Optic Photos/PacificCoastNews; Getty Images
Optic Photos/PacificCoastNews; Getty Images
Earlier this year the world's most eligible bachelor made a stunning declaration— he was on the hunt to find a wife.
"It would be great to have someone next to me to share the pressure but the time will come, whatever happens, happens, I guess," Prince Harry proclaimed in an interview with Sky News.
Then came bombshell No. 2: Prince George and Princess Charlotte's uncle was also brooding a bit over his relationship status. "Of course I would love to have kids right now but there's a process that one has to go through…" he mused.
That squeal you heard was a million single women from all corners of the globe simultaneously booking one-way tickets to London.
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But all signs point to this finally being the year that the 31-year-old prince and his new sidekick, that perfectly pruned beard, finally settles down. He's newly retired from a grueling job with the British armed forces (which saw him on the front line in Afghanistan, twice) and after spending the summer working with conservation groups in Africa, he's now back on his home turf, seemingly ready to mingle!
We may have to form a queue, however, because we're hearing the fifth-in-line to the throne is tangled up in his very own love triangle, courtesy of two ex-girlfriends.
It's certainly true Africa holds a special place in Harry's heart—and not because of Taylor Swift's new music video, but thanks instead to his Zimbabwean-born ex, Chelsy Davy. They dated on and off for seven years but finally called it quits in 2011.
Harry's recent stay on her home continent gave the pair a chance to reconnect—and not just over tea. Apparently the only thing hotter than those sultry nights on the savanna is their animal attraction to each other.
"Harry and Chelsy are romantically involved again," an insider tells E! News. "They got together over the summer. They have never lost touch."
"Many of Harry's friends call Chelsy ‘the one that got away,'" the source adds. "They compare their relationship to his father's [Prince Charles] relationship with Camilla. Chelsy is the love of Harry's life. He has always remained besotted with her."
Chelsy, meanwhile, is newly single. She split from jeweler Charles Goode earlier this year, giving His Royal Highness a perfect opportunity to swoop in.
"Everyone knew" Chelsy and Harry would hook up in Africa, the source says. "Their chemistry is insane and Harry still very much holds a torch for Chelsy. He arranged for her and some other friends to visit him in a secret location in the African bush where he set up a camp. They spent a few nights under the stars—Chelsy apparently was helicoptered in with a number of his other friends. It was very romantic."
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Friends insist they are not officially a couple…yet. They say, given time, things could easily develop again. "She does still have feelings for him which run very deep," we're told. "Harry loves her sense of fun and how she is a free spirit. He envies her attitude to life and loves that her family live in Africa."
But she is not the only gorgeous blond in the running for the starring role at the next royal wedding. Enter stage left: Cressida Bonas, the stunning socialite (and now well-received theater actress) Harry dated for two years before calling it quits in the spring of 2014. Cressie is also back on the market, having recently split from fellow actor Edward Holcroft.
"Cressida misses Harry," our insider claims. Well, who can blame her?!
This is where it gets a bit complicated. According to our insider, Harry wasn't just in contact with Chelsy while nestled in the African wilderness; he was also communicating with Cressida at the same time. "They are back in touch and Harry has been flirting with her over text message while he was away," the source says. "But, of course, when Cressida got wind that he was back with Chelsy this made her jealous."
While on the surface, Harry seems like the full package—he's fun (one word: Vegas), a great dancer (who can forget those blue suede shoes?) and in possession of the ultimate aphrodisiac (private access to the Crown Jewels)—marrying into the royal family brings with it an immense amount of pressure. Kate Middleton may have handled the transition from commoner to royalty with nary a hiccup, but that in way means the adjustment would be as natural for just anyone.
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Life for a newly crowned princess is not all cozy Sunday lunches with Will and Kate at their country pile while watching episodes of Downton Abbey. (Although getting to watch the queen poke holes in the plot of the hit series may make the whole venture worth it on its own.)
Rather, Harry's significant other will have a never-ending list of official appearances to juggle, mixed in with a much bigger portion of scrutiny—especially since Kate has been such a raging success with the royal family and the public.
And that's been a huge turnoff for Chelsy, at least. She may be the perfect match on paper, but that doesn't mean she's ready to give up her own, relatively normal life. Says the insider: "Chelsy absolutely hates the attention that comes with being Prince Harry's girlfriend— it's not the life for her, so going public could be tricky.
"She wasn't interested in becoming royal. In fact, the last public outing she had as Harry's official girlfriend was the royal wedding and after that she ended it. She had no desire to follow in Kate Middleton's footsteps, tow the royal line and join the firm. She is a wild party animal too and very social, and had no desire to curb any of that. They discussed marriage and a future together, but sadly Chelsy just didn't want to be a princess."
With Cressida, Harry may have a similar problem. If Cressida rekindled with her ex, it would certainly give her acting career a serious boost in theory. But gaining access to one of the most exclusive families in the world would actually mean that her royal duties would take precedence over her dreams of stardom. Sorry, Harvey Weinstein!
So what will happen to our handsome bachelor? He certainly seems ready to find love. But we don't predict he'll be forced to resort to Tinder anytime soon. In fact, a love match may just be around the corner, despite the hurdles.
"Chelsy could very well change her mind," the friend says. "She's recently given up her career as a lawyer and instead now wants to be a jewelry designer. Of course, the fact he couldn't have her has meant Harry has always held a torch for Chelsy."
For more scoop on Chelsy and Harry's rekindled romance, don't miss E! News tonight at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.