Prince Harry: Things That Led A Shy Boy To Posh Favorite of Millions
Prince Harry has gone through a lot since the very moment he came into the world. His life has been continuously in the spotlight, from losing his mother when he was only a kid to turning into a wild teenager and becoming the Duke of Sussex later on. But we are pretty sure there are some things you still don't know about him, so with hindsight, let's remember the most critical moments in the life of one of our favorite royals.
1. The youngest brother
Perhaps you don't know, but the youngest son of Princess Diana and Prince Charles who was born on September 15, 1984, at London's St. Mary's Hospital is not called Harry. Yes; we are not joking. His real name is Henry Charles Albert David. However, since his birthday, his parents decided that he would be addressed less formally and chose Harry as a nickname. Since then, his family, friends, and the press started to call him like that.
2. A cheerful childhood
The young prince was often overlooked since people focused more on William, who would be the one becoming a king someday. For that reason, Diana used to pay extra attention to Harry but called him "the spare" as a joke. However, he did live some happy early years and used to be a sporty and artistic kid, according to his late mother. He liked riding and hunting and used to spend the weekends at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.
3. Knowing the world
Diana wanted his kids to have a life as normal as possible, and when she had Harry, she was only 23 years old. Thus, she had all the energy to help them experience many things. For instance, she took them to McDonald's, Disney World, homeless shelters and AIDS clinics for their holidays. As part of the royalty, Harry started to join his parents on official tours when he was only one year old. His first one, in 1985, was to Italy.
4. Going to school
As part of giving their sons a normal life, Charles and Diana sent them to school. Harry was first educated at Mrs. Mynors' nursery school, located in Notting Hill neighborhood in London. In September of 1987, he began his education. At first, the young boy had a hard time adjusting, but his personality gave him friends quickly. Following Mrs. Mynors, he attended Wetherby School, and a boarding school called Ludgrove.
5. Having two households
The red-headed prince started Ludgrove in 1992, the year when his parents officially separated. Since his birth, the marriage had been struggling, and it reached the breaking point that year with the affair that Charles had with Camilla Parker Bowles. During their holidays, the siblings divided their time to be with both parents. They used to ride horses and hunt with Charles, whereas with Diana, they went to tropical destinations and did charity work.
6. The last phone call
In 1997, William and Harry were vacationing with their father at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The morning before the People's Princess died, she called to check in with her boys. They were playing so wanted to have a quick talk with their mother to go back to their activities, just as any kid would. However, little did they know it'd be the last time they could hear Diana's voice.
About this, Prince Harry confessed in the 2017's documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, "if I’d known that was the last time I’d speak to my mother, the things I would have said to her. … Looking back on it now, it is incredibly hard. If I’d known what would happen, I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it. But that phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily."
7. The shock of his life
In the early morning hours of August 31, 1997, Diana passed away in a tragic car crash in Paris when Harry was only 12 years old. After his father told him about his mother's passing, he remained in seclusion at the palace for some days to mourn his beloved mom. On September 6, the family buried the Queen of Hearts, and in some pictures, the youngest prince can be seen with his head down while walking behind his parent's casket.
8. Struggling at night
We cannot imagine how devastating could be for a 12-year-old to lose his mother, so it is quite understandable that Harry started to suffer from anxiety and had terrible nightmares. After two years of total chaos, as the very same Harry unveiled during an interview in 2017 with Telegraph, he ultimately looked for counseling to overcome his mother's demise. Losing a beloved one is hard at any age, but it must have been harder for the young Harry.
9. A life with dad
Needless to say, we all know that Charles was utterly different from the late Princess, but there was one thing they did have in common: they were both doting parents who wanted the best for their sons. So after Diana's death, the first in line tried everything to lift his boys' spirits. They went to Botswana and South Africa, and Harry even hung out with The Spice Girls in one of those trips. Since then, he and Victoria Beckham are good friends.
10. A hard time at school
The demise of Princess Diana affected Harry in many different ways, and one was his educational life. He struggled academically while studying at Ludgrove Boarding school and needed one more year there to improve his scores to be able to apply to Eton College. This was the same elite high school that Prince William and his uncle on his mother side attended. His persistence paid off when he passed his entrance exam with flying colors.
