Chelsy Davy: How Prince Harry's Ex-Girlfriend Changed Through The Years

Chelsy Davy is a businesswoman, wife, and mother — but to most people, she is still best known as the ex-girlfriend of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Davy and the royal were in a serious long-term relationship, which lasted from 2004 to 2011. The couple ultimately ended things due to a combination of pressure from the media and concerns about how Prince Harry's grandmother and then-monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, would receive her.

When it comes to her famous ex and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Davy has remained quite tight-lipped. But with a renewed interest in Davy and her life due to Prince Harry's own legal complications and phone hacking trial, as well as his memoir, "Spare," which detailed some of their relationship, many are curious to know about the woman who could've been a royal. Here is a look at how Chelsy Davy became the person she is today.

Chelsy Davy grew up in Zimbabwe

While a lot of people might associate Chelsy Davy with the United Kingdom due to her relationship with Prince Harry, she was actually born and raised in Zimbabwe. Her family owned a farm in the country, and Davy grew up surrounded by wildlife and nature. As she told Tatler, her childhood was like something out of a dream for the most part. "I was always on the farm, running around barefoot with herds of buffalo, and elephants crossing the road," she said. "There were often monkeys on the tennis court, jumping up and stealing the ball."

Davy and her family moved to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, when she was young so that she could attend school in the city, which is the second largest in the country. Her family owned a significant amount of land in the country and is a shareholder of the Bubye Conservancy, which spans 800,000 acres. In 2009 Davy spoke out to defend her father against allegations of poaching and insisted that her father is a major conservationist, along with the rest of her family.

She moved to England amid political upheaval in Zimbabwe

In 2000, Chelsy Davy's family was confronted with a stark reality: Robert Mugabe, then-president of Zimbabwe, announced that over 800 farms owned by foreign nationals, predominantly Europeans, would be taken over by Black citizens in an initiative that many thought was a re-election scheme. While not all of the citizens of Zimbabwe supported the move, it grew legs, and many farmers ended up fleeing the country.

Legislation created by Mugabe didn't leave a lot of room for negotiation for the families who left. Mugabe also reportedly did not offer the families who were moving onto the farms any kind of training about farming or financial support. According to Davy, the number of people who left Zimbabwe translated into a lack of teachers in the area. As she told Tatler in April 2020, "The problem was that when all that kicked off, people started leaving, so the schooling system was affected as well. All the good teachers left. From that aspect, I didn't feel like I was going to get a good education anywhere at all," Davy explained. "So I came to school in England."

Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry met during the royal's gap year

Chelsy Davy met Prince Harry during his gap year — after he graduated from Eton but before beginning his military training at Sandhurst. Neither has ever offered the exact circumstances of their first meeting; however, Harry offered more details than ever before in his 2023 memoir, "Spare."

Harry shared in his tell-all book that he and his friends were in Cape Town, South Africa looking for something to do when they had the idea to invite a few people over. Not knowing too many people in the country, Harry remembered Davy, whom he had met at a polo club back home. Harry went on to add that Davy was different from a lot of other girls he had been introduced to. "Unlike so many people I knew, she seemed wholly unconcerned with appearances, with propriety, with royalty," he wrote. "Unlike so many girls I met, she wasn't visibly fitting herself for a crown the moment she shook my hand. She seemed immune to that common affliction sometimes called throne syndrome."

The two ended up spending a few days together and then began a relationship that spanned several years, including those during which Harry was stationed in Afghanistan.

She was under a lot of pressure due to her relationship with Prince Harry

The relationship between Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry wasn't always smooth sailing. Harry himself has admitted as much. As he wrote in his memoir "Spare," the pair struggled while Harry was deployed and Davy reportedly didn't feel like he was giving her the attention that she needed. In turn, he didn't understand why she couldn't support his goal of going to war.

Harry also revealed that the constant attention from the press was a major reason for the two eventually breaking up. In a written statement shared by The New York Times, Harry detailed, "It was just that feeling of being under surveillance all the time. I believe Chelsy found this even more difficult to deal with when she lived in England. ... Everyone has a limit as to what they can endure."

