Chelsy Davy And Prince Harry: The Real Reason They Broke Up

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.

Apprehension killed the mood

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.

The media attention was 'scary'

Imagine being hounded by the British media nonstop. The constant camera flashes and poppycock stories constantly published in the press would be enough to make any sane person go completely cuckoo. As such, Davy would frequently greet the camera lenses with ice-cold glares.

Five years following her 2011 breakup with Harry, she talked about the media attention with The Times, "Yes. It was tough," she said. "It was so full-on: crazy and scary and uncomfortable. I found it very difficult when it was bad. I couldn't cope. I was young, I was trying to be a normal kid and it was horrible."

Harry was able to sympathize with his then-girlfriend, especially since his mom, Princess Diana, died on August 31, 1997, in a fatal car accident that was blamed on the paparazzi. "I can see how upset [Davy] gets ... my girlfriend is somebody who's very special to me, and yes, she's gone through some very hard times," he once said.

Rugby before love

At the height of their relationship, Prince Harry was living his best life, gallivanting all around London and hitting up the city's hotspots. It didn't take long for the media to refer to him as the royal wild child — a party boy who was just looking to have a good time. Allegedly, his love of the nightlife combined with his tendency to flirt with a bevy a beautiful ladies strained his relationship with Davy. 

"Chelsy just couldn't put up with his antics any more. She feels they've fallen out of love. She was sick to the back teeth of Harry not putting the maximum amount of effort into the relationship," a source told News of the World (via Bild).

Case in point: Prince Harry skipped Davy's 22nd birthday party to go to the Rugby World Cup Final in Paris, according to The Telegraph. His decision allegedly prompted one of the couple's many breakups in 2007, when Davy infamously switched her Facebook status from "in a relationship" to "single."

Did he cheat?

Chelsy Davy was allegedly miffed in November 2007 after peeking at the prince's cell phone. According to the Courier Mail, Davy discovered text messages he had sent to an unnamed woman and supposedly overheard him having a "whispered conversation with a girl" the month prior. Souces claimed Davy "hit the roof ... She then confronted Harry and they had a blazing row."

That wasn't the only time the alleged two-timing prince had stepped out on his former flame. Two years later, in May 2009, the couple was on the outs again, with Davy reportedly telling a source the reason they had broken up was "because [Harry] cheated," the Mirror reported.

Let's recap: They were in a long-distance relationship, she grew tired of the media attention, she wasn't keen on being a royal, and he reportedly cheated on her. Whew. And that's only the tip of the iceberg!

His schedule trumped her schedule

During their courtship, Davy remained committed to various charitable organizations. She also lent her time and resources to the organizers of the Pearl Ball, an event that raises money for the Ndoro Children's Charities with proceeds going to underprivileged children in Africa. Davy was set to attend their June 2010 gala, but she was reportedly forced to pull out of the function last minute at Prince Harry's request. "Harry had just finished his helicopter training course and was adamant that she should make time for him," a source told The Telegraph.

Davy obliged but not without a fight. She was so passionate about the cause that she was reportedly "exasperated" when she was forced to decline the invitation. Re-prioritizing her schedule to accommodate the busy prince was allegedly "the final straw" for Davy, who decided to break it off with him and head back to South Africa to pursue her career in the legal field — or so said The Telegraph.

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.

She never wanted be a royal

Following Prince Harry's televised wedding to Meghan Markle, a lot of attention was placed on the sort of rules that those who marry into the royal family must abide by, such as a strict dress code that calls for the knees and shoulders to be covered at all times. Davy was certainly granted a front row seat to some of the strict policies Kate Middleton struggled with during her relationship with Prince William, and according to the Daily Mail, the jewelry designer wasn't a fan of all those fashion restrictions. 

After attending William and Kate's 2011 wedding, a source told the Mail, "Chelsy thought the wedding was wonderful and she had a ball, but there's no way marriage is on the cards for her. She wants her freedom and to start a career." If she had attempted to work things out with Harry one last time, she likely would not have enjoyed the freedom to launch her ethical jewelry line or practice law, so she clearly made the right decision for her.