While Prince Harry and Cressida’s growing feelings for one another are no secret, there’s plenty you may not know about the gorgeous blond who has been by his side for the last year. Here, Hello! Canada gives you the scoop on the free spirit who may be the next royal bride.
1. Her name Cressida – one of the title characters in the Homer-inspired Shakespearean tragedy, Troilus and Cressida – means gold. But friends and family rarely refer to the golden girl as Cressida, instead calling her “Cressy” or “Smally,” because she is the youngest child. She’s not the only one in her family to have an inventive moniker: her siblings' and half-siblings' names are Pandora, Georgina, Isabella and Jacobi.
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2. She and Harry were introduced through his cousin, Princess Eugenie (above). But even before the two started dating, Cressida had royal connections. She is a descendent of King Edward VII and her mother, former “It” girl Lady Mary Gaye Curzon, is the daughter of the sixth Earl Howe.
3. Cressida is a Jill of all trades! The professional trained dancer – she studied at The Royal Ballet School for three years, majored in dance at Leeds University, and studied at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance – has also modelled for Burberry and is a trained ski instructor.
4. In a strange coincidence, Cressida studied at the same boarding school, Stowe, and university, Leeds, as Harry’s former girlfriend Chelsy Davy. The two are said to be quite friendly.
5. Harry and Cressida started dating before Harry’s four-month stint in Afghanistan and kept the spark alive with frequent letters. Harry’s were written on the standard Army issue blue paper, known as “blueys.” Now, when the couple wish to meet up out of the public eye, they head to her aunt’s home, according to royal biographer Katie Nicholl, author of Kate: The Future Queen. “They conduct their relationship very much in secret.”
6. A few of her favourite things? Other than Harry, of course, they include: the band Mumford & Sons; scented candles, rum on ice, Wicky Biccie Chocolate Cake from The Humble Pie Deli, and skiing.
7. The free spirit travelled to Australia on her gap year – the year off between high school and university. For six months, she tended bar at a pub called Mrs. Sippy.
8. Before falling head over heels for Harry, Cressida had only one other high-profile boyfriend – Harry Wentworth-Stanley, stepson of the Queen’s cousin George Milford Haven.
9. She broke a world record for “most people to finish a marathon while tied together” in 2010 when she ran the London Marathon as part of a human chain. Joining her on the adventure was pal Princess Beatrice.
10. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of her half-sister, actress Isabella Calthorpe, Cressida has starred in several school plays, including Habeas Corpus, The Glass Menagerie, and Miss Julie.