Why is Harry still single He complains that it's hard for princes to find love. But there ARE plenty of very suitable gels!
15:32 GMT, 16 March 2012
Given that his recent tour in the sunshine featured him greeting ecstatic beauty queens, his female followers are nicknamed the Harry Hunters and he is handsome, brave, cheerful and a Prince, one question must be asked: why on earth is Prince Harry single
It's obviously a question that's bothering him, too. In a winningly frank interview with CBS News this week, the Prince said he and William had struggled with accepting their position and had, at times longed to be 'normal'.
Both recognised that becoming a royal was an unique challenge for a potential bride. 'I'm not so much searching for someone to fulfil the role, but obviously, you know, finding someone who would be willing to take it on,' he said. This seemed to confirm what many had always suspected — that Prince Harry's one proper girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, was simply not 'willing to take it on'.
Prince Harry kisses then girlfriend Chelsy Davy at the Concert For Diana at Wembley Stadium in London
They split up two years ago after a five-year, on-off romance that ended when Chelsy tired of the public interest and what she saw as a lack of effort by Harry.
A boyfriend being inattentive in public — such as when he was an hour late to meet her at Heathrow airport — is humiliating for any girl, after all.
With the wisdom of hindsight, the spontaneity and love of freedom that attracted Harry to Chelsy in the first place were never likely to make her the sort of girl who was comfortable being on constant parade.
The daughter of a Zimbabwean landowner and safari tour operator who later moved to South Africa, Chelsy was a girl who could ride bareback and strangle a snake with her bare hands.
Though educated at English boarding schools and clever — she is a solicitor at prestigious law firm Allen & Overy — it was always going to be a bit like trying to install Mowgli from Jungle Book at Buckingham Palace.
Equally, while Chelsy was not a girl desperate to marry a Prince, back then Harry was not behaving in an especially princely fashion.
Close 'friend': TV presenter Natalie Pinkham (left) and horse-mad Princess Charlotte Casiraghi
He started seeing Chelsy — rumour has it he stole her from her boyfriend, male model-turned-farmer Simon Diss — when he was only 20, and had yet to embark on his military career or on growing up.
Chelsy tired of repeat reports of Harry misbehaving in nightclubs, dancing with Page 3 girls and 'masseuses', and flirting with assorted TV presenters — girls such as Natalie Pinkham, for example.
Six years older than Harry and a loyal friend to this day, Pinkham was said to annoy Chelsy intensely. It is said she could 'drink any man under the table'.
But openly loving the attention — just like loathing it — is not a prerequisite for a royal bride.
Kate Middleton somehow was the perfect combination — she enjoyed attention without looking as if she was ever seeking it, and certainly wasn't trying to steal it from her husband. Neither a girl who craves it or hates it will do.
Since splitting with Chelsy, Harry has, on occasion, been found chatting up attractive, but unlikely young ladies. At one stage, he was enjoying a friendship with a waitress called Christiane, whom he met at the trendy London nightspot, Amika. Then last autumn, on a trip to San Diego, he was linked with cocktail waitress Jessica Donaldson.
But when it comes to looking for a life partner, none of these girls could ever be considered as serious contenders for royal life. Kate Middleton might not have been a born aristocrat, but via Marlborough and St Andrews, she was firmly in William's orbit.
And herein lies the crux of Harry's problem. What exactly is his orbit An unforeseen but happy consequence of William's time at university was that he spent four years out of sight in a remote Scottish seaside town, living, pretty much, a normal life, which he did with the girl who would become his wife.
Bevy of blondes: Florence Brudenell-Bruce (left)
is a model and former girlfriend of racing driver Jenson Button and
(right) Caroline Flack
So, unusually for a member of the Royal Family, he effectively had a trial marriage before he went public, even sharing a house with Kate. It was not an entirely straightforward journey from there to Westminster Abbey last year, but it was a relationship built on firm, long-standing foundations.
Not being natural university material, Harry had no such opportunity to build up a set in private, and select the prettiest, most discreet and sympathetic girl. Quite the opposite. In going straight into the military, he chose probably the career least likely to assist his love life. Yes, he would ensure he got extra attention — as if any would be needed — in his fetching uniform. A crack Apache pilot is not an unromantic proposition. But military life is not conducive to the course of true love.
There are the months away — for instance, training in Arizona or on the frontline in Afghanistan. Then there is the danger and the extremely male, macho environment. The flipside of the pressure tends to be a let-the-hair-down, go-wild mentality that few serious girlfriends are able to cope with.
