Prince Harry and his ex, who comes from a family of grand ancestry, met through Princess Eugenie, his cousin.
Meghan Markle might be the wife of Prince Harry now but before her, there were many that the Prince dated. One, in particular, was the "most suitable" lady to be the Duchess of Sussex.
The Duke was in a relationship with Cressida Bonas from 2012 to 2014. According to royal biographer Chris Hutchins, Bonas was "the most suitable person the Prince had ever had in his life” because of her aristocratic background. So why didn't the two marry? Express UK quoted Hutchins saying, “Cressida’s love for Harry came not from the fact he was the Queen’s grandson. She wasn’t interested in that ‒ she comes from a very grand ancestry herself.”
Bonas' mother, Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, is the daughter of an English earl. On top of that, the Curzon family has been a part of the British aristocracy for centuries. Her father, Jeffrey Bonas was the chairman of haberdashery MacCulloch & Wallis, according to Cheat Sheet. Her half-sister, actor Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, was once believed to be dating Prince William.
Prince Harry and Bonas met through Princess Eugenie and according to Hutchins the couple would have "married for sure" but there were things that Bonas was not a fan of. One was the media attention the couple got constantly. Royal author Robert Lacey mentioned in his book, Battle of Brothers, that watching Prince William and Kate Middleton on a royal tour with their 8-month-old son on TV, scarred her completely.
The Daily Star reported that the author penned, “In 2014, she was said to have been ‘completely spooked’ after watching the TV coverage of William and Kate touring New Zealand with baby George in tow. That was not the way she would want to enjoy her eight-month-old son, she regretfully explained to Harry.”
The Sun recently reported that the invasion of the media in their relationship was one reason, but there was another thing that led to Bonas breaking up with Prince Harry. The Duke has previously accepted that there were days in his 20s when he came close to a complete breakdown following which he went for therapy. Apparently, this behavior took a toll on Bonas.
Giving details about the situation, Lacey wrote in his book, "Even so, Cressida Bonas, his last serious girlfriend before Meghan Markle, came to feel he was a damaged and self-obsessed young man. 'No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are,' she posted enigmatically on her Instagram page, 'how you treat people ultimately tells it all.'"
The author claimed that Bonas also said that the prince had a "neurosis" about the media. "She complained to friends that Harry had a neurosis about the media. He'd rant and complain about paparazzi lurking where clearly there were none, she said," he added. The couple didn't last for too long after that and broke up after two years of dating.
The Prince, however, found Meghan who, being from the entertainment business, welcomed the media attention with grace. Being an actress, the Duchess knows how to handle media and not be shy of it. Even though Bonas and the prince have a history, she was invited to his wedding to Meghan in 2018. The model and actress married Bonas property investor Harry Wentworth-Stanley, whom she briefly dated in college in the summer of 2020.
According to Lacey's claims, Meghan helped Harry realize that he deserved more than just to be a "spare" in the royal family, as reported by Yahoo. “I mean, clearly the royal plan and expectation was that Harry would marry a nice, interesting girl called Henrietta or Annabel and go and live in the country and be happy with the role of spare, just as he had been very loyally during the early years of the marriage of William and Kate,” but "[Meghan] offered a more challenging and inspiring and creative destiny than being his brother’s perpetual backup.”