Sources have told the Daily Beast that Prince Harry is still secretly dating Cressida Bonas.
The relationship is being kept under the strictest of wraps. None but the closest friends in Harry and Cressida’s circle are party to the intimate details.
Although Harry has made no secret of the fact he would like to get married, and would indeed like to marry Cressida, rumors that the two are engaged are wide of the mark.
Even going public once again with the status of their relationship is a no-no: Cressida has no intention of being pinned down to royal life for now, preferring instead to see how things work out. She is only 26, and Harry is 30.
In all likelihood, the only scenario in which they would allow themselves to once again be publicly identified as a couple would be if they were actively planning to marry and publicly announce their engagement.
Harry and Cressida have never been quite as ‘separated’ as they have allowed the media to believe.
The Daily Beast has learned that they have spent several nights together since their well-publicized break-up last summer, when Cressida refused to go to Guy Pelly’s wedding in Memphis.
Cressida was the guest of honor at Harry’s 30th birthday party at Clarence House, which featured a risque burlesque performance.
This party for Harry’s intimate circle came just a few days after she and Harry were photographed leaving a cinema together.
Cressida sauntered into Harry’s party shortly before midnight, having taken care to throw the media off her track by attending and being photographed at a very public fashion party on the other side of town earlier in the evening.
The ruse worked and her attendance at the party went unreported.
There was also some surprise when she appeared to support Harry in public at the launch of the Invictus Games project, and he has returned the favor by attending at least two of her plays.
If Cressida and Harry really are still an item, it raises the interesting possibility that Harry’s totally uncharacteristic declaration in a Sky News interview that he was actively looking for a wife, or, “someone next to me” as he put it, was nothing more than a smokescreen.
It was certainly an uncharacteristic outburst for the usually private prince.
And one can quite see the logic in Harry and Cressida conducting their relationship under the radar, if that is indeed what they are doing.
This way, Cressida can continue to pursue her chosen career as a dancer and actor (she will be appearing alongside Cara Delevingne in the Weinstein-produced Tulip Fever later this year), without being accused of ‘cashing in’ on her royal connections.
There is no way, for example, that she could have accepted an offer to dance in a video for Mulberry if she was known to be dating Prince Harry.
In many ways, however, the possibility that the two are still dating goes back to the absolutely bizarre circumstances under which Harry and Cressida split at first.
After almost two years of dating each other on the quiet, meeting up at friends’ houses in Fulham and Shepherd’s Bush, and slipping in and out of events and parties in separate cars, they finally allowed themselves to be photographed together on March 7, 2014.
Harry was guest of honor at youth empowerment charity We Day, and engagement rumors went into overdrive when he sat with Cressida in the audience.
But by April 29, they had broken up—or ‘paused for a breather’ as sources at the palace briefed at the time. The immediate cause of the argument was apparently a disagreement over the arrangements for parties at their friend Guy Pelly’s wedding.
They are both impetuous characters, so it was not impossible to believe that a minor row—allegedly about whether or not Harry should go on a boy’s night out the evening before the wedding—could spiral into a bust-up showdown.
But, throughout last summer, the two were in frequent—some sources said “daily”—contact by phone and text message. They met up behind closed doors as well, on several occasions, the meetings sometimes facilitated by Harry’s cousin and Cressida’s close friend, Princess Eugenie.
Of the two, Harry was the keener to get the relationship going again. Cressida was said by friends to have been seriously “burnt” by the media intrusion she experienced, first when dating Harry, then when breaking up with him. A low point came when she was photographed by paparazzi crying in a Soho street after the break-up.
The possibility that these two young people are back together has also drawn comparisons to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s very public split in the spring of 2007. They got back together in the Autumn and never looked back.
Can it be that Harry believes that, as happened for his brother and Kate, true love can be made stronger and more permanent by the trauma of a short-lived break up?