Prince Harry’s girlfriend Cressida Bonas celebrated her 25th birthday on Tuesday, following an emotional few weeks.
The stunning blonde tragically lost her former stepfather Christopher Shaw in January, who passed away at the age of 76-years-old. Christopher married Cressida’s mother Lady Mary Gaye Curzon in 1994, but the couple split in 2000, when Cressida was 11-years-old.
Cressida joined mourners at the financier’s funeral, but was not accompanied by Prince Harry who joined Prince Charles and Prince William as they attended a conference on halting the illegal trade in wildlife.
The fourth-in-line to the throne later met up with his sweetheart and took her on a night out to try and lift her spirits, and the couple were spotted in the royal box at the Royal Albert Hall, watching Cirque du Soleil’s new show Quidam.
Prince Harry and Cressida have been together since May 2012 after Princess Eugenie introduced them. They tried to keep their relationship under the radar but were soon spotted on low-key dates. When Prince Harry headed to Afghanistan at the end of 2012, they stayed in touch by phone and email.
There were recent rumours that an engagement between the young lovers was on the cards, but these were quickly dismissed by Cressida’s half-brother Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe as “ludicrous”.
Jacobi also explained that the pressures of being in the media’s intense spotlight were proving quite overwhelming for the pretty socialite.
“She’s not a tough cookie at all,” he explained. “She’s a very sensitive, sweet girl, all my family are – they’re incredible.”
“It’s challenging, you can’t deny it,” he said. “It’s not something that is easy for anyone dating a royal or marrying into the family or anyone in the royal family themselves. I think on some level it is different to any other type of fame.”
Rumours of a wedding were further put to rest after it was revealed that the spent Christmas apart. While Harry spent the festive period at Sandringham, the dance graduate stayed with her family.
According to a courtier “His Royal Highness knows that it would not be appropriate for Miss Bonas to join the Royal family for Christmas until they are a married couple.”
The sweethearts’ closeness was evident when, after the Prince returned from the South Pole with his charity Walking with the Wounded in support of injured servicemen, he immediately met up with Cressida. The couple spent the weekend at the Branson family mansion in Oxfordshire, as her half-sister Isabella is married to Richard Branson’s son Sam.