She was never in the mould of a typical royal partner, but Prince Harry was in no doubt about the qualities of Chelsy Davy, the pretty South African whom he romanced for five years. \"I would love to tell everyone how amazing she is,\" enthused her royal beau in an interview to mark his 21st birthday.
Born in October 1985 to wealthy Zimbabwean businessman Charles Davy and his former model and Miss Rhodesia wife Beverley, Chelsy - who has an elder brother, Shaun - enjoyed a privileged start to life. A stint at South Africa's Girls College Bulawayo was followed by a traditional English education at prestigious Cheltenham Ladies' College and top-flight public school Stowe.
She is reported to have struck up a relationship with Prince Charles
' younger son after meeting him through mutual British pals in the spring of 2004; although they weren't photographed together until December that year.
While pals say the pretty blonde had aspirations to become a model, Chelsy has proven herself a dedicated student, refusing to let even a royal romance distract her from her education. And with Harry undergoing army training, first at Sandhurst and then with the Blues and Royals, and Chelsy pursing accountancy at Cape Town University, it meant that for the first two years their relationship was a long-distance one.
Holidays in South Africa and regular visits to London by Chelsy helped keep the relationship alive during the first stages of their romance. Although their relationship was reported to have become strained after stories emerged in the press of Harry apparently straying.
\\\"Chelsy and Harry are both earthy, physical people, but Chelsy is no doormat,\\\" a source close to the attractive South African once said. \\\"If she isn't happy, she will let you know - loudly. And I think Harry appreciates that.\\\"
She certainly proved a constant figure in the young Prince's life, being a regular sight on the sidelines at his polo matches and glowing with pride at his Sandhurst graduation party.
The couple were drawn together by a love of action and adventure. Both were at one time prominent figures on the London party scene - especially South Kensington haunt Boujis - while Chelsy's sky-diving activities matched the Prince's enthusiasm for adrenaline sports.
\\\"Everyone thinks she's tremendous fun,\\\" a friend said of the bubbly blonde with whom, according to his elder brother, Harry was \\\"very much in love\\\".
In September 2007, Chelsy exchanged the sunny climes of South Africa for the north of England, when she enrolled on a two-year postgraduate politics degree at Leeds University. Friends of the pretty blonde said that she hoped the move would cement her relationship with Harry, who, just days before her course began, told pals at his 23rd birthday party her move to the UK was the best birthday present he could ever get.
Sadly by the start of 2009, the relationship came to an end, strained, said their friends, by the pressures of his military career. Since then they have kept in touch by text and email, leaving the possibility that their longterm romance may rekindle in the future.