11. A bad student
But his happiness for entering Eton College in 1998 did not last long. His former professor, Sarah Forsyth, accused Harry of cheating on examinations and considered him a weak student. He excelled at polo and rugby but got a B in art and a D in geography. Harry and the school denied the allegations but accepted that the prince received extra help in preparing his A-level expressive project. Harry graduated in June 2003 with two A-Levels.
12. The naughty prince
His grades were not the only problems that Harry faced during his time at Eton. He also started to live his adolescence years as a bad boy, partying a lot and even engaging in underage drinking. To top it all off, the royal made headlines in 2002 when reports about his illegal activities emerged, which included smoking marijuana in the summer of 2001. Charles forced him to go to rehab for one day to learn the seriousness of drug abuse.
13. A sabbatical year
After completing his education at Eton, he was supposed to head off the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst but took a gap year before. He traveled to Argentina and Australia, where he was a participant in Young England versus Young Australia Polo Match Test. He also went to Africa to work at an orphanage of people with AIDS. He even filmed The Forgotten Kingdom: Prince Harry in Lesotho, a documentary to create awareness about AIDS.
14. Getting violent with the paps
It is not a surprise that the royal family is not a fan of paparazzi. In the end, Diana died while trying to run away from them. Harry's anger towards them reached a breaking point in 2004 when he got aggressive with a photographer. Presumably, the prince was hit with a camera in the face when leaving a nightclub. When pushing it away, the gadget cut the lip of the cameraman. But the latter's version was that the red-headed went after him.
15. The biggest scandal
During his gap year, Harry went from trouble to trouble, but perhaps the worst choice he made during his time off was at a costume party. In January of 2005, photographs started to appear in several different newspapers showing the prince wearing a Nazi uniform. It must have been a joke, but a horrible one. Needless to say, tons of people considered it a disgrace, calling him racist and insensitive. Afterward, the royal issued a public apology.
16. Having a stepmom
Camilla must have been surrounding Harry and his sibling for all their lives, but they were finally introduced in 1998 at the 50th birthday party of Charles. Seven years later, the youngest brother saw her tied the knot with his father on April 9, 2005. Regardless of what happened between Diana and Camilla, Harry received her with open arms and was ready to defend her from the bad reception she had among the public.
"To be honest, she’s always been very close to me and William… She’s not the wicked stepmother. Look at the position she’s coming into. She’s a wonderful woman, and she’s made our father very, very happy, which is the most important thing. William and I love her to bits.”
17. Falling in love for the first time
During his time off in South Africa, he met Chelsy Davy, the daughter of Charles Davy, a businessman. They started to see each other until Harry finally referred to her as his girlfriend during his 21st birthday. The couple had an on-and-off relationship until 2015 when they decided to call it quits for good. Davy couldn't handle the public exposure but never spoke about their relationship, which is respectable and admirable.
18. The Army man
In May 2005, the prince decided to leave all that bad press behind and enter Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to start his life in the army. He was first known as Officer Cadet Wales and decided to join the Alamein Company. In April 2016, after completing 44 weeks of training, he was a second lieutenant and joined the Household Cavalry.
19. Going to war
Harry's unit was deployed for duty in Afghanistan despite all the risks that a missing like that would implicate for a royal. In fact, he had a near-death experience when his tank drove over an explosive device. Diana's youngest son was an Apache helicopter pilot in the Army Air Corps between 2009 and 2012. He had his second tour to the Middle-East country in 2012, continued serving until 2015, and retired officially last year.
20. The video scandal
And as if all the rumpuses during his sabbatical year were not enough, Harry made headlines during his military life. This time, it was thanks to a 2006 clip that emerged three years later that showed him uttering racial slurs to one of his fellow soldiers. In the video, he can be heard saying "raghead" and "Paki". Needless to say, the footage created quite a stir, and the palace had to issue a quick apology on his behalf.
