Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in full Prince Henry Charles Albert David, duke of Sussex, earl of Dumbarton, Baron Kilkeel, formerly Prince Harry of Wales, (born September 15, 1984, London, England), younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
Because of Princess Diana’s desire that Harry and his elder brother, Prince William, experience the world beyond royal privilege, she took them as boys on public transportation and to fast-food restaurants and stood in line with them at Disney World. Determined that they “have an understanding of people’s emotions, their insecurities, people’s distress, and their hopes and dreams,” she also took Harry and William with her when she visited homeless shelters, orphanages, and hospitals. Diana’s death at age 36 had a profound impact on Harry. The image of him at age 12 walking solemnly with William behind Diana’s casket as it was carried through the streets of London did much to endear Harry to the British people.
Like William, Harry attended a sequence of private schools before entering prestigious Eton College. After graduating from Eton in 2003, Harry visited Argentina and Africa and worked at a cattle station in Australia and in an orphanage in Lesotho. Instead of going to university, Harry entered Sandhurst—Britain’s leading military academy for training army officers—in May 2005. He commissioned an officer in April 2006.
Harry being in the line of succession to the British throne, was often the subject of media attention. In January 2005 he encountered intense criticism when he attended a party wearing a Nazi uniform with a swastika armband. The prince later apologized for what he conceded was a serious error of judgment.
Personal life: Bachelorhood
Chelsy Davy, the daughter of Zimbabwean, South Africa-based businessman Charles Davy, was referred to as Harry’s girlfriend in an interview conducted for his 21st birthday, and Harry said he “would love to tell everyone how amazing she is but once I start talking about that, I have left myself open… There is truth and there are lies and unfortunately, I cannot get the truth across.” Davy was present when Harry received his Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan and also attended his graduation ceremony when he received his flying wings from his father. In early 2009, it was reported the pair had parted ways after a relationship that had lasted for five years.
In May 2012, Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie introduced him to Cressida Bonas, an actress, and model who is the granddaughter of Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe. On 30 April 2014, it was reported that the couple had parted amicably.
Marriage and fatherhood
In July 2016, Prince Harry began a relationship with American actress Meghan Markle. In November, the prince directed his communications secretary to release a statement on his behalf to express personal concern about pejorative and false comments made about his girlfriend by mainstream media and internet trolls. In September 2017, Prince Harry and Markle first appeared together in public at the Invictus Games in Toronto. Their engagement was announced on 27 November 2017 by Harry’s father Prince Charles. The announcement prompted generally positive comments about having a mixed-race person as a member of the royal family, especially in regard to Commonwealth countries with populations of blended or native ancestry. On 19 May 2018, the marriage ceremony was held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The couple later revealed in the 2021 television interview Oprah with Meghan and Harry that there was a private exchange of vows 3 days before with the Archbishop of Canterbury in their garden. However, this earlier exchange of vows was not an official religious or legally recognized marriage.
It was reportedly agreed in advance that excess funds generated from the BBC broadcast of the wedding ceremony would go to a charity chosen by the newlywed couple. In April 2020, Feeding Britain (which provides food packages to families in food poverty) was nominated to receive £90,000 from the BBC.
The Duke and Duchess initially lived at Nottingham Cottage in London, on the grounds of Kensington Palace. They then moved to Frogmore Cottage in the Home Park of Windsor Castle. The Crown Estate refurbished the cottage at a cost of £2.4 million, paid out of the Sovereign Grant, with the Duke later reimbursing expenses beyond restoration and ordinary maintenance. On 6 May 2019, the Duke and Duchess’s son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was born. Their office was moved to Buckingham Palace and officially closed on 31 March 2020 when the Sussexes ceased “undertaking official engagements in support of the Queen”. After some months in Canada and the United States, the couple bought a house in June 2020 on the former estate of Riven Rock in Montecito, California, where they own a chicken coop with hens rescued from a factory farm. The next month, the Duchess suffered a miscarriage. On 4 June 2021, their daughter Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor was born.
Harry is godfather to “five or six” children, including the daughters of Major Nicholas van Cutsem, the son of Hugh van Cutsem, and Jake Warren, his mother’s godson, whose father is the Queen’s horse racing manager. He became godfather to Charlie van Straubenzee’s firstborn daughter in May 2020.
In February 2007 it was announced that Harry’s army regiment would be deployed to Iraq, but, on advice from the armed services, it was decided that neither Harry nor William would serve with Britain’s forces in Iraq, for fear that they would become specific targets of attack and so put their fellow soldiers at excessive risk. However, in December 2007 Harry began serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan after the British media agreed to not publicize details of his service; his tour ended in February 2008 after foreign news outlets reported his deployment. In 2012–13 he again was stationed in Afghanistan, where he served as a helicopter pilot. Harry, who attained the rank of captain, left active service in 2015.
- United Kingdom
- 8 May 2005: Officer cadet, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
- 13 April 2006: Cornet (Second Lieutenant), The Blues and Royals
- 13 April 2008: Lieutenant, The Blues and Royals
- 16 April 2011: Captain, The Blues and Royals
- 14 May 2018: Lieutenant Commander, Royal Navy
- 14 May 2018: Major, Army
- 14 May 2018: Squadron Leader, Royal Air Force
- 6 February 2002: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
- 5 May 2008: Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan
- 6 February 2012: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Meda
- 4 June 2015: Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO)
- 6 February 2022: Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal
- 2017: Order of Isabella the Catholic
- 13 October 2018 – 19 February 2021: Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty The Queen (ADC)
- 6 March 2012 – present: Honorary Fellow of the University of the West Indies
Former honorary military appointments
- United Kingdom
- 8 August 2006 – 19 February 2021: Commodore-in-Chief of Small Ships and Diving
- 3 October 2008 – 19 February 2021: Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington
- 19 December 2017 – 19 February 2021: Captain General Royal Marines
In February 2021, it was announced via written confirmation that Harry’s honorary military appointments (i.e. those mentioned above) were returned to the Queen.
- 10 November 2009 – present: Honorary Canadian Ranger
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He’s not an Olympian, but Prince Harry is a top tier athlete, playing competitive polo and rugby. While attending Sandhurst Military Academy Harry played polo for the army, and in 2004 trained as a Rugby Development Officer for the Rugby Football Union