Chelsy and Harry dated on and off for seven years after meeting as teenagers. The relationship, which has been described as “turbulent”, was made more challenging by the interest of the media, something Harry has struggled with over the years.
In his Apple TV+ series on mental health with Oprah Winfrey entitled ‘The Me You Can’t See’, Harry opened up about the trauma of losing his mother and the anxiety he felt over performing royal duties.
He said: “Before I even left the house, I was sweating, I was in fight or flight mode. Panic attacks, severe anxiety. Twenty-eight to 32 was a nightmare for me. I was freaking out every single time I got in a car and every single time I saw a camera.”
He added: “Everywhere I go, every time I meet someone, it’s almost like I’m being drained of this energy, picking up on somebody else’s emotion.” Harry has previously spoken about how the media has also impacted those he was in a relationship with.
Prince Harry asked the press to leave Meghan alone in a statement in 2016 (Image: GETTY)
Five years ago, he released an official statement asking the press to “pause and reflect” on their alleged “harassment” of his then-girlfriend Meghan Markle.
However, Meghan was not the first girlfriend of his to be put in the spotlight.
Zimbabwean-born Chelsy first started dating Harry back in 2004 when she was a boarder at Stowe School.
She later told The Times of how she had been pursued by the paparazzi during her relationship with Harry.
She said in 2016: “Yes it was tough. It was so full-on: crazy scary and uncomfortable.
“I found it very difficult when it was bad. I couldn’t cope. I was young, I was trying to be a normal kid and it was horrible.”
Harry was all too aware of how bad it was for Chelsy.
In an interview for his 21st birthday, he was asked about the effect of the press on her and he said: “I can see how upset she gets…
“My girlfriend is somebody who’s very special to me, and yes, she’s gone through some very hard times.”
As a young woman, Chelsy was trying to build a career in leverage law, which she found exhausting with “back-to-back deals, working till 4am, conference calls at eight”.
But when she did have time off and wanted to blow off steam with her friends, pictures of her exiting nightclubs ended up splashed in the newspapers.
She said: “I like to enjoy life, but I like to achieve things and am very ambitious.
Prince Harry: Royal was ‘hostile’ after Chelsy Davy says expert
“They can be forgiven for not knowing I was working really hard, I didn’t shout about it.
“If you go out once, they take a picture, but they don’t take a picture of you going to work every morning, it’s of you falling out of a nightclub at 4am.”
Eventually the combined pressure of City law and the stress of being Harry’s girlfriend got too much and they parted ways.
Chelsy was said to be sure she had made the right decision when she attended Prince William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.
Chelsy Davy at Meghan and Harry’s wedding in 2018 (Image: GETTY)
Katie Nicholl wrote in her biography ‘Harry: Life, Loss and Love’ that the wedding “made Chelsy’s mind up once and for all”.
She continued: “The life of a royal bride was not for her and she told Harry she could never make the sacrifices Kate had made.”
‘The Me You Can’t See’ is now available to stream on Apple TV+.