Joking with disabled veterans on a visit to promote the Paralympic-style Invictus Games, which begin in less than 100 days, Prince Harry was in great form on Thursday.
Testing the strength of athletes’ abs, and jokingly manhandling their six-packs, this was the Harry we know and love, firmly in his element, at one with the military boys and girls.
He’s witty, handsome, fun—and there’s an estimated £12m in the bank inherited from his mother Diana. He should be a catch.
So why the hell can’t Prince Harry find himself a serious girlfriend?
It would seem the state of singledom in which Harry has been—a few flings aside—ever since he was dumped by Cressida Bonas almost two years ago, is beginning to get to him.
Harry, 31, reportedly told his friend, the TV presenter Denise Van Outen at their mutual friend Anneke von Trotha Taylor’s birthday party in London last week, “I’m not dating and for the first time ever I want to find a wife.”
The alleged comment tallies closely with anecdotal comments relayed to the Royalist, which paint a picture of an increasingly isolated prince, apparently eager outwardly to advertise his readiness to settle down and get married, yet still lured by the pleasures—and lack of responsibility—of the single prince’s life.
“Harry will tell anyone who will listen that he is fed up with being single,” says a member of his set, “But girls are wary about dating him.”
Harry very publicly announced his wife search when he told Sky News in an interview last year: “There come times when you think now is the time to settle down ... but I don’t think you can force these things. It will happen when it’s going to happen. I would love to have kids right now, but there is a process one has to go through. Hopefully I’m doing all right by myself. It would be great to have someone next to me to share the pressure but the time will come and whatever happens, happens.”
While there was a sweet kind of naivety to Harry’s, “I want a wife” statement, one has to wonder if it was really the smartest move. By drawing attention both to his lack of a fiancée and his desire to have one, he has invited pressure, and brought on himself the role of the male Jennifer Aniston—endlessly pitied in the media as ‘lonely Harry.’
While Harry is not in love, the truth is he’s far from lonely, although he is one of the last of his group to be un-betrothed. His chief cohort, Tom Inskip, recently got engaged, while pals Charlie Gilkes and Guy Pelly have both got married.
Even mega-rich filmmaker Arthur Landon, another old buddy from Eton, is reportedly engaged to Alessandra Balazs, the daughter of hotelier Andre.
Harry is a very sociable young man, and has lots of mates who are incredibly loyal to him. He has, mercifully, developed a knack for staying below the radar (and off camera) when out and about in London, but the odd story still leaks out--for example the Sun recently wrote about Harry and his friends on a night out at Soho Farmhouse, the new Soho House outpost in Oxfordshire.
The paper quoted a source as saying, “Initially they were drinking at a big table inside. But at about midnight they moved outside to play beer pong in the hotel’s courtyard. They stayed up until 2:30 am and were causing quite a racket, but no one had the guts to tell them to keep the noise down as it was Prince Harry.
“One of the girls had a flamboyant multi-colored fake fur coat which Harry nabbed and strutted around in. Everyone was having a whale of a time.”
This sounds about par for the course.
Some of his acquaintances suspect that Harry is actually hoping to reunite with one of his exes, and note that William broke up with Kate before reuniting with her.
There have certainly been credible reports received by the Royalist that Harry’s break-up with Cressida was not as cut-and-dried as it might have seemed.
Although, as one friend says, “she is dating someone else now,” Harry and Cressie did get together on several occasions after the big, public split, and few of Harry’s circle would be willing to rule out a long term reconciliation.
The two were very much in love when they were dating, and their split came as a huge surprise to courtiers and friends alike.
The same could equally be said of Chelsy Davy, for whom many suspect he still holds a candle.
So why, despite his apparent wilingness to do so, can’t Harry get hitched?
The oft-rehearsed part of the problem is that few of the rich, young and often titled women Harry hangs out with are prepared to contemplate the sacrifice of privacy that life in the royal goldfish bowl would entail.
But this is only half the story, sources say, who tell the Royalist that Harry is still acting like an adolescent in many ways.
And it’s not just the boozy nights out with his pals. The other word that one consistently hears from those who know him when Harry is the subject of conversation is ‘immaturity.’
The truth is that Harry may still have to do some growing up before he ties the knot.