Prince Harry is arguably the most popular member of the Royal Family. Marcella takes a look at why, and gives her take on the red-head Prince…
Prince Harry is the second son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Born in 1984, he seems to have taken the place of his mother in the tabloids, being regularly photographed during his official duties, and in his private time. Royal news.
According to polls, Prince Harry is the favourite Royal – most people wanted to invite him or Kate on their travels… Currently, Harry is the fifth in line to the British throne, behind Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, his niece born in May 2015. Despite the fact that he is unlikely to become King, he has grown up under intense media scrutiny, having his personal tragedies, difficulties and relationships as the subject of numerous news reports.
The death of his mother was naturally a tremendous loss to the then 13-year-old, and according to Christopher Andersen’s Diana’s Boys, Prince Harry suffered from nightmares about his mother’s death for a time. During his school holidays, the young Prince travelled with his father to Botswana and South Africa. The trip lifted his spirits and gave him a chance to mingle with the members of the pop group Spice Girls during a concert there.
In his teenage years, like everyone else, the Prince liked to party. Back in 2001, he tried marijuana, which became the centre of a media storm about the ‘rebellious Prince’. Harry admitted his misdeeds to his father, who made his son visit a South London rehabilitation centre to see first-hand the dangers associated with drug use. It seemed to put him on the right track once more.
In 2003, Prince Harry graduated from Eton with A-levels in Art and Geography. He spent some time travelling through Australia, Argentina, and Africa after finishing school, and it was after visiting the poverty-stricken Kingdom of Lesotho that he began his charity work with a passion.
Harry worked at a home for orphans of AIDS victims, a cause which his mother had done much for. He produced the documentary film ‘The Forgotten Kingdom’ during his gap year, where he also visited Mants’ase Children’s Home near Mohale’s Hoek. The film helped raise approximately $2 million for the British Red Cross Lesotho Fund.
In 2005, Prince Harry and his brother attended their father’s wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles. Harry praised his step-mother: “She’s always been very close to me and William… She’s not the wicked stepmother. She’s a wonderful woman and she’s made our father very, very happy which is the most important thing.”
In May of the same year, Prince Harry enrolled at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He underwent 44 weeks of training, just like any other new soldier, and, in April 2006, joined the Household Cavalry as a Second Lieutenant. With men and women from the forces seems to be where he is most comfortable – no Prince or heirs and graces in the army, just comrades.
Harry Wales, as the Prince was known in the Army, qualified as a co-pilot gunner in 2012 and was posted to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, to gain further experience. Prince Harry was secretly deployed to Afghanistan in late 2007, but was pulled out after an Australian magazine revealed his presence there. It was thought too dangerous for an heir to the throne to be amongst normal soldiers, giving the enemy a ‘high-value’ target. But Captain Wales (Harry received a promotion in 2011) returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week deployment in 2012 as an Apache co-pilot and gunner.
Prince Harry is also the founder of The Invictus Games and Walking with the Wounded. In fact, as part of the Walking With The Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge of 2013, Harry became the first Royal to reach the South Pole.
Over time, he has become the most loved Royal, for all the charity work he does and for his outgoing personality. Wearing a suit or not, he’s always ready to have fun. Even as a youngster, he had a way with children. Perhaps it was his cheeky sense of humour, or just being able to be on their level and play around – even with the cameras watching.
It is perhaps his infallibility which makes the public love Harry; he has been spotted smoking outside pubs with his friends; the 20-year-old Prince once pushed a photographer’s camera into his face after persisting with photos as Harry exited a nightclub; he played ‘strip-billiards’ in Las Vegas; Harry is not afraid to make fun of himself or his brother; and he even sports a beard, something The Queen is said to dislike.
In several interviews, Prince Harry has shown his cheeky side to the public. When Kensington Palace confirmed the second pregnancy of his sister-in-law, The Duchess of Cambridge, Harry joked and said: “I can’t wait to see my brother suffer more. If it’s a girl, he’ll suffer even more. I’d love to see him try and cope with that.” Of course, the Royal was just teasing his brother – after all that’s what brothers do!
The public can clearly see the close relationship Harry has with his brother, and now his sister-in-law, Catherine. Family is something everyone can relate to, and endears the red-haired Prince to people even more.
2016 is going to be a busy year for the loved Royal. Next Spring, he is visiting Nepal and in May is the launch of The Invictus Games in Orlando.