Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bonas Season; as Harry and Cressie Get Serious, Bookies Slash the Engagement Odds. Joshi Herrmann Reports

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bonas Season; as Harry and Cressie Get Serious, Bookies Slash the Engagement Odds. Joshi Herrmann Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: Joshi Herrmann

ROYAL-WATCHERS have decided that Cressida Bonas's appearance at Twickenham two days after she watched Harry on official duty at a charity event at Wembley Arena is significant. The double appearance was interpreted as a deliberate public marker -- "a clear sign that the couple are increasingly confident in their relationship," said one of the royal pack, as William Hill picked the perfect moment to "slash" its odds on a 2014 engagement to 8/13.

It seems the right moment to declare: Cressie is now a thing. She's become well known enough to be mentioned without her surname and explaining clauses ("the aristocratic girlfriend of Prince Harry" / "Hazza's latest posh squeeze") attached. And she's enough of a thing to turn up to an event and spin the lenses away from the horses/ rugby players/representatives-of-adeserving-charitable-project in the way Diana used to do and the Duchess of Cambridge does.

Engagement speculation has by no means begun to resemble the frenzy that attended the eight-year Waitey Katie saga but the weekend's events have established a pattern that will be repeated at least a dozen times this year: Cressie attends an event and the world makes its guesses about what her appearance could mean.

THE SCOTTISH QUESTION

No trip will receive more scrutiny than her possible appearance at the Queen's Scottish summer retreat, Balmoral. A source at the 49,000-acre property was quoted yesterday, saying: "Prince Harry is expected to bring CressidaIt's the talk of the estate." The diarist doing the quoting noted that Kate and her parents were invited to a private shooting party at Balmoral in October 2010 and that the couple were engaged the next month. The beautiful Georgiana Russell famously watched Charles fishing in bored despair when she was invited as his girlfriend, and another of his girls -- Sabrina Guinness -- recalls the royal family's fury when it leaked out that she was visiting and the press pack turned up en masse up to welcome her arrival in Scotland. …

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