HRH Prince Harry

prince harry, image rights Mr Pics / Shutterstock.com

Henry Charles Albert David, commonly known as Prince Harry, was born on 15 September 1984. The younger son of Prince Charles, he is third in line to the throne.

Like his older brother William, Harry benefited from his mother Diana's insistence that her sons should live as normal a life as possible. Despite his parents' estrangement, Harry enjoyed accompanying his mother on a range of trips - from visits to AIDS hospices to excursions to Disneyland. Harry's parents first took him on a royal tour, to Italy, in 1985, and he travelled extensively with his parents before their divorce.

When his mother died in a car crash in 1997, Harry accompanied his father, brother, grandfather, and uncle - Earl Spencer - as they walked behind her funeral cortege.

Harry attended Eton College, and gained A-Levels in art and geography. He excelled in sports, developing his passion for polo and rugby union.

He spent his gap year working on a cattle ranch in Australia, and travelled to Lesotho were he worked with orphaned children.

In 2005 Harry entered the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, completed his training, and within a year was commissioned into the Blues and Royals. By 2008 he had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

When it was announced in February 2007 that Harry was being deployed on the front line in Iraq, there was considerable controversy. The prince was passionately keen to serve on active duty, and at first the Army supported him, but by May it had become apparent that several groups had already made threats against the prince, who was seen as a high-value target. The prince could only accept the Army's decision not to deploy him, but his disappointment was palpable.

In 2008 it was revealed, following intense media speculation, that Harry had been secretly deployed in Helmand province in Afghanistan as a Forward Air Controller, where he helped Gurkha troops repel a Taliban attack.

In 2008 he announced that he was planning to  follow his brother, father and uncle and undergoing RAF training to fly military helicopters. In April 2010 he passed the Army pilots' course.

In 2006 Harry launched Sentable, a charity devoted to helping children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. He and his brother organised a memorial Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium on 1 July 2007 to raise funds for this charity.

Harry enjoys a full social life, skiing, playing polo, and night-clubbing. Sometimes his off-duty activities have attracted controversy, and he has gained something of a 'wild child' reputation over the years.

At the age of 19 Harry embarked on a relationship with Chelsy Davy, the daughter of a millionaire safari operator in Zimbabwe, but in 2009 it was reported that the pair had separated.

Prince Harry, along with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is an Official Ambassador for Team GB and Paralympics GB for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

To further their charitable work, Prince Harry and Prince William created their own Foundation in 2009 which focuses on issues that they both care about. The Duchess of Cambridge also became a Patron in 2011.

The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry has three main aims: helping young people in society; raising awareness and support for servicemen and women; and developing sustainable models of living in the light of climate change and dwindling natural resources.

In the Queen's Jubilee year Prince Harry is undertaking visits to Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas.

 

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The Royal Family