British Royal Family

There are two forgotten women in the Harry and Meghan debacle that we need to talk about

While all eyes are on Meghan and Harry, there are two women who also had the potential to change everything.

By Jess Pullar
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back as senior members of the royal family was a bombshell no one expected.
And while it took the world (and the royal family themselves) by surprise, there are two women who might have had the biggest shock of all.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step back has shocked the world. (Getty)
Let's cast our minds back to Prince Harry in his pre-Meghan days.
The red-headed royal was known for his party-boy antics, his fun-loving attitude... and two key women he spent a lot of his time with.
We are of course, talking about his ex-girlfriends Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy.
Much like Kate Middleton was scrutinised and followed by media wherever she went when she first started dating Prince William, Cressida and Chelsy were also at the centre of the media spotlight.
So heavily followed were they, that the pressure and intensity clearly took its toll. As we have come to learn in the years since he split with both women, this was a key reason behind their breakups.
Prince Harry's ex-girlfriends Chelsy (pictured) and Cressida were under heavy media scrutiny while they dated the royal. (Getty)
And here's where it gets interesting - Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to "step back" as royal family members will likely mean they will not be expected to partake in some of the duties that thrust them into the public eye.
This includes the expectation to partake in things like official photo calls following the birth of their children, or being obliged to share images of themselves and their family on a regular basis.
For Cressida and Chelsy, these kinds of rules and duties would no doubt have been something both were well aware of while they dated Harry - and we certainly wouldn't blame them for being a tad intimidated by it all.
In fact, it is believed this feat was one of the key reasons why Chelsy Davy split with Harry - and the spectacle that was Prince William and Duchess Catherine's wedding in 2011 was the nail in the coffin.
"A friend revealed that seeing the enormity and pomp of the [2011 royal wedding] convinced Chelsy that she and Harry had been right to separate," royal biographer Angela Levin wrote.
It was Prince William's wedding to Kate, which was broadcast globally, that was rumoured to be the nail in the coffin for Chelsy and Harry. (Getty)
Cressida, whom Harry dated between 2012 and 2014 had a similar experience.
According to another respected royal writer Katie Nicholl, the British actress was "spooked" by the amount of attention on William and Kate - particularly apparent during their 2014 tour of New Zealand and Australia.
"Cressida had been 'completely spooked' while watching TV coverage of William, Kate and George touring New Zealand and Australia that spring," Katie penned.
"There was no way she wanted that sort of attention and she told Harry so."
Cressida was also reportedly "spooked" by the intensity of pressure on the royals. (Getty)
So with this in mind, one can only wonder what the two women are thinking now as Harry and Meghan decide to take matters into their own hands by stepping back altogether as royals.
Did the two women know it was even an option to step back? Would they have done what Meghan and Harry have so boldly done now?
We'll likely never know the answer to these questions, but perhaps things might have turned out quite differently had they known during their relationship with Harry.
That being said, both women appear to be carving out hugely sucessful lives for themselves.
Cressida Bonas, 30, has just appeared in a new ITV mini-series called White House Farm, where she plays the harrowed character of Sheila Caffell.
Her performance has already received rave reviews, with the promising actress stealing the show.
Bonas is also now engaged to her partner Harry Wentworth-Stanley, with the pair making the exciting announcement last August.
WATCH: Cressida Bonas talks about Prince Harry. Story continues...
As for Chelsy Davy, the 34-year-old now owns a jewellery brand, and seems to be doing swimmingly - quite literally.
Just last week, the Zimbabwean businesswoman shared some dreamy holiday snaps from her current vacation in Mauritius.
In the pictures, the blonde beauty looked relaxed and happy surrounded by her nearest and dearest.

At the end of the day, it certainly looks like everything worked out for the best for both Chelsy and Cressida.
So perhaps instead of wondering what could have been, they're probably quite content to let sleeping dogs lie.