Cressida Bonas’ high street wedding dress! Prince Harry’s ex reveals she ‘dusted off’ a £599 Whistles frock she wore in a James Arthur music video for her low-key summer nuptials to Harry Wentworth-Stanley
- Cressida Bonas, 31, tied the knot with Harry Wentworth-Stanley on 27 July
- Told how she organised her 30-person church service in under two weeks
- Donned an old Whistles dress that she once wore for a James Arthur music video
Actress Cressida Bonas has revealed she recycled a £599 high street dress she first wore in a music video for her wedding to Harry Wentworth-Stanley.
The 31-year-old, who dated the Duke of Sussex, 36, for three years until 2014, tied the knot with Harry the estate agent son of the Marchioness of Milford Haven, at the exclusive Cowdray Park, in Midhurst, West Sussex, on 27 July.
Only a handful of photos of the private nuptials emerged at the time, including one of the bride and groom riding off into the sunset on horseback.
In the image, only the back of the bride’s white sleeveless dress could be seen, leaving royal watchers wondering what the dress look liked from the front.
In a new interview Prince Harry’s ex explained how just four days before the wedding, she was searching Oxford Street for the perfect wedding dress with no such luck – but luckily remembered she had a white lace gown from Whistles that she had worn for James Arthur’s single, Naked.
Cressida Bonas, 31, has revealed she recycled a £599 Whistles dress that she once wore for a James Arthur video for her wedding dress. Pictured, in the artist’s video, Naked
The bride’s brother, Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, shared an Instagram photo of the happy couple ‘riding off into their beautiful future’ on horseback (pictured)
Cressida Bonas told how she organised her lockdown 30-person, socially-distanced church service wedding in under two weeks. Pictured, she tied the knot with Harry Wentworth-Stanley at the exclusive Cowdray Park, in Midhurst, West Sussex, on 27th July
The 31-year-old dated the Duke of Sussex, 36, for three years until 2014. Pictured, attending We Day UK, a charity event to bring young people together at Wembley Arena on March 7, 2014 in London
‘I remembered an old Whistles dress I once wore for a James Arthur music video,’ she recalled, speaking to The Spectator. ‘I went home and found the dusty frock at the back of my cupboard. After some ironing, it looked good as new.’
The online product description of the guinevere wedding dress, which initially retailed at £599 but is now at the reduced price of £389, reads:
‘This elegant dress is a beautiful choice for modern brides. The cotton embroidered tulle design features a playful tiered skirt, a high frill neck and a cut-out detail on the lower back.
‘Modern and feminine, this limited edition design will ensure you make a show-stopping entrance on your big day.’
Despite the Covid-19 restrictions meaning no hymns or speaking too loudly, she told how having just a ‘small portion’ of her and Harry’s family allowed made it ‘just simply special.’
Cressida wore the Whistles ‘Guinevere’ dress which initially retailed at £599 but is now at the reduced price of £389. Pictured left and right, the dress on the website
‘Not what we’d envisaged, but a more intimate and special day than we could ever have imagined. Imperfect yet perfect – a day we will never forget,’ she explained.
However, disaster struck just two days before the big day, when Cressida woke up to find a ‘red, bulbous’ stye on her eyelid – something which the doctor said would need to be operated on at a later date.
So the night before the wedding, Cressida ended up sleeping with cucumber on her eye in a bid to calm down the redness.
And the drama didn’t stop there, as she got lost on her way to church the next morning, with what was supposed to be a 20-minute journey, taking over an hour.
Cowdray estate (pictured) comprises 16,500 acres and includes the pitches where Harry and brother Prince William often competed during their polo playing days
In May Cressida hinted that their original wedding had to be postponed due to the current crisis, posting a snap as she and Harry posed in front of an ‘Auto-wed’ machine in fancy dress
She also noted how her father, who insisted on wearing a tail suit and was the only man not in a summer suit, was ‘strangely quiet’ en route to the venue.
Cressida explained: ‘I asked him if he was all right. He said: “It’s just like taking Sheba [his dog] to the vet.”‘ He didn’t want to do it, but knew he had to. He is very fond of my husband, Harry, by the way. But he didn’t want to let his daughter go.’
After stepping out of the car and straight into a puddle, Cressida explained how she was met by a ‘nervous’ vicar, and tried to avoid looking at her dad’s ‘watery eyes’ as he walked her up the aisle.
She added that instead of hymns, Harry and her siblings played the piano, while their mothers read from ‘Desiderata,’ which was her late aunt’s favourite poem.
Pictured: Cressida at Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in May 2018
The weekend of their special day came just before the explosive Finding Freedom biography, which delved into Harry and Meghan’s rift with the Royal Family, was also released and Cressida wanted to avoid being in the spotlight.
Prince Harry and Cressida split in 2014, reportedly because Cressida was tired of the scrutiny that came with dating a member of the royal family.
However the couple remain on good terms and socialise in similar circles, with Princess Eugenie, who introduced the couple, among Cressida’s closest friends.
Cressida even attended her ex-boyfriend’s wedding to Meghan Markle in May 2018.
The bride’s brother, Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, shared an Instagram photo of the happy couple ‘riding off into their beautiful future’ on horseback.
Cressida can be seen with her blonde hair pulled back into a casual updo, while her simple white dress fell above her knees.
Cowdray estate comprises 16,500 acres and includes the pitches where Harry and brother Prince William often competed during their polo playing days. It also boasts a golf course, farm shop, cafe and holiday cottages.
The OTHER Harry! Who is Cressida Bonas’ new well-heeled husband Harry Wentworth-Stanley?
