Just as magazines were brewing up engagement rumours following Prince Harry and his girlfriend of two years Cressida Bonas’ first official appearance as a couple, their split has been announced.
Certain gossip circles claim Kate Middleton played a role in their separation. You see, Cressida has a half-sister named Isabella Calthorpe who once had a fling with Prince William when the two were on a break. Of course, this ignores the fact that Isabella is now married, but we can see how the reminder of his past relationship could be awkward.
Some news outlets, such as the Telegraph, report that the “laid back Miss Bonas had always found it difficult to cope with the attention of being a princess-in- waiting”. Of course, the irony is notable. The Telegraph goes on to write: “They had found it impossible to conduct a relationship in the “full glare” of the international media” and yet there they are reporting it.
Although the reliability of the sources and the assumptions remains questionable, this coverage is food for thought. We have been constantly bombarded with updates on Kate Middleton’s wardrobe during the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal tour. Snaps of them walking by Uluru remind us of the same photos taken some 20 years back of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. The traditional aspects feel like heart-felt memory, but are the young royals under pressure to fit an archaic model that no longer works?
By marrying William, Kate had to resign herself to giving up a modern woman’s 21st century agency, giving up the independence of free-speech and a professional life by becoming a cultural symbol. Kate knew what she was getting herself into, whereas William and Harry were born into that lifestyle and had no choice.
Perhaps Cressida is not as ready to do the same. Having a bit of blue blood in her, maybe she wouldn’t feel the need to prove herself in the same way as Kate did. But, if she became a princess, she would have to give up her dream of acting on stage. With the press’ strange obsession with treating the royalty and their love interests as celebrities, she would have to swap her casual scrunchies for a more respectable Middleton-style blowout.
Is it really fair for the paparazzi to follow their every move despite their royal status? Or has the media coverage overstepped a right to privacy?