Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Henry Charles Albert David born 15 September 1984 is a member of the British royal family. He is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. He was officially styled Prince Henry of Wales from birth until his marriage, but is known as Prince Harry.
Harry was educated at schools in the United Kingdom and spent parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho. He then underwent officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet (i.e. second lieutenant) into the Blues and Royals, serving temporarily with his brother, Prince William, and completed his training as a troop leader. In 2007–08, he served for over ten weeks in Helmand, Afghanistan, but was pulled out after an Australian magazine revealed his presence there. He returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week deployment in 2012–13 with the Army Air Corps. He left the army in June 2015.
Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 and remains patron of its Foundation. He also gives patronage to several other organisations, including the HALO Trust, the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and Walking With The Wounded. On 19 May 2018, he married the American actress Meghan Markle. Hours before the wedding, his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him the title Duke of Sussex.
Harry enjoys playing many sports, including competitive polo, skiing, and motocross. He is a supporter of Arsenal Football Club. Harry is also a keen Rugby Union fan and supported England’s bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Harry earned a reputation in his youth for being rebellious, leading the tabloid press to label him a “wild child”. At age 17 he was seen smoking cannabis and partaking in underage drinking with his friends, and clashing physically with paparazzi outside nightclubs. He was photographed at Highgrove House at a “Colonial and Native” themed costume party wearing a Nazi German Afrika Korps uniform with a swastika armband. He later issued a public statement apologising for his behaviour.
In January 2009, the British tabloid, the News of the World, revealed a video made by Harry three years earlier in which he referred to a Pakistani fellow officer cadet as “our little Paki friend” and called a soldier wearing a cloth on his head a “raghead”. These terms were described by then-Leader of the Opposition David Cameron as “unacceptable”, and by The Daily Telegraph as “racist”. A British Muslim youth organisation called Harry a “thug”. Clarence House immediately issued an apology from Harry, who stated that no malice was intended in his remarks. Former British MP and Royal Marine, Rod Richards, said that such nicknames were common amongst military comrades, stating “in the Armed Forces people often used to call me Taffy. Others were called Yankie, Oz or Kiwi or whatever. I consider Paki as an abbreviation for Pakistani. I don’t think on this occasion it was intended to be offensive.”
While on holiday in Las Vegas in August 2012, Harry and an unknown young woman were photographed naked in a Wynn Las Vegas hotel room, reportedly during a game of strip billiards. The pictures were leaked by American celebrity website TMZ on 21 August 2012, and reported worldwide by mainstream media on 22 August 2012. The photographs were shown by the American media, but British media were reluctant to publish them. Royal aides suggested Clarence House would contact the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) if British publications used the pictures. St James’s Palace confirmed that Harry was in the photographs, saying that he was essentially a victim whose privacy had been invaded and contacted the PCC upon hearing that a number of British newspapers were considering publishing the photographs. On 24 August 2012, The Sun newspaper published the photographs.
Polls conducted in the United Kingdom in November 2012 showed Harry to be the third-most popular member of the royal family, after William and the Queen.
On 8 November 2016, Kensington Palace confirmed that Harry was “a few months” into a relationship with American actress Meghan Markle, in a statement from the prince asking for the “abuse and harassment” of Markle and her family to end. In September 2017, they made their first public appearance at an official royal engagement, the opening ceremonies of the Invictus Games in Toronto.
On 27 November 2017, Clarence House and Kensington Palace announced that Harry and Markle were engaged. The engagement ring was made by Cleave & Company Ltd. and consists of three diamonds, two of which are from his mother’s jewelry collection. The large central stone was sourced by Harry in Botswana, where the couple have spent time. In the couple’s engagement interview, Meghan revealed they were having a quiet night at home, ‘roasting chicken’, when the Prince got down on one knee and proposed.
The engagement announcement prompted much comment about the possible social significance of Meghan Markle becoming a mixed-race[ royal. The couple married at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 19 May 2018. They now reside at Nottingham Cottage in London, in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
1984–2018: His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales
2018–present: His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex
In addition to the Dukedom, the titles Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel were also conferred on him on the morning of his wedding. He is known familiarly as Prince Harry.
Before his marriage, Harry used Wales as his surname for military purposes and was known as Captain Harry Wales in such contexts.
On 4 June 2015, as part of the 2015 Special Honours, Harry was knighted by his grandmother, the Queen, for “services to the sovereign”, being appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).