Cressida and Harry, pictured in 2017, dated in university before rekindling their romance after her split from Prince Harry
Harry Wentworth-Stanley, an associate director at estate agents Savills, is the son of Nick Wentworth-Stanley, a debonair Old Etonian, and Clare, now the Marchioness of Milford Haven, who acquired the title upon her second marriage to Harry’s stepfather, the Marquess of Milford Haven.
Before his relationship with his now wife became official, Harry, who is dashingly handsome and 6ft 4in tall, was regarded as one of London’s most eligible bachelors.
He inherited his looks from his mother, Clare, a beauty who remains stunning. There was a brother, James, four years his senior, and younger sister Louisa. When Harry was a child, his mother and father divorced. In 1997, Clare married George, Marquess of Milford Haven, a cousin of the Queen, himself divorced with two children.
The family settled at Great Trippetts, an estate set in 1,000 acres in the Sussex Downs. For a time, life was perfect. Clare stayed on good terms with her former husband, Nick Wentworth-Stanley, who went on to marry Dutch beauty Millie Brenninkmeyer, with whom he had three more children.
Shortly before Christmas 2006, the Marquess and Marchioness and their children went to stay with Nick and his wife in Worcestershire. James, Harry’s elder brother, was recovering from a relatively minor procedure. The operation was a success, but James had become very anxious in the days that followed.
Harry Wentworth-Stanley, an associate director at estate agents Savills, is the son of Nick Wentworth-Stanley, a debonair Old Etonian, and Clare, now the Marchioness of Milford Haven, who acquired the title upon her second marriage to Harry’s stepfather, the Marquess of Milford Haven. Pictured, the Marquess and Marchioness in 2017
One evening, the family were gathered in the house when they heard a shot fired. They rushed outside to find James lying dead.
The family was shattered by the tragedy.
Clare was floored by her son’s suicide. Touchingly, it was Harry, then 17, who helped her through it. She said in an interview 18 months after James’ death: ‘For the sake of the other children, you have to set an example. If you are strong, it gives them permission to be strong. If you fall to bits, they will.
Harry’s father is Nick Wentworth-Stanley, pictured, a debonair Old Etonian
‘The day after James died, his brother Harry said his biggest fear was that it would destroy me, and that would destroy everything else. It suddenly made me feel how important I was.’
The couple had a serious relationship when they were both students at Leeds University. The couple were known to their crowd — for reasons that aren’t entirely clear — as ‘Water-Cress’. The romance petered out when he took off for a gap year to Argentina in 2011 after graduating.
Friends have previously said Cressida wasn’t quite over Harry when another Harry — Prince Harry himself — began pursuing her in the summer of 2012 and a romance began. There were concerts, rugby matches, skiing trips and cosy nights in at Kensington Palace.
However the couple split in 2014 after three years together.
The following year Harry Wentworth-Stanley and Cressida were photographed on a Valentine’s Day date, although their relationship became public and official in 2017.
In August last year Harry proposed while on a trip to the US and the couple’s smiles in the Instagram announcement told followers all they needed to know about their love for each other.
Harry as a young boy with his stepfather, Marquess of Milford Haven (left), sister Louise (front), mother Clare (centre), the Marquess’ brother Lord Ivar Mouthbatten, his children Ella and Alix and then wife Penny (right) at Cowdray Park in 2001
The stunning 19th century Cowdray House can be rented out for weddings of up to 150 people.
The estate is owned by Viscount Cowdray, a close friend of the groom’s stepfather and mother, the Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven whose own 1,000 acre estate, Great Trippetts, is less than 10 miles away.
The Marchioness, Clare Mountbatten, is also an avid polo player and regular at Cowdray Park. Cressida has previously been photographed at the polo park while a guest at charity events.
It is not known who attended the wedding but the couple both come from large families that would quickly make up the 30 people maximum.
Cressida is the only child of 1960s ‘It’ Girl Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon and her third husband, Old Harrovian entrepreneur Jeffrey Bonas.
The actress, who appeared in ITV drama White House Farm, has three half-brothers from her father Jeffrey Bonas’ first marriage, George, Charles and Henry Bonas.
Meanwhile her mother has four children to her first two husbands: Pandora Cooper-Key, daughter of Esmond Cooper-Key, and sculptor Georgiana Anstruther, Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, and Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, the children of property developer John Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. Isabella is married to Sir Richard Branson’s son Sam.
Harry is the second child of Nick-Wentworth-Stanley and his first wife Clare, now Marchioness of Milford Haven.
A venue fit for a society queen! Inside Cressida and Harry’s wedding venue at Cowdray Park
Cowdray Park is a world-famous estate home to royal polo matches located in West Sussex.
Almost every royal from the Queen to Prince Harry has frequented the site nestled in the South Downs to watch a polo match or two.
The park is recognised as the home of British Polo and has hosted polo for more than 100 years, with the first tournament recorded in 1910.
It also offers clay pigeon shooting and corporate activity days, as well as the more traditional activities of agriculture, forestry and property lets.
The park also has a golf course and in recent years has become a popular wedding venue for the wealthy.
Cowdray Park is a world-famous estate home to royal polo matches located in West Sussex. Pictured, Cowdray Park where society weddings are held
There are several options available to couple wanting to tie the knot on the estate, including the option of a small outdoor service in the Walled Garden, or a more formal sit-down meal in the ballroom of 19th century Cowdary House. Events can also be held at the golf clubhouse.
The house, which is available for exclusive hire, is set in extensive landscaped grounds and a manicured croquet lawn with a far-reaching view of the West Sussex South Downs, making it perfect for outdoor drinks receptions.
There are also 22 beautiful bedrooms available to the couple and their nearest and dearest.
The centrepiece of the property is Buck Hall, a stunning space with a vaulted ceiling, stained glass windows and a beautiful arched minstrel’s gallery.
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