Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry were an item long before he fell madly in love with former actress-turned-duchess Meghan Markle. In fact, the Duke of Sussex was quite the ladies man, and there was no shortage of eligible bachelorettes who hoped to steal the prince’s heart. However, none came close to leaving him absolutely smitten more than his former girlfriend, Zimbabwe-born jeweler Chelsy Davy.
After meeting in the spring of 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa, the pair embarked on a seven-year romance that was full of highs and lows. They journeyed into adulthood together, with Prince Harry beginning his military training in 2005 and Davy focusing on her higher education. As a result, they spent more time apart than the average couple.
With the bloody media scrutinizing their every move, their relationship was practically in shambles by the time they went through their final breakup in 2011. Thankfully, they’ve managed to remain close friends since their breakup, and Davy even attended Harry’s March 2018 wedding. They both have clearly moved on, but what irretrievably ended their romance? Here are some of the reasons why Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry broke up.
Many women dream of becoming a princess and joining the British royal family, but not Davy. The daughter of a Zimbabwean billionaire, she grew up in the lap of luxury, but that didn’t deter her from working extremely hard to become successful in her own right. Not only is she well-educated, receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Cape Town, a law degree from the University of Leeds, and a gemology diploma from the Gemological Institute of America, Davy also launched her own ethical jewelry line, Aya, which was inspired by her African hometown. With a bustling life of her own and ambitions to tend to, it’s no surprise that she was apprehensive about a life in the monarchy.
According to People, Davy was “wary of marrying into the royal family.” A family friend of the jewelry maven told the magazine, “She’s her own woman.”
Long-distance was tough
The couple went through a series of breakups during the course of its relationship. Each time news broke that they’d gone their separate ways, their many fans around the world were gutted. One of their most notable splits occurred in January 2009. People magazine spoke to friends close to the then-couple who blamed their breakup on their long-distance relationship. Davy, who was finishing up her law degree in England at the time, was homesick and missing her native Zimbabwe; Prince Harry was deployed to Afghanistan with the British Army.
While some insiders believed the relationship had “run its course” during their 2009 relationship hiccup, others hoped for a reconciliation. “I don’t see this [breakup] as long-term,” a friend close to the former couple told People, and come to find out, they were right. By September of that same year, they were giving their relationship another shot but, of course, it wouldn’t last.
She could foresee the future
After Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry’s 2011 breakup, the couple reunited at William and Kate’s wedding in May of that year. Davy was Prince Harry’s plus one. The Daily Mail reported that Davy was open to giving Prince Harry another chance at the time, but she allegedly made one thing crystal clear to her friends: “There’s no way we are getting married. It’s not a life for me.”
Some say Prince Harry tried to change her mind. “Harry adores Chelsy and really wants things to work. He has brought up marriage in the past — usually when he’s drunk — but Chelsy’s the one to quickly play it all down,” an insider told the Mail. Davy’s reluctance to tie the knot supposedly boiled down to her despising the thought of living in the limelight. “The truth is she really doesn’t like the attention that comes with dating a prince,” the source said.
She couldn’t ‘tame’ him
Once Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry’s relationship was officially done-zo, no one expected the royal to drown his sorrows in a tub of Kelly’s of Cornwall ice cream, but we also didn’t expect him to move on so quickly. Within weeks, he was reportedly dating Florence Brudenell-Bruce, a woman he’d been friends with for years. According to the Mirror, Davy was surprised by the prince’s rapid rebound and allegedly told a friend: “Harry’s a great man but a terrible boyfriend. He doesn’t take relationships seriously and it was impossible to tame him.”
It seems Meghan Markle was the one person able to rein in the prince, who proved that he was willing to leave his wild child persona in the dust by popping the question just over a year after they began dating. Looking back on the ups and downs of his relationship with Davy, the former couple clearly made the right decision to end their romance and remain friends. Everyone comes out a winner: Davy pursues her personal and professional goals, and Prince Harry finds a loving partner who’s excited to walk the royal path with him. All’s well that ends well.