With her enviable combination of brains, beauty and regal connections Gabriella Windsor constantly tops most eligible lists and is at the centre of the aristocratic social scene. But like Zara Phillips, Ella is one of the new set of young working royals determined to retain her independence and make her own way in the world without flaunting her famous surname.
Gabriella Marina Alexandra Ophelia Windsor was born on April 6, 1979, at St Mary's Hospital, London, the only daughter of Prince Michael of Kent a grandson of George V and Queen Mary and Princess Michael of Kent. Like her elder brother Frederick, who was educated at Eton, she was sent to boarding school and flourished academically. After finishing off her education at Downe House in Berkshire where she was briefly suspended for a week after leaving the grounds to smuggle in cigarettes she travelled in Spain, South America and Italy before studying at America's prestigious Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
There she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature and Hispanic Studies, leading her proud mother to famously boast that her offspring were the brightest members of the royal clan - Freddie earned a 2.1 in Classics at Oxford. If her mum occasionally makes headlines, Ella as she is known to family and friends isn't unused to attracting controversy herself. She risked the displeasure of American pals when she wrote a searing expose of her fellow students' behaviour. Since then, however, the normally self-effacing royal has preferred to stay out of the press.
She was unwittingly making column inches again, though, with her love life. During a two-week internship with Vanity Fair
magazine, undertaken in the final year of her four-year degree course, the aspiring journalist, then 22, met Aatish Taseer. The handsome Indian had been dubbed Captain Condom after dressing in tights and a cape to promote safe sex at nearby Amherst College where he studied English and French.
For two years the pair were the golden couple of the London social scene, and many expected them to wed. But in October 2006 they parted ways after Aatish decided to return to his roots in India and his girlfriend decided not to accompany him.
A freelance journalist, Gabriella has contributed articles to a variety of publications, from The Spectator
to The Mail On Sunday
. She's often the subject of glossy magazine pages herself thanks to her blonde good looks and elegant style. Following in the fashionable footsteps of Lady Helen Taylor, who became a roving ambassador for Armani, she has served as a representative for preppy American designer Ralph Lauren