David Beckham’s dating fears for Harper

As she hits her teen years, her besotted dad is getting anxious

david and harper beckham

by heat staff |
Updated on

As a proud dad of four, David Beckham has always relished his time with his three elder boys. But it was the arrival ofdaughter Harper in 2011 that melted his heart – turning him in an instant into a self-confessed “softie” and a besotted girl dad. And, from day one, he didn’t hold back in expressing just how protective he was of her, joking in an interview shortly after her birth, “All I need now is a shotgun.”

So, it’s no surprise that David has got all the feels in the run-up to his little girl’s 13th birthday. Turning the big 1-3 is a big deal for any pre-teen but – while both David and wife Victoria are looking forward to celebrating their only daughter’s special day – we’re told it’s inevitably sparking pangs of nostalgia and nerves over what’s to come. Their oldest three – Brooklyn, 25, Romeo, 21, and Cruz, 19 – were all allowed to start dating when they hit the teenage years, and sources say the thought that Harper will soon start to show interest in this area as well is sending her overprotective dad reeling.

beckham family in 2023
the beckham family together late last year ©Getty Images: Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/WireImage

“David and Harper have such a special bond,” says an insider close to the former footballer, who often shares pictures of his father-daughter solo dates with his followers. “He is naturally a protective dad, so obviously he’s nervous of anyone hurting his little girl. She’s still so young, so a lot of this is hypothetical and he knows any ‘dating’ will all be purely innocent – but he also knows it’s going to get harder for him the older she gets.”

By all accounts, Harper was the Beckhams’ miracle and much-longed- for girl – completing their brood and balancing out the playing field for Victoria. Their relationship with Harper was always going to be different to the one they shared with their older boys, as not only is Harper the only girl but she arrived when her mum and dad were at very different stages in their careers. David, in particular, was far more present – having retired from football after spending a great deal of his sons’ lives committed to the beautiful game. We’re told that being on hand far more than before to see Harper grow by the day has left him feeling even more sentimental as she approaches her teenage years – especially since, like her mum, she’s got a keen eye for all things glam and beauty.

david and harper beckham
being all adorbs with little harper in 2013 ©Getty Images: Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic

“Over the past few months, Harper has really started changing,” we’re told. “She’s getting dressed up a lot more, using make-up, having her hair done, going out with friends, and is always chatting about fashion and beauty with her mum. In some ways, David yearns for those days when she was still little.”

Despite their many successes, both David – who, it was announced last week, is set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – and Victoria have always valued their roles as parents above all else and have frequently discussed the commitment to keeping the Beckham brood close. But David himself has said that different rules apply when it comes to his youngest, even teasing in 2013 that he was putting a future ban on her ever growing up and meeting boys. “Absolutely not,” he joked in an interview. “She’s not going out. She’s going to be like Rapunzel – up in the tower. I’m not saying I love my daughter more, but the boys are independent.”

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All these years later, David knows it’s not quite so simple, not least because fairy-tale turrets are just so hard to find these days. Our insider reveals he’s remaining philosophical, and understands that Harper has to grow up. However, he won’t be afraid to call in the troops – aka her three brothers – to make sure she stays safe.

“David knows that Harper has three protective brothers who will look out for her,” we’re told. “Plus, she’s very sensible and open with her family. It’s going to take a brave boy to become Harper’s first boyfriend!”

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