Since dating Prince Harry, Cressida Bonas has been thrust into the spotlight. Though their two year romance is over, she now has to get used to more flashing lights and attention as she becomes the new Hollywood 'It' girl.

And despite working hard to build a fashion and acting portfolio, the seemingly confident 26-year-old admits that she is a very timid person.

Cressida stunned on a red carpet Photo: Getty Images

"I don't really understand it; in real life I'm often so shy – paralyzingly so," she recently told Miss Vogue magazine. "But when I'm performing, it's totally different. I feel free."

Prince Harry and Cressida dated briefly keeping their public appearances to a minimum Photo: Getty Images

Cressida recently appeared on stage to critical acclaim in the hit play There's a Monster in the Lake and is set to make her film debut in Harvey Weinstein’s new movie Tulip Fever, alongside the likes of Dame Judi Dench and Cara Delevingne.

Cressida looked every bit the movie star Photo: Getty Images

Always a passion of hers, Cressida opted to pursue acting on her own without the help of her wealthy parents. After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in dance, the young actress continued her training at The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich. Her ambitions not only caught the eye of Harry, but also some of the biggest names in the industry.

Showing her true passion for acting, Cressida could be seen carrying books on the craft Photo: Getty Images

The fashion house Mulberry referred to Cressida as the company's muse and cast her in a 30-second film after watching the video of her final dance from her time at Leeds. And Harvey Weinstein recently said, "People will see what a fantastic actress she is. It will be the first of many roles for her."

Looks like her star power is on the rise.

More about