I personally think that Cressida Bonas really did want to be a princess. Cressida dated Prince Harry for about two years, summer 2012 through May 2014, or thereabouts. I think there were a few breakups and makeups in that two-year period, and after the big breakup, they remained somewhat friendly, perhaps even friends-with-benefits friendly. For the first year or so, Cressida played by all of the unwritten rules of dating a prince. She kept her nose clean. She didn’t give interviews. She didn’t parlay the relationship into more glamorous work. But then something changed, mid-stream. I think Cressida realized that she maybe she didn’t really want to be a princess after all, or maybe she just tired of listening to Harry whine about how he never wanted to be royal. So Cressida decided that the next best thing to being a princess was being a celebrity. Suddenly, she switched careers, from assistant to model/actress. She booked an ad campaign, she got cast in a play and some movies and she gave interviews to magazines. Obviously, her relationship with Harry fell apart soon after.
Which is where we are now: Cressida is still somewhat famous as Prince Harry’s Ex-Girlfriend, and she still gets work because of it. She’s currently starring in a play, and she gave an interview to promote it. So of course they asked her about Prince Harry. Because seriously, what else are they going to ask her?!?
Cressida Bonas wants the world to know that she’s so much more than Prince Harry‘s former flame. The actress, who dated Harry for two years, from 2012 to 2014, stopped by BBC’s Woman’s Hour radio show to chat about her role in the new play Mrs. Orwell, where she plays the second wife of George Orwell, Sonia. Discussing the play, which tells the story of on a woman married to a very famous man, the show’s host couldn’t help but ask Bonas about her own experience in a relationship with a well-known bachelor. Bonas said that in the aftermath of her romance with Harry, she often felt “pigeonholed” into the narrow of definition of being a royal ex-girlfriend.
“Yeah, I think it’s that thing of being pigeonholed,” she said. “Especially in this country, I find people are very quick to put you in a box or put you in a corner and think ‘oh well you’re that so you must be that.’”
Bonas — who is pals with Harry’s cousins Princess Eugenie and Kitty Spencer — said that especially as she’s pursuing a career as an actress, having her past relationship precede her at work can be a lot to handle.
“It’s incredibly frustrating, especially in the industry that I’m in,” she said. However, she seemed to accept that sometimes, people will recognize you for your famous relationships. “But, you know, it is the way it is.”
Though she realizes it’ll happen from time to time, Bonas is committed to showing people there’s a whole other side to her. Her resume backs that up: She’s acted in several plays, as well nabbing roles in the films Tulip Fever (alongside Alicia Vikander and Judi Dench) and The Bye Bye Man.
“It’s about making a stand,” she says. “Saying no, this is who I am and this is what I want to do.”
I might have muttered something about “blonde mediocrity” and “the audacity of basic.” I’ll say it again: I don’t blame Cressida for realizing that the whole princess thing wasn’t going to work out and for actively working to launch her acting and modeling career based off her raised profile as Harry’s girlfriend. Good for her, and I wish her well. But don’t f–king complain about the one thing people know about you. Being Harry’s Ex is Cressida’s brand. That’s the whole reason why she was able to launch this career. Don’t complain about it.
Also: she’s in Tulip Fever, that devastatingly bad-looking costume drama. Cressida was hoping that movie would be her big break. Instead, the film got shelved for three years after one test screening (man, that test screening must have been rough). They kept pushing back the release date, and it’s finally coming out in a few weeks. My guess is that part of the problem is that Alicia Vikander – the lead – was too much of a thoroughbred to act properly. You can see the trailer here.
Photos courtesy of WENN.