As many people know, Prince Harry is currently married to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. However, before he and Meghan tied the knot, Harry had other high-profile relationships. Most notably, he dated someone who was deemed to be the “most suitable” person for him. Yet, why did Harry not marry this person?
Who was considered the ‘most suitable’ person Prince Harry dated?
From 2012 to 2014, Harry dated Cressida Bonas, who was called the “most suitable” woman for Harry by royal biographer Chris Hutchins. Bonas got this label because of her aristocratic background.
“Cressida’s love for Harry came not from the fact he was the Queen’s grandson,” Hutchins said in a documentary, as reported by Express. “She wasn’t interested in that ‒ she comes from a very grand ancestry herself.”
Bonas’ mother is Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, the daughter of an English earl. The Curzon family has been a part of British aristocracy for centuries. Meanwhile, Bonas’ father is Jeffrey Bonas, whose family owns textile mills. Jeffrey is also the chairman of haberdashery MacCulloch & Wallis. Bonas’ half-sister, actor Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, was once linked to Prince William.
Harry and Cressida met through Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie. The couple dated for two years before breaking up.
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According to Hutchins, Harry “would have married her for sure by now.” However, things broke down for the couple because Bonas did not enjoy the constant media attention that followed her relationship with Harry.
Royal author Robert Lacey wrote in his book Battle of Brothers that Bonas had a revelation when she saw Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge take their 8-month-old son on a royal tour.
“In 2014, she was said to have been ‘completely spooked’ after watching the TV coverage of William and Kate touring New Zealand with baby George in tow,” Lacey wrote, according to the Daily Star. “That was not the way she would want to enjoy her eight-month-old son, she regretfully explained to Harry.”
The couple broke up soon after, though Bonas was invited to Harry’s wedding when he wed Meghan in 2018. Bonas tied the knot in the summer of 2020 with property investor Harry Wentworth-Stanley, whom she briefly dated in college.
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Fortunately for Harry, he did manage to find a wife who did not shy away from press attention. Meghan was an actor before meeting Harry and was used to being in front of the camera. In fact, she even reportedly used to hire paparazzi to take pictures of her to get her name out there.
Lacey also claimed that Meghan helped Harry in realizing his role as a royal “spare.”
“I mean, clearly the royal plan and expectation was that Harry would marry a nice, interesting girl called Henrietta or Annabel and go and live in the country and be happy with the role of spare, just as he had been very loyally during the early years of the marriage of William and Kate,” Lacey said, as reported by Yahoo. “[Meghan] offered a more challenging and inspiring and creative destiny than being his brother’s perpetual backup.”
In early 2020, Harry and Meghan stepped down from their roles as senior royals. The couple moved to California to pursue a more private life and began their transition towards financial independence from the royal family. They signed a Netflix deal to produce content for the streaming content as well as a podcast deal with Spotify. Harry and Meghan have also been working on establishing their own charitable organization.