Prince Harry's former girlfriend Florence St George has said she feels “lucky” that her relationship with the royal was short-lived because she struggled to deal with the publicity.
The 35-year-old model dated the Duke of Sussex back in 2011 when they were both in their mid-20s, but has now shared how their relationship impacted her mental health as she struggled to "cope" with the "scrutiny" of dating a royal.
She told The Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine about the sudden glare of media attention she received when news of their relationship broke.
"My privacy ended abruptly, and the scrutiny began. A new story would appear almost every day in the press, my school friends were interrogated and there were photographers outside my front door," the artist, who was known as Florence Brudenell-Bruce at the time, said.
"I take my hat off to those people who can cope with that lifestyle, but I knew I couldn’t. Although it was sad at the time, I feel lucky that the relationship was short-lived."
She also added: "I’ve probably lived with anxiety since my teens, but it became really noticeable when I was in my 20s."
The former model and actress noted that, while struggling with her mental health, to onlookers she was "having a fun, frivolous time, modelling, acting and travelling the world".
Soon after splitting with Harry, Florence met her now-husband Henry – the vice-president of the Grand Bahama Port Authority – and they married in 2013.
The couple moved to the Bahamas, where they raise their daughter Iris, who was born in 2014.
Florence – who promotes her pottery business on Instagram – revealed in the same interview that, seven months after giving birth, she was diagnosed with postnatal depression.
The mother of two said she became “lost in fear and worry”, and eventually sought help from a doctor after encouragement from her family.
She said she had since found comfort in her pottery, adding that working with the clay “felt like therapy”.
Prince Harry meanwhile went on to date actress Cressida Bonas from 2012 to 2014, before he met former Suits star Meghan Markle in 2016.
The couple are now married and share children Archie and Lilibet.
Additional reporting by Lauren Clark.
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