21. What happened in Las Vegas did not stay in there
When we said that he became a naughty boy, we truly meant it. When you have a trip to Las Vegas, nothing good can come out of it, but perhaps this was the least serious of the prince's antics. While enjoying Las Vegas in 2012, Harry let his party animal get the best of him. The royal hosted a game of strip billiards in his VIP suite, and a deceitful person captured all his nude glory on camera. The Palace ordered a media blackout of the photos.
22. Learning to love again
After his failed relationship with Davy, Princess Eugenie introduced Harry to the granddaughter of Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe. Cressida Bonas and the prince started dating in 2012 but broke up two years later. Allegedly, the British model and actress, just as her forerunner, could not handle the attention that she had as the girlfriend of a royal. But it seems as things ended well because Bonas attended Harry's nuptials, just like Davy.
23. Loyal pals
When you are a famous person, it is hard to tell if people are close to you because they are real friends or because they are merely interested in your status. Although it should not have been easy, Harry has a very mixed yet tight circle of buddies that have been with him since he was only a child. Katie Nicholl, royal expert and author of Harry: Life, Loss, and Love, indicated something about this aspect:
"Prince Harry has a very tight and protective and loyal circle of friends, some of whom I know. Some of whom I’ve known for many, many years. And it’s really based on trust. People will only talk to you if they trust you; if they think that your agenda is largely positive, and I think if they know that you’re going to handle the material responsibly."
24. The People's Prince
He must've taken this after his mother, but Harry managed to portray himself as an approachable royal. Perhaps, even his wrongdoings for noble standards made him completely different from other royals, including his brother. After the incident in Las Vegas, he even joked about the nude pictures during the WellChild Awards in London. By November 2012, he was the third most popular royal member, preceded by his grandmother and brother.
25. Embracing his royal role
As we previously said, Harry announced his retirement as a military ambulance pilot in 2017, something that shocked the public. He then decided to become a full-time royal, which is quite strange for someone who is the sixth in line to the throne. The prince wanted to do charity work and help others instead of risking his life as a military. Perhaps, he learned this trait well from his late mother, and we think it was the best decision.
26. Confessing his struggles
Harry was near an emotional breakdown and struggled with his mental health following his mother's demise. He tried to shut down his emotions for 20 years, until 2017 when he opened up about his personal issues. During an interview with Bryony Gordon, a British journalist, the prince spoke candidly about his life in a podcast that the Daily Telegraph released stating the severe effect that losing his mom at the age of 12 had on him.
"My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help? 'It’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back.' So from an emotional side, I was like, 'Right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything.'"
27. In pursuit of true love
Having two failed relationships must have been hard for Harry, and it even added to his dismay the fact that his brother was doing so well with Kate Middleton. The youngest prince needed a girl that was already used to being in the spotlight, and that is why his childhood friend and Ralph Lauren employee, Violet Von Westenholz, thought that he and Meghan Markle would be the perfect match; therefore, she gave Harry the actress' number.
28. Madly in love
While the Suits star was traveling around Europe for work, she and Harry met. According to Town & Country, the prince knew she was the one since the first moment they shook hands. In the summer of 2016, they started dating secretly until the news leaked to the press in October of the same year. The royal made the relationship public through a statement that also aimed at ending the racist attacks, harassment, and abuse against Markle.
29. Putting a ring on her finger
All the royal family was pretty content that Harry had found true love. Even his brother was pleased, despite the rumors that indicated he was unhappy with his brother's decision. The Queen, on her side, was fully supportive and delighted to see Harry in a loving relationship. When the couple got engaged in November 2017, the royal family issued a statement saying it was wonderful to see how happy Meghan and Harry were together.
30. Happily ever after
The rest is just history. After tying the knot in May 2018, the newlyweds have had a pretty busy life going to charities, events, and even their first royal tour together last month. Their constant PDA, like no other royal couple, makes clear that they love each other. And if getting married was not enough for this year, Kensington Palace announced on October 15 that the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting their first child.
Prince Harry has had a lot of ups and downs throughout his life: losing his mom, struggling at school, starring scandals, and having two failed relationships. However, from some time now, his life has been on the right track; he's now is a husband and a dad-to-be, and we expect greater things in the years to come. No wonder why he went from a wild kid to a beloved prince. If you know people who also admire him, share this article with them.