Prince Harry Admits to Making “Mistakes” and “Stupid Decisions” and Being “Immature” in Relationship with Chelsy Davy

He is in the middle of a court case against Mirror Group Newspaper Limited.

Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy kiss
(Image credit: Getty)

Many moons before he met and married Meghan Markle, Prince Harry was in a long-term relationship with Chelsy Davy, who he dated off and on from 2004 to 2010. (Harry and Chelsy are still on good terms, and she was even present at his 2018 wedding to Meghan.) Chelsy came up in Harry’s court case against Mirror Group Newspaper Limited, a suit where Harry alleges the company hacked his phone and voicemails in order to obtain private information for their stories.

Per OK, Harry referenced articles that claimed he and Chelsy got into a fight over the phone after Harry was allegedly caught flirting with another woman while Chelsy was out of town.

“I had been immature,” Harry said. “I hadn’t really thought about my actions, and I had made a stupid decision—and my mistakes were being played out publicly.” Harry didn’t specify exactly what these “mistakes” were.

Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy sit by a car and point to photographers

(Image credit: Getty)

Harry also said he didn’t “recall” how Chelsy reacted to the article at the time, though he acknowledged an argument could have taken place since “a lot of our relationship was conducted over the telephone” because of their schedules.

By this point in their relationship, Harry said, the two were “extremely guarded” as they “started to distrust everyone around” them. While stories used to insist the publication’s writers talked to Harry or Chelsy’s “friends” to get inside information, nobody but Harry and Chelsy themselves knew the details of their phone call over Harry’s alleged flirtation.

“So how could the defendant’s journalists know about this?” Harry asked, insinuating that his phone was tapped.

Per Page Six, Harry cites the U.K. press as the “main factor” in his ultimate breakup with Chelsy, saying their relationship “was always set to be doomed” due to “the prying eyes of the tabloids.” 

Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy smile at one another

(Image credit: Getty)

“It was just that feeling of being under surveillance all the time,” Harry said. “I believe Chelsy found this even more difficult to deal with when she lived in England…everyone has a limit to what they can endure.”

Harry said he “tried to be the best partner” but, echoing his mother Princess Diana’s statement at one point about how there were three people in her marriage—herself, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker-Bowles—Harry said that there were three people in all of his relationships: him, his partner, and the press.

Eventually, Chelsy decided “a royal life was not for her” because of the media scrutiny; Harry said their breakup was “incredibly upsetting” for him, yet he understood why she did it. He noted they constantly lived in “fear” for their “safety,” leading to “a huge amount of unnecessary stress and strain on our relationship.”

Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy attend a Service of Thanksgiving together

(Image credit: Getty)

“We could also never understand how private elements of our life together were finding their way into the tabloids, and so our circle of friends became smaller and smaller,” he said. “I remember finding it very hard to trust anyone, which led to bouts of depression and paranoia.”

The aforementioned moment in 2005 saw Harry caught “flirting with a brunette” at a party while Chelsy was out of town. The articles claimed Chelsy had been “furious” with him and had given him a “tongue-lashing down the phone.”

Of Chelsy, Harry wrote in his memoir, Spare, “She didn’t care what anyone thought. She wore miniskirts and high-heeled boots, danced however she wanted, drank tequila like me, and all of this made me really happy.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.