Cressida Bonas Dishes the Secrets on Surviving a Royal Relationship With Prince Harry

While we all may think the ultimate happy ending is settling down with a real prince, Cressida Bonas reveals that dating royal isn’t exactly one big fairy tale.

Prince Harry & Cressida Bonas
Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas back on for a bit.

The 26-year-old ex-girlfriend of Prince Harry sat down with U.K.’s The Sunday Times and revealed how she stayed sane during the chaos of their very public relationship.

“It’s really important to remember that all of it is noise, noise that can be very loud at times,” Bonas explains. “I’m a lion. I’m not tough, but I am strong. I’m definitely not a wallflower.”

No she is not! In fact, Bonas makes sure the world knows she’s a “strong, independent woman,” and the only facts the press has ever really gotten right about her that she’s a qualified ski instructor and she is currently single.

But a breakup hasn’t stopped her. Bonas’ career has been on the up-and-up, scoring a cover shoot with Vogue and high-fashion gigs with brands like Mulberry. Not to mention, she’s also begun a career in acting, just recently finishing an onstage role in The Importance of Being Ernest and landing a part on the silver screen in Tulip Fever.

For these reasons, she tries to remain centered and remember that the small things should be brushed off. “If I ever feel like, ‘Oh, my life!’ or get upset by silly things like a photographer, or if someone has written something nasty that’s upset me, I just think, ‘Worse things happen at sea,'” she explains.

Through it all, Bonas sticks to the best advice she’s ever received (from her mother, of course): “Be true to yourself and do whatever makes you happy. If you’re not happy, then stop. There’s no point in carrying on.”