Prince Harry and the BBB crew: That's Blue Bloods and Blondes in Britain's most privileged clique
02:53 GMT, 18 March 2012
You've seen photographs of them by his side on nights out at Raffles or Public, smoking in a stairwell or downing shots inside. They are members of one of the world’s most elite social sets – the golden circle of Prince Harry’s closest friends.
They are dubbed the BBB Crew – Blue-Blooded and Blonde – and include his aristocratic childhood chums, their equally well-bred, mostly blonde girlfriends, and party-loving socialites, again, mostly blonde. They all share in common their sense of fun and – crucially their discretion as he trusts each of them implicitly to be the gatekeepers of his secrets.
It’s for this reason that the circle must remain air-tight. As a result, all its members are closely linked, whether romantically, or by a shared schooling, or simply a deep bond of friendship. Here is our guide to the key players:
Thomas Van Straubenzee, 28, City broker George, Earl Percy, 27, Energy entrepreneur
Pedigree: The family have served the British Crown for 150 years. Pedigree: Heir to the Duchy of Northumberland.
Family wealth: They own a modest estate in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Family wealth: Around 300 million, including family seat Alnwick Castle.
Best known for: Being mugged while on the phone to Harry, that Best known for: Being Pippa Middleton’s friend since they shared a flat saw the Prince rush to his aid at Edinburgh University.
Romance: Dating Lady Melissa Percy. Romance: Pippa is rumoured to now be his girlfriend.
Closeness to Harry: One of his best friends since they attended Closeness to Harry: Former Eton schoolmate and good second-tier pal.
Ludgrove prep school and Eton together.
Blueblood rating: Cornflower ★★★ Blueblood rating: Midnight ★★★★★
Chelsea Davy, 26, Trainee solicitor Guy Pelly, 29, Nightclub owner
Pedigree: Cheltenham Ladies’ College-educated daughter Pedigree: Son of John Pelly, a Kentish landowner whilst his grandmother
of a Zimbabwe safari tycoon was from the Tate & Lyle sugar dynasty.
Family wealth: 20m Family wealth: His parents live in a 2 million house in East Malling.
Best known for: Refusing to give up her freedom to join ‘The Firm’. Best known for: His nickname ‘Master of Royal Revels'
Romance: Split from Harry. Now linked to art dealer Blaise Patrick. Romance: Single since splitting from Susanna Warren last year.
Closeness to Harry: After initial post-split awkwardness, they’re close pals. Closeness to Harry: Best pals since they met via the Beaufort Hunt.
Blueblood rating: More red than blue ★★★★★ Blueblood rating: Cornflower ★★★
Pippa Middleton, 28, Party planner Thomas 'Skippy' Inskip, 25, Occupation unknown
Pedigree: William's sister-in-law . Pedigree: Son of a surveyor who is a Beaufort Hunt field-master.
Family wealth: Less than 5m Family wealth: In 2007 he sold his Gloucestershire home for 7 million.
Best known for: Her derriere. Best known for: Organising William's raucous stag do.
Romance: Believed to be dating George, Earl Percy. Romance: Dating The Hon Lara Hughes-Young.
Closeness to Harry: Flirty friendship Closeness to Harry: Best friends
Blueblood rating: Turquoise ★★ Blueblood rating: Cornflower ★★★
Prince Harry with Pippa at the Royal Wedding last summer, and right, with Thomas Inskip, at Twickenham for England's Six Nations match against Ireland
Jake Warren, 26, Sports PR Susanna Warren, 23, Aspiring actress
Pedigree: Susanna’s brother and godson of Princess Diana. Pedigree: Heir to the Duchy of Northumberland.
Family wealth: Ancestral pile, Highclere Castle in Berkshire, Family wealth: Granddaughter of the Earl of Carnarvon and Jake's
which is best known as Downton Abbey. brother. Their father runs the Queen’s stud farm.
Best known for: Running the exclusive Birdcage marquee Best known for:
in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.
Romance: Single. Romance: Since her split from Guy Pelly, she has been courted by Italian Count Riccardo Lanza.
Closeness to Harry: One of his best friends from Ludgrove and Eton. Closeness to Harry: Less close now she’s his best pal’s ex.
Blueblood rating: Cobalt ★★★★ Blueblood rating: Cornflower ★★★
Astrid Harbord, 29, Estate agent Viscount Erleigh, 25, Financier
Pedigree: Daughter of millionaire publisher Charles. Pedigree: Also known as Julian Rufus Isaacs. Heir to Marquess of Reading.
Family wealth: Her parents own a 1.6 million home in Wiltshire. Family wealth: Unknown
Best known for: Being one of the infamous party-loving Best known for: The ‘Den of Yeast’, the post-party hangout at
‘Hardcore Harbords’. his Cirencester home.
Romance: Single after splitting from bank heir James Rothschild. Romance:
Dating Davina Harbord.
Linked to Harry after William caught her asleep in his bed.
Closeness to Harry: Still his go-to girl for a wild night out. Closeness to Harry: Very. He introduced him to Chelsy Davy.
Blueblood rating: Cornflower ★★★ Blueblood rating: Cobalt ★★★★
Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, 28, Davina Harbord, 25, Model
Founder of fashion Label Beulah
Pedigree: Viscount's sister . Pedigree: Astrid's sister
Family wealth: Less than 5m Family wealth: See Astrid above
Best known for: Working on projects for the homeless. Best known for: Dating Viscount Erleigh
Romance: Married to lawyer Rupert Finch, an old flame Romance: Dating Viscount Erleigh
of the Duchess of Cambridge.
Closeness to Harry: Childhood pals. Closeness to Harry: Not quite as close as her sister.
Blueblood rating: Cobalt ★★★★ Blueblood rating: Cornflower ★★★
Lady Melissa Percy, 23, Tennis coach at Queen's club The Hon Lara Hughes-Young, 24, Literary agent
Pedigree: Daughter of the Duke of Northumberland, sister of George. Pedigree: Lord St Helens’ daughter.
Best known for: Setting fire to her London flat with a deep-fat fryer. Best known for: Her English rose complexion.
Romance: Recently reunited with Thomas Van Straubenzee. Romance: Dating ‘Skippy’
Closeness to Harry: Innermost circle. . Closeness to Harry: Very.
Blueblood rating: Midnight ★★★★★ Blueblood rating: Cornflower ★★★
and not forgetting…Duchess of Cambridge, 30
Pedigree: Adores her Prince.
Closeness to Harry: Frequently fails to stifle giggles at Harry’s jokes.
Blueblood rating: Turquoise ★★, developing hints of Cobalt ★★★★