7 royal couples that didn't make it down the aisle

We're used to seeing some of our favourite royal couples looking so loved-up on public outings, but just like anyone, even royals face difficulties in their relationships, and some fail to stand the rest of time.

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From the romances that were frowned upon, to the wedding that was famously called off, here are some of the royal relationships that didn't last through difficult times.

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Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas


It was Princess Eugenie who introduced her friend Cressida Bonas to Prince Harry in 2012, his most recent public girlfriend before Meghan Markle. The former couple shared a lust for life and they were often snapped holidaying together, appearing the perfect pair.

But as rumours of a royal engagement for the couple escalated, Cressida is said to have become increasingly overwhelmed by the public attention. While the pair split in 2014, they proved they are still on good terms, with Cressida attending as a guest to Harry's wedding to Meghan in 2018.

In January 2020, Cressida spoke about her ex's decision to step down from the royal family with his wife Meghan. In an interview with ES Magazine, Cressida, who is currently pregnant with her first child, said: "I wouldn't take a position on that because it would be a headline."

"What's the expression," she added. "How would I feel if the shoe was on the other foot and it was an ex talking about me? It feels like a long time ago, so when it comes up it feels strange because I'm in a very different place now - I'm getting married, I've learned a lot. I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. I'm growing."

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Princess Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles


Princess Anne has had a colourful relationship with love over the years, divorcing her husband Mark Phillips in 1992 and remarrying her husband Timothy Laurence in the same year. But heartache for the Queen's only daughter began long before her marital divorce.

The Princess Royal fell in love with her first boyfriend Andrew Parker Bowles in her twenties and because Andrew was a Roman Catholic, their partnership was not suitable under the eyes of the Church of England - which the Queen is head of. Andrew instead went on to marry Camilla Shand, who is now married to Prince Charles, Anne's brother.

Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend


Before Princess Margaret married Anthony Armstrong-Jones, the Queen's sister had a difficult engagement with her first love Peter Townsend, the equerry to King George VI. The pair got engaged in 1953 but because Peter had been married before - and as Princess Margaret was under 25 at the time - she would require the Queen's consent to marry a divorced man.

After much debate and speculation, Margaret released a heartbreaking statement in 1955 confirming she had broken off the engagement. It read: "I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend."

The marriage would also have meant Princess Margaret renouncing the rights of her royal succession. "Mindful of the Church's teachings that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before others," she wrote.

Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy


Young loves Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy were seen together in the public eye for a total of seven years – and it was long enough for rumours of a royal engagement to spark.

Harry met the Zimbabwe-born beauty in Cape Town when they were both at boarding school and their romance continued to blossom under the interest of the public, with Chelsy attending King Charles' 60th birthday and even meeting the late Queen at a society wedding. However, things sadly came to an end in 2011, when being in the royal spotlight became too much for Chelsy.

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Prince Louis of Luxembourg and Scarlett-Lauren Sirgue


Prince Louis of Luxembourg and Parisian lawyer, Scarlett-Lauren Sirgue, revealed in an interview with Point de Vue magazine that they had called off their engagement in February 2022 - less than a year after the royal had popped the question.

However, the couple, who are thought to have dated for around four years, said that while their ambitions in life were "too different," they will remain friends.

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Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Jonas Bergstrom


Princess Madeleine of Sweden made headlines when she called off her royal engagement with long-term love Jonas Bergstrom, amid allegations he had been unfaithful. The pair had been together for seven years and it was the first time in recent history a royal wedding had been cancelled.

The Swedish royal family announced the news in a statement, which said: "After careful consideration, Princess Madeleine and Mr Jonas Bergstrom made a joint decision to go their separate ways."

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King Felipe of Spain and Eva Sannum


Felipe of Spain sparked concern among royalty and the public in 2001 when his relationship rumours began to pick up pace surrounding his relationship with former Norwegian lingerie model Eva Sannum.

The romance and rumoured engagement prompted months of public debate over whether the prince should marry the model – deemed unsuitable to hold a royal position – with government officials even giving their opinions. Felipe eventually called the relationship off, saying it was not as a result of pressure from the establishment, but rather that he had made the decision "freely, with mutual accord and jointly".

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