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Why Did Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas Break Up? An Investigation

Apr 30 2014 - 4:49pm

This week we got some good news and some bad news. First, the good news: Prince Harry is single again. Let your fantasies go wild. The bad news? We won't be seeing another royal wedding [1] anytime soon. After finding out that Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas were no more [2] after two years of dating, royal watchers started asking why. Let's examine the different explanations for the breakup between the prince and the 25-year-old dancer and find out which is the most plausible.

Theory A: She Was Too Needy

This was the first explanation floated by People magazine, and it seems plausible. Harry is one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, so it makes sense that Cressida might be insecure. Plus, at 29, he's still relatively young and might have other things he wants to focus on, like his military career or royal duties. People quoted a source close to the prince:

"He found her too needy, and it just wasn't working out."

Theory B: Cressida Was Fed Up With the Attention

Not everyone is as prepared for the royal spotlight as Kate Middleton, who was able to get to know Prince William at university, where the press left him alone for the most part. Reporter Tom Skyes wrote a column on The Daily Beast that refuted People [3]'s claim that Harry wanted someone less emotionally dependent, and instead said it was Cressida who wanted to end things:

"Friends of Cressida Bonas today told the Royalist that the pressure of being constantly followed by photographers and journalists inquiring into her private life had pushed her to end her relationship with Prince Harry. 'She just got fed up with it,' said one. 'She and Harry are very fond of each other, but she wants to have her own life.'"

The article continued:

"Pressure on Cressida has been ramped up ever since she and Harry made a public appearance together at a youth event at Wembley Stadium, and were pictured kissing and cuddling as they sat together in the crowd."

And went on:

"Just this week, for example, Cressida was photographed by paparazzi as she purchased a juice at a London juice bar. The office in central London's Soho district, where she works as a PA, has been regularly staked out by paparazzi, as has the apartment she shares with friends."

Theory C: She Wanted to Focus on Her Career

With her flower crowns and love for scrunchies, Cressida has been described as a independent woman who was having trouble deciding between her career and joining the royal family. Perhaps the taste of royal life helped her make up her mind. The Daily Beast reported on the idea:

"It should be noted that friends have previously said that for all the speculation in the press about whether or not she and Harry would announce their engagement this year, Cressida had no plans and no desire to get married at such a young age. She was said to be wrestling with the knowledge that she would have to choose between a career as an actor and dancer or life in the royal family."

It is indeed hard to imagine an actress as the wife of a prince.

Theory D: Kate Vetoed Cressida

Cressida's half-sister Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe was once romantically linked to Prince William — apparently he had an unrequited crush on her back in the day. In 2007, other "sources" reported that Isabella was the one woman Kate "simply could not bear." [4] Kate's role in the royal family is growing, so perhaps she used her influence to discourage Harry from pursuing the relationship with the sister of her former "rival."

Winner: Theory B

There were reports back in March that Cressida was playing hard to get [5] and did not want to get married, so we're inclined to believe she ended it or that it was at least mutual. Prince Harry himself has admitted that his royal status can turn off women — believe it or not. In a 2012 interview with CBS [6], Harry said any girl who has dated him will tell you that royal life is not exactly what you'd expect from the fairy tales. Still, Harry said he holds out hope that the woman he ends up with will be prepared for the challenges. He explained at the time, "I'm 27 years old and not so much searching for someone to fulfill the role but obviously [hoping to find] someone who would be willing to take it on."

Prince Harry will be 30 in September, and we hope he finds that special someone soon. Just not on the upcoming Fox reality show I Wanna Marry Harry [7].

As for the Kate theory, there were previous reports that she was being supportive of Harry, and Cressida's half-sister Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe is now happily married to Sam Branson, Sir Richard Branson's son. Veteran royal reporter Richard Palmer [8] also dispelled the neediness theory, saying friends of Prince Harry said it was untrue and that her friends called her "the least needy person in the world." Considering sources close to Harry are painting Cressida in a good light, this might not be the last we see of her. Kate took time off from William before they got married and also had a job working for a jewelry line and her parents' business. Only time will tell.

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