The ‘Pathetic’ Way Prince Harry Tried to Find a Date Before Meeting Meghan Markle, According to Royal Author

Many people know that Prince Harry is married to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, but before meeting her, he was on the path to finding his happily ever after. Given Harry’s status, it was difficult for him to date like a normal person. However, his way of finding a girlfriend back then was branded “pathetic” by a royal author.

Photo of Prince Harry from the shoulders up as he attends The Landmine Free World event
Prince Harry | John Phillips/Getty Images

Prince Harry had 2 long-term girlfriends before Meghan Markle

Before Meghan came into Harry’s life, he had several flings as well as two serious girlfriends.

His first girlfriend was Chelsy Davy, the daughter of a Zimbabwean businessperson. The two of them started dating in 2004 and broke up in 2010. This remains his longest relationship to date.

In 2012, Harry began dating socialite/actor Cressida Bonas, whom he met through his cousin Princess Eugenie. However, the couple broke up just two years later.

Prince Harry tried to find a girlfriend by pretending to be someone else

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Unlike his brother, Prince William, who married his college sweetheart and became a family man, Harry had a hard time finding someone to settle down with. Reportedly, he felt his status hindered his journey to long-lasting love, so at one point, Harry decided to date as someone else.

“Indeed, Harry’s quest for love had become almost pathetic,” author Lady Colin Campbell wrote in the book Meghan and Harry: The Real Story. “He would ask friends to set him up with girls who were well bred and attractive, and, to ensure that they wanted him for himself and not for his name and rank—the very things, ironically, that turned off most well-bred girls—he would pretend to be someone else.”

Lady Colin cited her family friend Baroness Jessica Heydel, who met Harry in such a manner. According to Lady Colin, Baroness Jessica “thought Harry was a perfectly nice person, [but] she couldn’t see herself having a relationship with anyone who started out on that footing.”

Baroness Jessica also told the Daily Mail about this experience in 2018.

“I met Prince Harry once on a night out, probably four or five years ago,” she said. “His friend introduced him as ‘Rob’. I sat there and I thought, ‘That is Prince Harry, everyone knows that is Prince Harry’. I had all these things going around my head, so it didn’t turn into a friendship.”

Prince Harry met Meghan Markle on a blind date

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It’s not clear if Harry stopped this practice or not when he met Meghan in 2016. Nevertheless, he and Meghan were set up on a blind date by a friend and, according to their engagement interview, hit it off right away.

“When I walked into that room and saw her and there she was sitting there, I was like ‘Okay, well I’m going to have to really up my game here,” Harry shared.

Meghan also explained, “So, we went and met for a drink and very quickly into that we were asking what the other was doing tomorrow.”

The couple had a whirlwind romance after that. They got engaged in late 2017 and tied the knot in 2018. Today, they have two children together.