Consider how you’d feel at your ex’s wedding, and then think about millions of people watching your reaction as the former love vows undying devotion to another. Two ex-girlfriends of Prince Harry, Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas, handled attending his May 19 wedding to Meghan Markle with aplomb. Chelsy, however, did not manage to mask her inner somberness, and her facial expression has inspired some mean memes. She has not yet made public her feelings, although Vanity Fair reports Chelsy and Harry had a “tearful phone call” the week of the wedding.
Cressida may be scoring more points for insouciance. She has declared that her greatest anxiety in watching Harry wed Meghan was—hats. Here’s what she wrote in a column for the U.K, magazine The Spectator.
“Friends are starting to get married, which means the dilemma of British wedding attire. Hats,” Cressida penned. “Why do I find hats so tricky? Tricky to wear, tricky to look at, and extremely tricky for the poor soul sitting in the pew behind.”
“Most of the time I avoid headgear,” she admitted. “This can prompt disapproving looks from the older generations. Last weekend I attended the royal wedding. The invitation clearly stated that guests must wear hats. Yikes.”
“I opted for a minimal feathered number — and can only hope I got it right.”
Cressida dated Harry for two years after his cousin Princess Eugenie introduced them. They separated amicably in 2014, although the breakup was not without its sad moments. The model/actress was photographed in tears shortly after they parted ways. The prince had a longer relationship with Chelsy. They dated off and on from 2004 after meeting in Cape Town while Prince Harry was on his gap year until 2011.
Both of these earlier relationships were viewed as serious.
The prince was rumored to want to settle down with Cressida, according to The Telegraph. Her free-spirited ways were said to have captured his heart, but she felt she was too young to marry. She was rumored to be reluctant about the prospect of abandoning her pursuit of an acting career. And she was daunted by the glare of media attention that came with dating the prince.
Davy also struggled with the media scrutiny of her relationship with Harry and the ensuing breakup. “It was so full-on: crazy and scary and uncomfortable. I found it very difficult when it was bad. I couldn’t cope,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “I was trying to be a normal kid and it was horrible.”
Harry has stayed good friends with Chelsy and Cressida, said the Daily Mail. “He made sure there were no hard feelings when they split up,” according to a source. Meghan allegedly didn’t mind that Cressida and Chelsy would attend the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The two ex-girlfriends weren’t invited to the private evening reception at Frogmore House. That omission is said to have prompted the final private phone call between Chelsy and Harry. “It was their final call, a parting call in which they both acknowledged Harry was moving on. Chelsy was quite emotional about it all, she was in tears and almost didn’t go to the wedding,” a source told Vanity Fair. “In the end, she went and promised Harry she wouldn’t try and gatecrash the party.”
At the lunchtime reception on the day of the wedding, Chelsy pulled it together. She greeted the bride and “was all smiles as she hugged her tightly,” said Vanity Fair.