The former working royal went on to explain that he and Davy were always confused as to how personal aspects of their relationship somehow kept ending up in the newspapers, and they struggled with figuring out who they could trust and who they could not. 

Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy broke up for good in 2011

The relationship between Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy has been described as on and off, with the pair ending things for good in 2011. There are quite a few factors that contributed to their split, and Harry himself claimed that one reason they ended things came down to what others would think.

In his memoir, "Spare," Harry writes that a friend asked him flat-out if he thought he would marry Davy while the two were together. Harry worried more about what his family would expect from her. As he wrote, "She wore short skirts and high boots, danced with abandon, drank as much tequila as I did, and I cherished all those things about her ... but I couldn't help worrying how Granny might feel about them. Or the British public. And the last thing I wanted was for Chels to change to accommodate them."

Harry revealed that he'd suggested Davy treat the press intrusion and social pressures that came with being in a relationship with a royal as a "chronic illness." "But she wasn't sure she wanted to have a chronic illness," he wrote. Ultimately, the couple parted ways.

She started her own jewelry business in 2016

Despite the fact that she trained to be a lawyer in school and even started a career in the field, Chelsy Davy pivoted and launched her own luxury jewelry brand in 2016. Davy started AYA after training for a year at the Gemological Institute of America. Davy returned to Africa, where the company ethically mines for gemstones.

Davy is particularly connected to the continent where she grew up. "Having travelled extensively through Africa, immersing herself in the different cultures of many countries like Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania, she has been deeply inspired by its beauty; both in the land, and in its people," the brand asserts.

In 2016, Davy told Tatler that she was inspired to start AYA while visiting her brother in Zambia. A friend of her brother's had gifted his girlfriend a beautiful bracelet and the Zambian gems caught Davy's eye. Soon, she realized that there weren't many luxury jewelry brands in Africa and she saw the window to start her own. As she put it, "I don't think there are many out there. I wanted it to be from Africa and made in Africa, but still high end. I knew I wanted my stones to be AAA and my gold to be 18-karat gold, whatever the extra cost."

Chelsy Davy welcomed a baby and reportedly got married in 2022

Chelsy Davy attended the royal weddings of Prince William and Princess Catherine in 2011 and Prince William and Meghan Markle in 2018. And in 2022, she tied the knot herself. In May of that year, Davy and Sam Cutmore-Scott reportedly said "I do" five months after the birth of their first child. As reported by the Daily Mail, the two kept news of their marriage quiet, with a friend alleging to the outlet, "They are married. Very few people knew about the wedding."

Davy's husband is the brother of Jack Cutmore-Scott, who played a role in the movie "Tenet." He is also the director of his parent's company, Bijou Collection, which manages a number of wedding venues.

In 2020, Davy had hinted to Tatler that she was happily in a relationship but wasn't ready to say who the person was. As she put it at the time, "There is someone, and I am quite taken by this one, but it's very new and I don't want to say too much." Although not much is known about Davy's little one, the outlet reported that the baby, a boy named Leo, was born in January 2022. The family is also believed to live in London.

She expanded her company to luxury travel, art, and decor

In 2021, Chelsy Davy took her high-end jewelry company, AYA, to the next level when she expanded to include luxury travel, art, and home decor. As she described the vision to Tatler in 2020, Davy creates luxury trips throughout Africa for her clients. She said, "We want to be able to curate incredible trips for people, offering them a personalised, professional service, being there for them 24/7. I'm very knowledgeable about parts of Zambia and Cape Town." The travel branch of the brand boasts the ability to make traversing parts of the continent easier by leaving most of the organization up to experts. "We would never send anyone anywhere that one of us hasn't been to, or to an area something more adventurous, like rafting or bungee jumping," Davy explained. "We want to curate the trip to fit with your definition of luxury.'

The brand also offers clothing and home decor through the AYA Africa website, which describes the products and its loyal customers as follows: "For you and yours. Afro-curious globalists. Slow fashion, high passion."