Prince Harry and his girlfriend Cressida Bonas were photographed in public together for the second time in three days yesterday at a rugby match.
The couple, who have previously taken great care to make sure they are not photographed together, can be in little doubt that their sudden spate of public appearances and PDAs will do little to dampen down speculation that the UK could be on the verge of another royal wedding.
Cressida was casually dressed with her nails painted black.
However friends of the young royals have told the Royalist that while the couple are serious, talk of an engagement is “premature".
Cressida is said to be the driving force behind their decision to appear in public together.
However, British bookmakers disagree with the voices of caution, and have been slashing the odds of an engagement announcement being made in 2014.
And it is true that the Prince, at the age of 29, is rapidly approaching an age by which most male members of the royal family are already married.
Ms. Bonas, who is now 24, would no longer be regarded as too young to wed.
Whilst sources continue to urge restraint on predictions that an engagement announcement is imminent, one thing is for sure; the couple would certainly not be appearing together if they had ruled out marriage.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's diarist Sebastian Shakespeare reports that Prince Harry is planning to take Cressida Bonas to Balmoral this summer.Any visit to the Queen’s Scottish retreat would likely involve a meeting with Her Majesty.Kate Middleton and her parents were invited to join Prince William on a private shooting party at Balmoral in October 2010, a month before William and Kate’s engagement was announced.
The appearance yesterday at the rugby match, in which England beat Wales 29/18, came after Miss Bonas, accompanied Prince Harry to the launch of We Day UK, a young people's charity event at Wembley Arena. She was even seen kissing Harry in public.
Two years ago, shortly after Prince Harry had begun dating Cressida, he told a US TV network, "that it was difficult to find somebody willing to take on the role" of being his girlfriend.
Those comments came after the abrupt ending of his only previous long-term relationship, with Zimbabwe-born Chelsea Davy, who was scared off after the royal wedding of William and Kate. She told Harry that she did not want to live in the goldfish bowl of Royal family life.
Harry was therefore determined to protect Cressida from public exposure until she was ready to cope with it.
His patience appears to have paid off.
Cressida is the daughter of Sixties model Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, and she met the Prince through his cousin Princess Eugenie, who is part of her social circle. Cressida has four siblings and half-siblings, including Isabella, who was once romantically linked to the Duke of Cambridge, and is now married to Sam Branson.