So what kind of girls does Harry come across and are any suitable for life in the royal goldfish bowl He might not have gone to university, but Harry does have lots of friends and he knows an awful lot of girls.
There are, as we've said, the TV presenters. Take Caroline Flack, who was at the centre of a most unseemly fuss when she had a brief romance with baby-faced heart-throb Harry Styles, of pop group One Direction, who is 15 years her junior.
She denied having a fling with Prince Harry in 2009, but the pair are still friends. It is hard to imagine the Palace welcoming her with open arms.
Love interests Lady Natasha Howard (left) and sisters Davina Harbord and Astrid Harbord
Then there is his ex, lingerie model Florence Brudenell-Bruce, with whom he had a whirlwind romance last year. The 27-year-old Prince allegedly ended the relationship because he didn't want to be 'tied down'. She's back with her ex, Henry St George in the Bahamas.
In one way Harry's problem is simple. He meets plenty of girls who might be welcomed into the royal firm — he just has to stay away from the more 'fun' ones who wouldn't be.
Harry's female friends tend to be what one acquaintance describes as 'Newcastle blondes' — privately educated, Sloaney, pretty, blonde girls who have been to solid universities such as Newcastle.
It could just as easily be Leeds (like Chelsy) or Edinburgh (Pippa Middleton). Often, they work in fashion — such as Pippa's friend, Katie Readman, who works for Issa.
Then there's Chessie Grievson, who has her own fashion label, Telphi, and Sophia Akroyd, a buyer for a fashion website. After his birthday last September, Harry was found — security in tow — in the flat Chessie and Sophia share.
Lists of possible brides for Harry inevitably feature foreign royals such as Charlotte Casiraghi, Princess Caroline's daughter, a horse-mad beauty who has just become the face of Gucci. Then there are aristocrats, such as Lady Natasha Howard, the Earl of Suffolk's leggy blonde daughter, whom Harry was once known to have a crush on. And there are his friends, the Harbord sisters, Astrid and Davina.
Harry is highly unlikely to marry someone who doesn't get his very British sense of humour. At least Kate has shown that while he must marry someone who knows how to behave, they don't have to be born to a landed family.
Perfect match Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton at the Royal Wedding
Character is more important than bloodline. So the field is wide open. But to be a future queen is a less ambiguous sell to a girl than marriage to the second son.
It is absolutely clear what becoming queen means, and someone such as Kate could decide whether or not she was game. But marrying the younger brother is a much less defined role. Certainly prominent and not for shrinking violets, but prominent in what way exactly
Recent historical examples do not exactly bode well for Harry, the spare to the heir.
It could be argued that though she had undoubtedly had a painful upbringing, Sarah Ferguson's troubles really started when she married Prince Andrew, the second son.
Though not absurdly young like Diana, she seemed completely overwhelmed by the idea of protocol and unable to cope with his long absences as a helicopter pilot. She found it impossible to rise above comments about her appearance, which could be cruel. You could almost see her fragile self-esteem unravelling in public.
Being older, wiser and marrying the less high-profile third son, Sophie Wessex didn't have these problems. But still, Edward took his time finding a bride.
Then there was the Queen Mother, who, of course, also married a second son. She was a hesitant bride even though she could never have guessed she would end up as Queen.
She turned down at least two proposals of marriage over three years from Bertie, as Prince Albert, the Duke of York (later George VI) was known. It is hard to imagine her reluctance, given her instant popularity and warmth in the role.
Once she had decided to do it, she launched herself into it completely, and held her family together through abdication, her husband's stammer and wartime. But her initial reaction had been that she would be 'afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to'.
Eventually she discovered — as it seems Harry is doing so now — that the more you throw yourself into something, the more you will get out of it.
It is tempting for any second child to hang on to the 'child' part rather longer than their elder sibling. In the CBS interview, Harry said he was 'still a kid inside', one of the reasons he so enjoys meeting children on trips.
Nevertheless, this has the agreeable affect of making potential brides think he may well make a good father. And he does seem aware that in order to be a working royal and a husband, he will have to mature.
So, at some point, he will find his beauty, probably a well-brought-up English girl with an appreciation of his humour. Secure enough not to collapse when he goes abroad, 'fun' without going over the top.
Smiley, demure, grounded and sporty — like Kate, in other words. One girl springs to mind — the lovely Pippa Middleton. But is she actually his type That's a question only Harry can answer.