PRINCE Harry and his girlfriend Cressida Bonas have split up, but remain “the best of friends” after calling time on their two year relationship.
Speculation had been growing in recent months that the 29-year-old who is fourth in line to the throne and 25-year-old Cressida would marry.
“It’s very, very sad that they have decided to split. It’s very amicable but they have decided to go their separate ways,” a source close to the couple said yesterday.
Rumours that Cressida was “the one” for Harry gathered pace in March when she joined the prince at one of his official engagements for the first time. They sat together and embraced in the stands at Wembley Arena at a We Day UK charity event.
The source said one of the reasons they decided to end their relationship was to enable Cressida to concentrate on her career. She now has a marketing job in London’s West End
Cressida is also thought to have disliked the attention she faced while dating a member of the Royal Family as rumours of a possible engagement escalated.
The couple will be hoping their split will end the media interest in Cressida and allow her to focus on her work life.
But the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge broke up briefly and amicably during their long-term relationship, four years before they married, which is likely to prompt suggestions that Harry and Cressida’s decision to separate may be temporary.
News of Harry and Cressida’s split came on the day that William and Kate celebrated their third wedding anniversary.
Harry and Cressida, who headed off on a skiing trip together to Kazakhstan last month, are said to have been introduced by the prince’s cousin and Cressida’s friend Princess Eugenie. They began dating in May 2012.
Well connected in high-society circles, aristocratic Cressida is the daughter of Old Harrovian businessman Jeffrey Bonas and Sixties “it girl” Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon.
Cressida’s half sister is Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, who is now married to Sam Branson, the son of tycoon Sir Richard Branson.
Harry and Cressida holidayed on Sir Richard’s Caribbean Necker Island for Sam’s birthday in the summer of 2012.
The prince headed to Afghanistan for a tour of duty and was reunited with Cressida on his return in January 2013, setting off for a ski break with Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Sarah, Duchess of York and the Duke of York. Harry and Cressida were spotted hugging on the slopes.
A summer of festivals and gigs in 2013 saw the pair spending more and more time together, including a weekend at the Queen’s private Sandringham retreat in Norfolk. Rumours of an engagement started to surface just 18 months after they began dating.
In January this year, Kensington Palace announced that Harry had switched the focus of his military career from a combat role flying Apache helicopters to a desk job helping to organise major ceremonial events involving the army as a staff officer at HQ London District.
The post enabled Harry to focus on staging the Paralympic-style Invictus Games in the UK, but also meant he was able to see more of Cressida.
His most serious previous girlfriend was Chelsy Davy, with whom he had a long-distance relationship while he was training in the army and overseas and while Chelsy was at university in South Africa. They split and reunited a number of times.