Girl about town: left, Cressida Bonas at last week’s Art Antiques London Gala Evening in aid of Children In Crisis and, right, leaving Annabel’s nightclub with Princess Beatrice
The timing could not have been more perfect. Weeks after her break-up she has landed a role in the boho film of next year. Tulip Fever, a 17th-century love story based on the bestselling novel by Deborah Moggach which will also star Oscar-winning actors Dame Judi Dench and Christoph Waltz.
Produced by Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, the film has also signed up Cara Delevingne and Daisy Lowe.
Bonas will play a beautiful socialite and shooting is due to start in Amsterdam in the next few months. Meanwhile she has received warm reviews for her role in the play There’s a Monster in the Lake, which premiered at the drama spin-off of the Hay-on-Wye literary festival.
Directed by Lily Ashley, granddaughter of Laura Ashley, the production featured Bonas as a comic, cockney-accented “picaresque wolf” and is now on tour before heading to London next month.
Reviewers said the highly active role proves that Bonas can not only act but can dance — she studied dance and drama at Leeds University before moving to a one-year course at the respected Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Greenwich.
It’s all a big change from the past two years, during which Bonas took a £20,000 a year job in theatre marketing because it was deemed “safer” than accepting sometimes risqué dance jobs and acting roles that she worried would only attract attention because of her connection with Prince Harry.
Despite coming from an aristocratic background the socialite has always been fiercely independent, refusing handouts from her parents.
In fact her split from Harry was blamed partly on the fact that she was reluctant to spend her hard-earned salary on a plane fare to his friend Guy Pelly’s wedding in Memphis earlier this year.
“It’s ironic that she struggled to keep up with Prince Harry’s spending while they were together but now she’s about to make some big money from films,” says a source.
THE BONAS BOHOS
A popular student at Stowe School (her room was the party HQ and a route to a clandestine rooftop smoking spot) Bonas has a close-knit circle of male and female friends.
Harry’s royal pedigree has never fazed her — she was introduced to him through her BFF Princess Eugenie. And as a couple, they have a shared social circle that they have largely maintained despite their split. But Bonas has never been particularly close to Harry’s “blokey” mates such as Pelly and the break-up has given her the chance to spend more time with her arty friends.
She has loved her time at Hay and on tour with new friends such as Ashley, the play’s creator Tallulah Brown (daughter of journalist Craig) and hot newcomer Florence Keith-Roach — after the success of the Hay show Tatler gleefully reported that the troupe all went to the Groucho pop-up for a cuppa.
In March, Bonas moved to Shepherd’s Bush — which she calls Shey-Boo — where she is a neighbour of newlywed Poppy Delevingne, which will be handy for pre-Tulip Fever rehearsals with sister Cara. She has also become a regular at the Havelock Tavern, favoured by Carey Mulligan and her Mumford man Marcus.
With her new bunch of boho chums she is planning on going to the Burning Man festival in Nevada in August. But she has also managed to maintain a friendship with the prince — the two are taking part in Sam Branson’s Virgin hiking challenge later this year and are still in regular contact.
THE CRESSIE HUNTERS
So who will be Bonas’ next Prince Charming? Friends say she is happy to be single following her two years with Harry — but who could resist flirting with Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch? The pair met at Chiltern Firehouse recently when Bonas hit the town with her Princess pal.
And is Bonas’ former boyfriend, Harry Wentworth-Stanley, trying to win her back? The couple met at Leeds University but split after Wentworth-Stanley went travelling. Some royal-watchers are speculating that the other Harry may also be missing her.
But with her film role, theatrical career and a boho-erati social circle to keep her busy, Harry will have to fight if he wants his Bonas back.
Her brother is FIOOONEEEEE.
Cressida Bonas with brother Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe