"But when I'm performing, it's totally different – I feel free," the actress tells Miss Vogue

By Monique Jessen
Updated March 12, 2015 07:30 PM
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Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty

Prince Harry‘s ex is moving on in a big way.

After scoring an enviable fashion gig with Mulberry and a role in a high-profile film alongside Judi Dench, Cressida Bonas‘s star is rising further – as Miss Vogue‘s latest cover girl.

“In real life I’m often so shy – paralyzingly so,” the 26-year-old aristocrat says in the magazine’s April edition (a supplement to the main issue of British Vogue). “But when I’m performing, it’s totally different – I feel free.”

As if to prove the point, Bonas dances carefree through the streets of London, in a casual Breton-style top and leggings, singing Blue Moon in a video posted on the magazine’s website (watch it below), while giggling nervously as she chats about her London life.

Since splitting from Prince Harry last April, partly due to her dance and acting ambitions, Bonas has been steadily building her resume.

One of 11 siblings, the blue-blooded Bonas – her mother, Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, was a London It Girl in the 1960s – says her love of singing and dancing stems from growing up in a house full of “drama, but drama in the best possible way – there was so much singing and dancing, mostly to musicals.”

Despite getting her first performing gig as a junior associate at the Royal Ballet School at age 9, her parents, who divorced when she was 5, still have their reservations when it comes to her chosen career.

“They think it’s not a proper way of earning a living,” she said, adding, “and they think I’m too sensitive.”

With her upcoming drama Tulip Fever due to hit screens in November, the single star juggles her acting and dancing ambitions with a desk job at Mubi, an online film firm, but says she is most excited about her upcoming video project with filmmaker Martha Fiennes and “daring, less conventional projects.”

The self-described “dreamer” and Ryan Gosling fan spends her downtime trawling the stalls at London’s Portobello market. Her ultimate dream? “I would most like to dance with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly,” she said.

Watch Bonas’s new ad for Mulberry below.