Childhood & Early Life
He was born on September 15, 1984, at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London to Prince Charles and Princess Diana. He was baptised at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on December 21, that year.
Born to the royal family, Prince Harry has been under media attention since childhood starting from his first day in school in September 1987 at Jane Mynors' nursery school in London. In 1989 he joined pre-preparatory Wetherby School, in London.
In 1992 he enrolled at the independent preparatory boarding school ‘Ludgrove School’ in Berkshire. He lived with his family in Kensington Palace and enjoyed the weekends with them in the family estate Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.
His mother who described him as "very artistic and sporty" preferred to give her children "as normal a life as possible". She would take them to places like McDonald's and Disney World and also to shelters for homeless and to AIDS clinics.
His parents divorced in 1996 and the following year on August 31 his mother died in Paris after suffering injuries in a car crash.
On September 6, 1997, at age 12, he walked behind his mother’s coffin in her funeral cortège from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey accompanied by his father, brother and other relatives amidst thousands of people who gathered to bid good-bye to "the people's princess”.
Coping up with such personal loss, Prince Harry returned to Ludgrove to complete his studies. He cleared entrance exams to get admitted to ‘Eton College’ in Berkshire, where he joined in 1998. He graduated from Eton College in 2003 with two A-Levels.
He is a sports enthusiast and would excel in rugby union and polo. He took a gap year after Eton and worked on a cattle station in Australia, in an orphanage in Lesotho and took part in a Polo Test match between Young England vs Young Australia.
He produced the documentary ‘The Forgotten Kingdom: Prince Harry in Lesotho’ in 2004 that aided in raising around $2 million for the British Red Cross Lesotho Fund.
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Prince Harry often found himself amidst controversies making it to the tabloids headlines, whether for his underage drinking or attempting to smoke marijuana among other acts.
He was highly censured for appearing in a Nazi Uniform with a swastika armband in a costume party that led to a controversy and public outcry in January 2005. He later apologised for such act in a statement that said "I am very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize".
On May 8, 2005 he got enrolled at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to undergo officer’s training. After completion of such training he was commissioned in the Blues and Royals as a Cornet that is second lieutenant on April 13, 2006.
It was declared in 2006 that Prince Harry would be deployed in Iraq in 2007, which gave rise to a public debate whether he should be deployed in a war zone.
General Sir Richard Dannatt, the then head of British army, declared his decision on April 30, 2007 in favour of deploying Prince Harry in Iraq. However in the following month Dannatt declared that Prince Harry would not be deployed there due to several concerns including probability of him becoming an obvious target as also dangers that would be inflicted on soldiers around him.
He was deployed secretly as a Forward Air Controller for 77 days during 2007-20008 in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province while the British and Canadian forces were taking part in the War in Afghanistan led by NATO.
Such tour on duty marked Prince Harry as the first British Royal family member to be deployed in a war zone after helicopters were flown by his uncle Prince Andrew, Duke of York during the Falklands War. However when news of such duty was flashed in an Australian magazine, Prince Harry was called back.
He became a Lieutenant on April 13, 2008. He received an Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan in May 2008 for his military service in Afghanistan that included patrolling in hostile regions and aiding the Brigade of Gurkhas in driving back Taliban insurgents.
Prince Harry resolved to become an Apache helicopter pilot. After meeting required standards he began training in the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury and on April 14, 2011 he earned his Apache Flying Badge. He was promoted as Captain on April 16 that year.
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Thereafter he went to a US military base in California in October 2011 to undertake helicopter gunship training and returned to England in November that year to finish his Apache helicopters training course at the Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk.
He was sent with the Army Air Corps on a tour on duty as a co-pilot and gunner for an Apache helicopter at the Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan on September 7, 2012. He received life threat from the Taliban during his 20-week deployment.
The Ministry of Defence announced on July 8, 2013 that Prince Harry has qualified as an Apache aircraft commander.
He created the international Paralympic-style sports event ‘Invictus Games’ and launched it on March 6, 2014. The participants of the multi-sport event include injured, wounded and sick army personnel as also associated veterans. He is a patron of Invictus Games Foundation and several other endeavours that assist wounded servicemen.
On June 4, 2015 he became Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) and on June 19 that year he ended his official duties with the Armed Forces.
He has remained patron to many organisations and charities like HALO Trust, WellChild, Walking With The Wounded and the London Marathon Charitable Trust. Earlier in September 2009 he along Prince William established The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry to advance their charitable endeavours.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was in an on-and-off relationship with Zimbabwean national Chelsy Davy from 2004 to May 2010.
He became romantically associated with British actress Cressida Bonas in May 2012 however the two parted ways amicably on April 30, 2014.
Prince Harry started dating American actress Meghan Markle in 2016, which was confirmed by the Kensington Palace on November 8, 2016. Their relationship grew stronger over the months and the couple soon became engaged.
On 19 May 2018, Prince Harry and Markle got married in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated at the wedding. It was an extravagant affair and celebrities from all over the world were invited. Actors George Clooney, Idris Elba, and Oprah Winfrey, tennis player Serena Williams, former footballer David Beckam and his wife Victoria Beckam were among the elite guests.