Chelsy Davy: 8 things to know about Prince Harry's on- and off-again ex-girlfriend

Long before Prince Harry got engaged to American actress Meghan Markle, there was Zimbabwean jeweler Chelsy Davy. She met Harry in 2004, but the couple’s on-and-off seven-year relationship officially ended in 2011.

Davy, though, told the Sunday Times in 2016 the two would “always be good friends,” and it seems Harry and his 32-year-old ex are still on good terms: She is rumored to have received an invite to the forthcoming regal ceremony. (Before their breakup, Davy and Harry attended Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding together.)  Come May 19, we’ll see if Davy will indeed be on hand to toast to Harry’s happily ever after.

In the meantime, here’s the scoop on Davy, from her safari upbringing to the intense media mania that severed her romantic ties with the prince:

1. That time monkeys stole Davy’s crayons

Growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe, Davy told the Times she hung around an orphaned pet hyena, and once a “very dangerous” boomslang snake the length of a man landed on her head. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from a young girl whose millionaire safari operator of a father, Charles Davy, raised her on 1,300 square miles of African savannah, with giraffes, lions and more wildlife around her. “At my preschool there were monkeys everywhere,” she recalled, “stealing your crayons.”

2. Davy’s move to England, where she met Harry

A far cry from Zimbabwe, Davy briefly attended Cheltenham College, a girls’ public boarding school in the southwest English town, before switching to Stowe School, a selective independent boarding school in Buckinghamshire, all the while feeling maladjusted -- like “Crocodile Dundee, with all my snakes,” she told the Times.

“I'd never worn makeup and suddenly everyone was in makeup,” she added. “People were like: ‘Who is this weirdo from Zimbabwe?’ But I made some fabulous friends.” Among them: Prince Harry, with whom she first hit it off in early 2004.  

3. Davy’s lack of model ambitions

Contrary to popular belief, the blonde beauty didn't have her mind set on a modeling career. In the same Times interview, Davy debunked that rumor, stating, “That’s a terrible fiction.” In fact, she told Country and Town Housethat from a very young age, she was inspired by the film A Few Good Men to pursue a career in law.

4. Instead, Davy became a lawyer

Though she says the media focused on her party-girl antics with Prince Harry more than her day-to-day life as an academic, Davy proved she was more than meets the eye when she got her law degree at the University of Leeds. (She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Cape Town.) Following school, Davy joined Allen & Overy, an elite London-based law firm.

"They can be forgiven for not knowing I was working really hard, I didn’t shout about it,” she told the Times, referring to the paps. “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 4 a.m.”

5. Law, however, was no match for jewelry-making  

In 2014, she abandoned a career in law to pursue self-directed endeavors. After obtaining a gemology diploma from the Gemological Institute of America, Davy launched a luxury African jewelry line called Aya, which honors her deep connection to her native soil, "from emeralds in Zambia to rubies in Mozambique and tanzanites in Tanzania," as the jeweler's official site reads.

6. Davy was held at gunpoint in 2006

In a terrifying turn of events at a South African bar in Cape Town, where Davy and a friend were celebrating having finished their dissertations, a gunman lunged at their table. “He put a gun to my head," she recalled to the Times. “They frogmarched us into the kitchen, made us all lie down, patted us down for valuables, said: ‘The first person to look up we’re going to shoot.’ I was holding my friend’s hand, we were both shaking.”

7. Being in the spotlight was, well, a royal pain

Davy described being chased by the paps during her romance with Prince Harry as “crazy and scary and uncomfortable.”

“I found it very difficult when it was bad,” she confessed to the Times. “I couldn’t cope. I was young, I was trying to be a normal kid and it was horrible.” Seeking to escape the spotlight, the media-shy entrepreneur decided to end things with Harry. “Now it's calm, now it’s fine.”

Responding to the newspaper's inquiry if it's possible for a person with an everyday career to be romantic with a royal, Davy said, “I don’t know, but I think that some people are definitely better at it than others.”

8. Now, Davy enjoys roaming Africa


 

These days, Davy seems content traveling the world, with recent visits to the Amazon and Bahamas. Her Instagram features an array of nature pics, including a May 6 photo of gallivanting zebras in Zambia, captioned with “#TheDream.”

