Why this woman chose her career over being a princess.

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By KATE LEAVER

“Nah, I don’t want to be a princess. I’ve got better things to do.”

OK, so those are not words Cressida Bonas actually said with her mouth. But they do accurately sum up her decision to break up with Prince Harry.

25-year-old Cressida reportedly ended her relationship with the naughtiest royal in Britain because she wanted to pursue her career as an actress. She wanted her own life.

A friend of Cressida’s has said she moved on from her Prince because, “She felt her ambitions would have been trampled by the royal ‘machine’.”

Ah, a woman after my own heart. She’s absolutely right – of course ambition goes out the Buckingham Palace window when you sign up for duchess duty. If Cressida had stayed with Prince Harry, she would have been required to give up her identity, her career, and her autonomy over every decision in her own life, be it trivial (the length of her hemline) or life-changing (the bearing of royal children).

Any adult who has watched Kate Middleton become Duchess Catherine knows that. When you become a princess, it’s a clean swap – your identity for the privilege of marrying into royalty. And yet, we insist on teaching our little girls that being a princess is the ultimate fairytale ending for anyone with a double x chromosome.

Cressida Bonas had the option to live that life, and she declined. A+ for that decision.

Now, I’m not suggesting you can’t do wonderful things as a princess. I happen to like Kate Middleton a lot, which is a complicated position for someone who believes Australia should be a republic. Like Princess Diana before her, she’s done some extraordinary philanthropic work and she’s certainly produced a very sweet child. Her choice belongs to her, and it’s a perfectly legitimate one, especially because she seems to genuinely adore her husband, Prince William.

But that life is not for everyone.

Can Cressida Bonas be our role model now?

Chelsy Davy, another of Prince Harry's girlfriends who turned down the princess offer.
Chelsy Davy, another of Prince Harry’s girlfriends who turned down the princess offer.

This girl could have had a husband, a tiara, a baby, a title, a palace, and her own specialised bottom minder by now. She could have been defined by her slimness, her reproductive abilities, and how long she could spend waving to commoners before her arm got tired.

Instead, she’s free to do whatever the hell she wants with her life. Like, star in a successful play touring around England, as she is right now. Or, wear short shorts in public without fear of being scolded by Queen Elizabeth, like she did yesterday.

Just like Chelsy Davy — the girl who dated Prince Harry on and off from 2004 to 2010 — Chelsy opted out of the royal life. To me? That’s awesome.

When I have a little girl one day, I won’t be raising her to think that being a princess is the happiest happy ending a woman could want. I’ll be raising her to say, “Nah, I don’t want to be a princess. I’ve got better things to do.”

Looking at these photos of beautiful princesses, you can see why it’s such a popular fairytale. Would you be a princess, if you were given the chance? 

What do you think?

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