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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Wannabe queen consort couch-surfed at Byron

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MAYDAY – MAYDAY – One hundred years ago today

One hundred years ago this week, around noon on Saturday 14 May 1921, the 2,000 tonne steamship Wollongbar ran aground on Belongil beach.

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The woman who would be Queen Consort: Cressida Bonas (right) and Georgia Forbes on Catalano’s deck

Crikey senior journalist Andrew Crook writes:

Prince Harry’s on-again-off-again girlfriend spent a glorious Australian summer backpacking around the country before fixing her piercing gaze on the heir to the British throne.

Antony ‘the Cat’ Catalano, CEO of dominant Melbourne publisher Metro Media, confirmed to Crikey last week that Cressida Bonas, the 23-year-old daughter of 60s ‘it girl’ Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon and official Friend of Eugenie, had spent several days couch-surfing at his family’s Byron Bay pile in January and helped care for five of his six kids.

The former Sun cadet says he first bumped into Bonas at beachside hotel Rae’s, and because all the rooms were booked, offered her and friend Georgia Forbes alternative accommodation at his nearby luxury pad.

‘The girls just had these proper Chelsea accents… at the time I didn’t think much about it,’ he told Crikey.

The potential future queen consort quickly settled in. ‘It was one night, then it was two nights, then it was three nights … then it was like they were part of the family!’

Catalano, who returned this week from his US honeymoon with wife Stefanie after closing Metro Media’s $140 million merger with Fairfax, says he was soaking up rays at Manhattan’s trendy Soho House rooftop last Friday when his attention was drawn to a New York Times brief reporting the romance. ‘There can’t be too many Cressidas in the world,’ he thought.

Bonas, a Burberry model, reportedly dumped Prince Harry last week following his notorious Las Vegas nude hotel romp publicised by gossip site TMZ and then splashed across the front page of the UK Sun. But the latest reports from the front line suggest the couple, first introduced by Princess Eugenie, may have reconciled.

The willowy beauty is the half-sister of Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, who is engaged to Richard Branson’s son Sam. She is the latest in a string of blondes linked to the Prince following his extended fling with first love Chelsy Davy, and alleged dalliances with Astrid Harbord and Florence Brudenell-Bruce.

Crack Daily Mail gossip reporter Paul Scott did a great job profiling Bonas’s fides last month, including her as a cashed-up member of the ‘BBBs – Blue-Bloods And Blonde – that includes actress Gabriella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, known as Bumpy, who is Cressida’s best friend and a member of her extended family’. ‘Harry also carries a candle for Bumpy,’ explained Scott.

Crikey understands Bonas, before her Byron sojourn, spent some time working at the Mrs Sippi restaurant in Sydney’s exclusive Double Bay, which charges $18 for a cheeseburger.

Meanwhile, Catalano reports his honeymoon included playing with Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden and catching up with rocker Marilyn Manson. Other sightings included Bill Clinton in the Hamptons and Alec Baldwin during a spin aerobics class.

The couple also bumped into Christian Bale just days before he visited Aurora, Colorado to comfort the victims of the notorious Batman Dark Night shootings. Last month, Prince Harry attended the UK Dark Night premiere with Bonas.

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