Silence" charity event at Abbey Road Studios on June 1, 2016 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Isabella Calthorpe and Sam Branson attend the "End of Silence" charity event at Abbey Road Studios on June 1, 2016 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

The TV star, who has been “labeled” because of her past with the Prince, even commented on his wife Markle in a January 2020 interview, when asked whether she felt for her regarding the criticism she receives. Bonas said:

“I wouldn’t take a position on that because it would be a headline. Also out of respect. It feels like a long time ago. When it comes up it feels strange because I’m in a different place.”

Meghan Markle during a trip to Northern Ireland on March 23, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Island. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle during a trip to Northern Ireland on March 23, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Island. | Source: Getty Images

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Isabella Calthorpe and Cressida Bonas arrive for the WE Day event on March 7, 2014 in London. | Source: Getty Images

Isabella Calthorpe and Cressida Bonas arrive for the WE Day event on March 7, 2014 in London. | Source: Getty Images

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Born into a lineage of distinction, Bonas's familial ties and aristocratic background have undoubtedly shaped her. Post-breakup, Bonas has emerged as a figure of resilience and purpose. Her reflections on life since parting ways with Prince Harry reveal a woman of depth and conviction. In a June 2020 interview, she said:

"I think I have grown confident and fortunately I have learnt not to sweat the small stuff too much.”

Cressida Bonas attends the wedding of Jake Warren and Zoe Stewart in the Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on December 14, 2013 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas attends the wedding of Jake Warren and Zoe Stewart in the Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on December 14, 2013 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Bonas went on to marry Harry Wentworth-Stanley, whose stepfather, the Marquess of Milford Haven, is a cousin of the Queen. They are college sweethearts who studied at Leeds University.

Bonas wed Wentworth-Stanley in a country wedding, in July 2020, marking a new chapter in her life. The pair married during lockdown with 30 guests in attendance who practiced social distancing.

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It was not what the lovebirds had envisioned for their big day, but it was an intimate and special occasion. “Imperfect, yet perfect – a day we will never forget,” said Bonas.

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Harry Wentworth-Stanley, Isaac Carew, Caroline Sharp and Cressida Bonas attend Krug Festival "Into The Wild" at The Grange, Hampshire, on July 29, 2017 in Northington, United Kingdom. | Source: Getty Images

Harry Wentworth-Stanley, Isaac Carew, Caroline Sharp and Cressida Bonas attend Krug Festival "Into The Wild" at The Grange, Hampshire, on July 29, 2017 in Northington, United Kingdom. | Source: Getty Images

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Bonas, along with Prince Harry’s first love, Chelsy Davy, attended Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank in October 2018. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also in attendance.

Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie leaving St George's Chapel after their wedding ceremony on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie leaving St George's Chapel after their wedding ceremony on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Cressida Bonas attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

Ahead of the nuptials, it was reported that Prince Harry might be unoptimistic about bumping into two of his exes, whom he is not on speaking terms with.

Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie drive from Crathie Church on September 18, 2016 in Crathie, Scotland. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie drive from Crathie Church on September 18, 2016 in Crathie, Scotland. | Source: Getty Images

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The friendship between Bonas and Princess Eugenie exemplifies the lasting nature of their bond and transcends the mere association through Prince Harry.

The two friends attended two royal weddings together in 2013, went to the Invictus Games closing ceremony the following year, went to see the private view of "Radical Presence" in 2016, and attended Louis Vuitton's Celebration of GingerNutz in 2017.

Princess Eugenie and Cressida Bonas attend the wedding of Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Rupert Finch at the church of St John the Baptist on June 8, 2013 in Cirencester, England. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Eugenie and Cressida Bonas attend the wedding of Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Rupert Finch at the church of St John the Baptist on June 8, 2013 in Cirencester, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie attend the wedding of Melissa Percy and Thomas van Straubenzee at Alnwick Castle on June 22, 2013 in Alnwick, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie attend the wedding of Melissa Percy and Thomas van Straubenzee at Alnwick Castle on June 22, 2013 in Alnwick, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie attend a private view of "Radical Presence" at The Unit on July 5, 2016 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie attend a private view of "Radical Presence" at The Unit on July 5, 2016 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie of York attend Louis Vuitton's celebration of GingerNutz in Vogue's December Issue on November 21, 2017 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie of York attend Louis Vuitton's celebration of GingerNutz in Vogue's December Issue on November 21, 2017 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

They were recently seen together for the first time since King Charles’ cancer diagnosis. Princess Eugenie and one of her best friends went to Walmer Castle pub and were pictured embracing before going their separate ways.

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Bonas supported Princess Eugenie of York in November 2023 when she attended her event, at The Anti-Slavery Collective’s inaugural Winter Gala.

Julia de Boinwille, Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie of York attend The Anti Slavery Collective's inaugural Winter Gala at Battersea Arts Centre on November 29, 2023 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Julia de Boinwille, Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie of York attend The Anti Slavery Collective's inaugural Winter Gala at Battersea Arts Centre on November 29, 2023 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Bonas’ enduring ties to the Royal Family, particularly with Princess Eugenie, is a bond that goes beyond past romances to embody the lasting nature of true friendship and mutual respect.

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