It is claimed Ms Bonas was put off the idea of the extensive media coverage the royal family receives after she saw Kate Middleton and her son Prince George being filmed for a TV news programme. Robert Lacey, a royal biographer, alleges the Duke’s then-girlfriend “regretfully” explained she would not want to raise her own son in such a public way.
Mr Lacey makes the claim in his book Battle of Brothers, which investigates the lives of Princes Harry and William.
In it, the royal author said of Ms Bonas: “In 2014, she was said to have been ‘completely spooked’ after watching the TV coverage of William and Kate touring New Zealand with baby George in tow – that was not the way she would want to enjoy her eight-month-old son, she regretfully explained to Harry.”
Ms Bonas, an English actress and socialite, dated Prince Harry for two years between 2012 and 2014.
Despite the break-up, the two appear to have remained good friends, and she was even invited to the Duke’s wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018.
Prince Harry was reportedly introduced to the actress through fellow royal Princess Eugenie.
According to Mr Lacey, Ms Bonas did not like “critical remarks” that people made behind her back due to her increased public profile due to her relationship with the Duke.
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The lawyer-turned-businesswoman told The Times there were instances when photographers would follow the two around.
She said: “I found it very difficult when it was bad. I couldn’t cope.”
Indeed, media attention was cited as one of the reasons why Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle distanced themselves from the Royal Family this year by stepping down from their senior roles.
They also moved to the United States, where they currently live with young son Archie.
Regarding their transition earlier this year, the royals said in a statement: “The Royal Family respect and understand the wish of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to live a more independent life as a family, by removing the supposed ‘public interest’ justification for media intrusion into their lives.”
Harry and Meghan currently reside in Santa Barbara, California, having moved there this summer from Los Angeles.
Since moving there, they have spoken out frequently about the mental health impacts of being on the receiving end of negative comments online.
Meghan Markle told the Teenage Therapy podcast this month: “I’m told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world — male or female.
“Now for eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible. I was on maternity leave or with the baby, but what was able to be just manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable.”
Prince Harry added that he uses meditation to help him cope with such negative coverage and added he avoids reading anything written about him.