Cressida Bonas: It’s ‘incredibly frustrating’ to be known as Prince Harry’s ex

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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.”

[From People]

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.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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22 Responses to “Cressida Bonas: It’s ‘incredibly frustrating’ to be known as Prince Harry’s ex”

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  1. perplexed says:

    She didn’t sound like she was complaining. They asked her about it and she said that it can be frustrating because of the particular industry she has pursued, but it is what it is and this is how she’ll prove how she’s different. I don’t see what’s wrong with her answer, especially if she was pointedly asked about it.

    If I’m no long with someone, I would find the forever link to that person kind of frustrating. Women get frustrated when seen as only the “wife” of someone (even though society has the utmost respect for people who are married), so it must be even way more annoying being only seen as someone’s ex when your identity no longer has anything to do with that person.

    • bluhare says:

      I agree for the most part, except in her case being Harry’s ex is why she got the exposure to give these interviews. So it’s hard to take that out of the equasion if you know what I mean!

      • perplexed says:

        That’s true — it’s opened doors for her. But I didn’t really think what she said was terrible or only a complaint. She just said she’d try to prove people wrong and she seemed accepting of it as part of her history.

        She did seem self-aware enough to say “But, you know, it is the way it is.”

        I think I’d probably find it weirder if she was still trying to attach herself to him now that he’s in a relationship with another woman, and might possibly be engaged to her. I find that sort of thing more unseemly, like when Gwyneth Paltrow keeps mentioning she was with Brad Pitt when clearly he got over her a long time ago.

  2. crazydaisy says:

    Hopefully she will learn to just accept, embrace and work with this fact of her history, cause it’s never going away, and hel-lo, it’s basically a feather in her cap. Having doors automatically open for you? Not the worst fate. Next, if she wants to be seen as “so much more” than Harry’s ex, the ball is in her court. Do something to prove it! Move on!

  3. crazydaisy says:

    P.S. I think Tulip Fever looks great!

  4. Alleycat says:

    Girl, it’s frustrating that no one cares who you are except in relations to Harry? I remember that one ad she had where she danced around and I could not believe she was a trained dancer. The snark for Alicia Vikander is so puzzling. I never hear about her unless I’m on this site, and it really only started when she dated Fassbender. I think she’s a decent actress?

  5. moon says:

    Like you Kaiser I don’t begrudge her for milking her status into a career, but I wish she would have the honesty to acknowledge it instead of acting like its a handicap. It’s not – she would be another generic mediocre struggling wannabe actress otherwise.

  6. OTHER RENEE says:

    Every time I run into someone who knows my long-term ex bf, they feel compelled to bring up his name and tell me the latest stupid thing he’s done. (People don’t really like him, they tolerate him.) I couldn’t care less about this guy or what he’s doing. But once there’s a serious relationship between two people, others can never let go of that association even if you have.

  7. Suze says:

    Oh Watercress! You’re so cute.

    No one cares, sweetie. Not until you bring it up.

  8. Yeahright says:

    So I guess I’m the only one who wants to see Tulip Fever? I mean Judi Dench is in it, how bad can it be?

    • rachel says:

      The movie already came out in some countries in Europe. My take is that it’s very average, middle of the road period drama which isn’t going to make any type of difference in any of the actors involve’s carrer. In my opinion having Denis Dehan in lead is rarely a good thing, the poor man can’t catch a break.

  9. rachel says:

    I mean a basic blonde with connections and nepotism would never admit that she could never land a part in prestige movie because of her talent. And this movie was filmed in 2013 I think. Well the “struggling” when on to get more roles, win an Oscar and have her blockbuster. And Cressida well, I’m not sure what she did.

  10. blue marie says:

    I knew that was her in Bye Bye Man, couldn’t remember her name though.. anyway, that movie was awful

  11. Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

    Of course it’s part of her brand. If she doesn’t want to be known as PH’s ex, she can surely get a stage name and register as such in the actors’/performers’ book – I forget what that is called.

  12. Nic919 says:

    If she was talented then no one would be talking about Harry. She looks like so many other blonde starlets right now, in particular Cara Delevingne and doesn’t appear to have any charisma to match. Maybe if she took the time to train at RADA she would be taken more seriously.

  13. A says:

    She’s a basic blonde aristo actress. I’m actually impressed she’s leveraged her career into anything remotely like the one she has now. She’s gotten a lot further than basically every other blonde aristo “actress” from that set.

    I’m glad she has the drive to pursue a career. But homegirl’s background and upbringing strongly indicate that this is in no way a priority for her. Every aristocratic woman, with the exception of a few, dabble in a “career” then get married to the nearest rich financier with a trust fund or a title by the time they’re 30. So good for her for getting further than that at least.

  14. jumblebumble says:

    You know a drama is bad when the trailer needs a voiceover

  15. niamh darlington says:

    well she actually quit being an assistant because she was terrible at her job and really stupid. Her family tried to get her in on a higher role- but even her connections couldn’t mask how unemployable she was. basically.

  16. Aurelia says:

    I read a blind item that she was a terrible actress.

  17. V. B. says:

    Meh, I still think she would go back with Harry.

  18. Sara says:

    I hate the ‘basic blonde’ line and wish people would stop using it.