Why the latest royal squeeze has the anti-Kate effect

Prince Harry's girlfriend Cressida sure knows how to dress her age, writes Ellie Pithers

Cressida Bonas looks good whether dressed up or down, pictured here at a society wedding

Even if the rumours of Cressida Bonas's and Prince Harry's forthcoming nuptials are grossly inflated, we welcome her presence on the gossip pages, not least because she's bringing a whole new style of dressing to royal circles.

Although Prince Harry's girlfriend didn't attend yesterday royal christening - despite reports at the weekend, she didn't actually receive an invitation– the woman dubbed the anti-Kate is certainly worth watching.

There are many eye-catching components to the Cressie B look – the messy blonde hair, the denim dungarees that hang off her lithe dancer's frame, the tie-dye scarves occasionally worn as belts ... and my favourite, the plate of chips. You'd never catch Kate with a fried potato in her immediate sphere. This girl's got huge entertainment potential.

Isn't it refreshing when a 24-year-old dresses her age? Three-quarter-length sleeves and knee-length pleats are all very well for a future queen. But when you're an aristocratic beauty and your boyfriend curries favour as the party prince, you can afford to indulge a penchant for grey skinny jeans and Forrest Gump-esque Nike trainers.

Bonas, who has been dating Harry for 17 months, looked disarmingly normal stepping off a train in June, wearing grubby tracksuit bottoms and what looked like her boyfriend's grey sweater. Hell, she was even sporting a leather biker jacket – the wardrobe staple of twentysomethings across the land, but not for frequenters of Buckingham Palace.

That is not to say that Cressida doesn't scrub up nicely. A roster of summer society weddings showcased her weakness for boho maxi dresses in jazzy patterns paired with neat cropped jackets.

For a pre-Wimbledon party she donned a wafty jumpsuit. Not for Cressie the thrice-weekly blow-dries; she prefers a more tousled, natural approach, and is as wedded to her scrunchie as Kate is to her nude LK Bennett courts.

If Tatler's October issue is to be believed, Bonas reserves most of her sartorially inclined energies for parties. Tatler tells us that the woman who dressed as a caterpillar as part of her 2010 London Marathon effort is "obsessed with fancy dress"

But most encouragingly, the tabloids have yet to uncover a photograph of Cressie topless. That, as she herself might say, would be cringe de la cringe.

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