Prince Harry gathered with some familiar faces for a special Christmas service on Tuesday evening (Dec 5). The service – Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund concert - was in honour of one of his late school friends, who was killed at the age of 18 in a car crash, shortly before Christmas 2002. Also in attendance at the event was Prince Harry's ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas, who stepped out with her mother, Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon. Cressida, 28, who dated the Prince from 2012 until 2014, smiled as she arrived for the service, linking arms with her mother as they made their way inside the church. Cressida and Harry are said to have ended their relationship on amicable terms; it’s thought this was the first time their paths have crossed since he announced his engagement last week, and Cressida no doubt offered her congratulations to the Prince on the happy news.
Also at the concert were Carole Middleton and Pippa Middleton, who have attended the annual event on a regular basis ever since it began 15 years ago. Duchess Kate and Prince William were not present on this occasion, instead showing their support for the Queen at her annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace. Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle, meanwhile, is thought to be back in LA, spending time with her mother Doria Ragland, before she returns to the UK to celebrate Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham.
The Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund was established to help raise funds for schools in Uganda, and uniquely has both Prince William and Prince Harry as its patrons – the only charity on which they serve jointly. To date, the foundation has raised enough money to support the education of more than 26,000 children in 39 schools across Uganda. Both Princes were among the mourners at Henry's funeral service, held in a local parish church shortly after his death, and attended a thanksgiving service arranged by Harrow the following month. The family has said the pair have been a source of great private support to them all. "I suppose you could say they have suffered a similar tragedy with the loss of their mother, so they know what we are doing here," Henry's mother, Claire, told the Evening Standard in 209. "But beyond that, they both have a profound interest in Africa."