Prince Harry is arguably the world’s most eligible bachelor, but it seems he’s finally ready to trade in his title for something a bit more … husbandy.
That’s right, whispers of a second royal wedding have been surrounding the “party prince” and his latest girlfriend, 24-year-old socialite and model Cressida Bonas. But don’t expect Britain’s bad boy to follow in his brother’s footsteps when it comes to choosing his princess bride. Even though Bonas already has blue blood running through her veins, her laid-back Bohemian looks and party-girl style are in sharp contrast to the polished perfection we’ve come to know and love from Kate Middleton.
Don’t know much about Bonas yet? Well, here’s the skinny: The couple was introduced back in May 2012 by Princess Eugenie, Harry’s cousin and Cressy’s BFF. The pair made their first public appearance a short time later at an after-party for the European premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. Bonas was simple and earthy in a fitted white long-sleeve knit dress with cobalt-blue nails and hair pulled back into small loose braids, which has, incidentally, become a signature look for the blond beauty.
Bonas is free spirit who loves music festivals and a good party but loathes the limelight. Fortunately, that's something her prince charming respectfully helps her avoid. Like Harry’s ex Chelsea Davy, Bonas is also a graduate of Leeds University where she studied modern dance, and now attends the Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London. Things became officially “official” last October when her face graced the cover of Tatler magazine, which is known as Britan’s “society bible.” Bonas’ natural beauty was on full display in a shot that was reminiscent of Ali MacGraw in all her '70s glory and we, along with Harry, became smitten.
At first glance, you’d guess Bonas was raised on a beachfront manse in Malibu and is just hanging out in London, studying on an exchange program. Few would argue with that assessment because Bonas looks more like a model from the latest Free People catalog than a classic British socialite. The artsy dancer definitely likes to keep things natural. She’s known for her unkempt beach-blond locks, fuller '80s eyebrows and an unfussy face with little to no makeup. And then there are the scrunchies. Harry’s bride-to-be loves a scrunchie and is not shy about rocking a messy side ponytail from time to time, too!
When it comes to style, Bonas is decidedly quirky and all over the map. Unlike her future sister-in-law, she doesn’t shy away from bold colors and patterns and often pairs printed maxidresses and jumpsuits with cropped jackets and the oddly bright pump or heel. At formal events she’ll place flowers in her hair instead of opting for a posh fascinator or chic Phillip Treacy hat.
But we can’t help but wonder what the Queen thinks about all this? On the outside, Bonas is a far cry from the pristine image of what a princess should look like — an ideal Kate Middleton has strived so gracefully to maintain. Can Cressy tone down her look and button things up enough to play the part of wife to Prince Harry? Or is a royal makeover on the way?
Don’t judge a book by its cover just yet! On paper, Bonas is practically perfect for the job and already fits in fine. She comes from a super-wealthy banking background, runs in all the right circles in London, and her family has direct links to Edward VII. So she’s pretty much a noble already. Her mother, Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, was a darling of the social scene in the '60s and remains a magnet in society today. She’s also the daughter of the 6th Earl Howe. And, while we have no idea what any of that means, it sure sounds official to us.
In truth, we kind of love Bonas’ laid-back style. It’s nothing we’ve seen on the royal circuit before, but it’s everything we’d expect from a modern 20-something who’s enjoying life and love. Her casual hippie looks aren’t perfect, but they’re approachable and relaxed. And they may even humanize the monarchy more than Middleton did with her budget-friendly fashions. Plus, we have to admit, we’re dying to see Cressy’s take on a Bohemian royal wedding. Somebody call Alice Temperley and ask her to start sketching the dress!
The Duchess of Cambridge has set the bar high, and she’s certainly a tough act to follow. But we have high hopes for Bonas who, like her notorious boyfriend, marches to the beat of her own drummer. Friends and family say Harry has finally met his match and is ready to settle down. And we can’t wait to watch the style evolution of this potential princess in waiting.
Sam Saboura is best known as the host of TLC’s hit series "Something Borrowed, Something New." He has appeared as the fashion and style expert on numerous entertainment, news, and awards programs, and his sought-after style advice regularly appears in national publications. He is a personal shopper and stylist for celebrities in the film, television, and music industries, and the author of Sam Saboura’s Real Style.