Prince Henry of Wales KCVO full name Henry Charles Albert David was born on 15 September 1984), familiarly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. At the time of his birth, he was third in line of succession to the British throne, after his father and elder brother, but is currently fifth in line after his father, his elder brother, and his nephew and niece, George and Charlotte.
After an education at schools in the United Kingdom and spending parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho, Harry chose a military career, undergoing officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sand Hurst. He was commissioned as a cornet (i.e. second lieutenant) into the Blues and Royals, serving temporarily with his brother, and completed his training as a troop leader. In 2007 and 2008, he served for 77 days 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 organizations, including the HALO Trust, the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and Walking with the Wounded. Harry enjoys playing many sports, playing 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”. He was seen at age 17 smoking cannabis and partaking in underage drinking with his friends, clashing physically with paparazzi outside nightclubs, and was photographed at Highgrove House at a “Colonial and Native” themed costume party wearing a Nazi German Africa Corps uniform with a swastika armband. He later issued a public statement apologizing for his behavior.
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”, with a British Muslim youth organization calling 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 that Clarence House would contact the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) if the pictures were used by British publications. 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 Press Complaints Commission 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. Harry was born at Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, on 15 September 1984 at 4:20 pm as the second child of Charles, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to Queen Elizabeth II, and Diana, Princess of Wales. He was baptized with the names Henry Charles Albert David, on 21 December 1984 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. His godparents are Prince Andrew (his paternal uncle), Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (his paternal cousin once removed), Carolyn Bartholomew (née Pride), Bryan Organ, Gerald Ward (former officer in the Household Cavalry) and Celia, Lady Vestey (née Knight).
Diana wanted Harry and William to have a broader range of experiences than previous royal children and took them to venues that ranged from Disney World and McDonald’s to AIDS clinics and shelters for the homeless. Harry began to accompany his parents on official visits at an early age; his first overseas tour was with his parents to Italy in 1985.