18 PHOTOS
Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy during their relationship
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Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy during their relationship
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy leave a service of remembrance and thanksgiving at the Holy Trinity Church on May 5, 2008 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Ben Stansall/Getty Images)
(FILES) Photo shows Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy laughing before the Investec Challenge international rugby match South Africa vs. England in Twickenham, west London, on November 22, 2008. Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, has split with his girlfriend Chelsy Davy after five years, British media reported on January 24, 2009.AFP PHOTO / Chris Ratcliffe (Photo credit should read CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDOVER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy laugh as they attend Prince Harry's Pilot Course Graduation at the Army Aviation Centre on May 7, 2010 in Andover, England. The Prince of Wales, Colonel in Chief, presented flying badges to students, including Prince Harry who had successfully completed the Operational Training Phase of the Army Air Corps. It was announced today that Prince Harry will fly Apache helicopters during the next section of his training. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
ST JOHN'S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA - APRIL 08: (EDITORS NOTE ALTERNATE CROP) Prince Harry kisses his girlfriend Chelsy Davy during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 Super Eight match between England and Australia at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds on April 8, 2007 in St John's, Antigua. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 5: Prince Harry and girlfriend Chelsy Davy attend a service of remembrance and thanksgiving at the Holy Trinity Church on May 5 2008 in Windsor. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
MIDDLE WALLOP, ENGLAND - MAY 7: Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry leave after Prince Harry received his flying badges at the Museum of Army Flying on May 7, 2010 in Middle Wallup, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
(FILES) Photo shows Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy laughing before the Investec Challenge international rugby match South Africa vs. England in Twickenham, west London, on November 22, 2008. Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, has split with his girlfriend Chelsy Davy after five years, British media reported on January 24, 2009. AFP PHOTO / Chris Ratcliffe (Photo credit should read CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
London, UNITED KINGDOM: Prince Harry (R) and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy joke as they watch a performance at Wembley stadium in north London, 01 July 2007, as 60,000 revellers join Princes William and Harry for the six-hour long extravaganza in memory of their late mother Diana. Prince William, who turned 25 on June 21, predicted it would be 'an incredible night' of music after watching preparations being made yesterday for the event which is timed for what would have been his mother's 46th birthday. Police were on high alert as the huge concert got under way, a day after Britain raised its security threat level to maximum. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON - NOVEMBER 22: Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy attend the Investec Challenge match between England and South Africa at Twickenham on November 22, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Prince Harry (left) and Chelsy Davy(second row right) after a service of Remembrance for those who have died in Afghanistan at the Army Garrison Church in Windsor. (Photo by Steve Parsons - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON - JULY 01: Their Royal Highnesses Prince William (R) and Prince Harry (C) and guest Chelsy Davy (L) watch the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium on July 1, 2007 in London, England. The Concert falls on the date that would have been the late Princess's 46th birthday and marks 10 years since her death with an event headed by Princes William and Harry to celebrate her life. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
05/09/2008 - LONDON - UK PRINCE HARRY AND HIS GIRLFRIEND CHELSY DAVY ENJOY A NIGHT OUT AT BOUJIS NIGHTCLUB IN SOUTH KENSINGTON. THE ROYAL COUPLE LEFT THE CLUB AT JUST AFTER 2:30AM. IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THE ALLEGED PROMISE HE MADE TO HIS GRANDFATHER PRINCE PHILIP ABOUT NOT BEING PHOTOGRAPHED LEAVING CLUBS IN THE EARLY HOURS HAS BEEN FORGOTTEN!! BYLINE MUST READ: XPOSUREPHOTOS.COM *THIS IMAGE IS STRICTLY FOR PAPER AND MAGAZINE USE ONLY - NO WEB ALLOWED USAGE UNLESS PREVIOUSLY AGREED. PLEASE TELEPHONE * (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
Prince Harry (left) and Chelsy Davy (right) watch from the stands during the Investec Challenge Series match at Twickenham Stadium, London. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)
05/09/2008 - LONDON - UK PRINCE HARRY AND HIS GIRLFRIEND CHELSY DAVY ENJOY A NIGHT OUT AT BOUJIS NIGHTCLUB IN SOUTH KENSINGTON. THE ROYAL COUPLE LEFT THE CLUB AT JUST AFTER 2:30AM. IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THE ALLEGED PROMISE HE MADE TO HIS GRANDFATHER PRINCE PHILIP ABOUT NOT BEING PHOTOGRAPHED LEAVING CLUBS IN THE EARLY HOURS HAS BEEN FORGOTTEN!! BYLINE MUST READ: XPOSUREPHOTOS.COM *THIS IMAGE IS STRICTLY FOR PAPER AND MAGAZINE USE ONLY - NO WEB ALLOWED USAGE UNLESS PREVIOUSLY AGREED. PLEASE TELEPHONE * (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
Prince Harry is watched by girlfriend Chelsy Davy and his father, the Prince of Wales, during the polo at Cirencester Park Polo Club. (Photo by Barry Batchelor - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor. (Photo by Andrew Parsons - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Chelsy Davy and HRH Prince Harry (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)
EGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 30: Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy attend the Cartier International Polo match at the Guards Polo Club on 30 July, 2006 in Egham, England. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)
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