You might think of him as the Royal Family’s “other brother,” but while he doesn’t face the same scrutiny as his older brother, William, Prince Harry lives a pretty eventful life. Soldier, spokesman, and philanthropist, Harry is about to add “husband to Meghan Markle” to his list of titles. Here are 42 regal facts about Prince Harry.
Prince Harry Facts
42. Prince Who?
Although the world knows him as Prince Harry, Harry’s full name is actually Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor of Wales.
Harry was given his rather lengthy name upon his christening at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor on December 21, 1984, which was officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
At the time of his birth, Harry was third in line for the British throne. The birth of his brother William’s two children, George and Charlotte, bumps him to fifth (for now).
39. Animal Lover
Early on, Prince Harry showed a love for animals. He had a pet rabbit at the Royal Family’s country estate, where he could often be found tending to the sheep and Shetland ponies.
At seven, Harry was sent off to Ludgrove boarding school, where his brother William had gone. This coincided with news of his mother’s intimate conversations with her boyfriend James Gilbey, and some suspect Harry was sent off, in part, to shield him from the media. After Ludgrove, Harry followed William to the prestigious Eton College.
37. World Traveller
Harry did pretty well in school. For the most part he got As and Bs. His lowest grade, ironically, was in Geography. He got a D.
36. Grades Scandal
Harry’s grades were called into question. While at Eton, he’d been accused of forging some of his coursework. A school tribunal cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Harry was 12 when his mother, Princess Diana, died in a tragic car accident. Harry says this affected him deeply, and that he’d had nightmares for years after.
Harry has always had a fascination with Africa. After Diana’s death, Harry’s father took him to South Africa to meet Nelson Mandela, which Harry says lifted his spirits. After completing his studies at Eton, Harry travelled to Lesotho to do charity work.
33. Chelsy Davy
While in Africa, Harry met Chelsy Davy. The daughter of a Zimbabwean landowner, she shared Harry’s passion for sport, adventure, and partying. The two had an on-again-off-again relationship for six years before parting ways, but they remain good friends.
32. Fascist Fashion
In 2005, Harry was photographed at a costume party. The theme of the party, “Natives and Colonials” might have been bad enough, but Harry’s choice of costume–a Nazi soldier, complete with swastika armband–caused a scandal. He later apologized.
Harry’s hard-partying ways were bound to catch up with him sooner or later, and his father brought him to Phoenix House, a rehab center. Harry spent the day there learning the perils of drugs and alcohol.
After graduating from Eton, Harry spent three months in Australia, working on the ranch of Annie and Noel Hill, who had been friends of Diana. Harry was a “jackaroo,” something like an Australian cowboy: it was his job to round up and tend cattle.
29. Rugby Coach
Harry had a busy gap-year. In addition to his travelling and scandal-dodging, he took a qualifying course to become a rugby coach. He has helped coach at five different schools throughout England.
28. Sports Fan
In addition to rugby, Harry is also fond of polo, skiing, motocross, and soccer. He supports Arsenal, and can often be seen at Emirates Stadium on match day.
27. Recurring Tragedy
Harry’s life was again struck by tragedy in 2009 when his friend Henry Van Straubenzee died. Straubenzee was killed in a car accident just as Harry’s mother had been. Harry serves as a patron of a charity set up in Straubenzee’s honour.
26. Counsellor of State
In 2005, Harry replaced his uncle, the Earl of Wessex, as Counsellor of the State. The counsel, who take over for Queen Elizabeth is she is incapacitated, is made up of Prince Phillip and four adult members of the Royal Family in the line of succession.
Harry developed a keen interest in the military while at Eton, where he signed up for the Combined Cadet Force. After graduating, Harry went on to Royal Military Acadamy Sandhurst, leaving as a 2nd lieutenant in 2006.
24. Kept Home
After his graduation from Sandhurst, Harry joined the Household Cavalry, and was deployed to Iraq. Public pressure, however, forced the army to withdraw Harry’s deployment; people were concerned not only for Harry’s safety, but also other soldiers who might face greater dangers when in Harry’s company. Harry was livid, saying he wouldn’t have joined the army if he couldn’t serve in a combat role.
23. Captain Wales
Obviously “Prince Harry” is not a particularly useful name on the battlefield. Harry’s nom de guerre is Captain Harry Wales, and he uses it whenever acting in a military capacity.
22. On the Internet, Nobody Knows You’re a Prince
“Captain Wales” isn’t Harry’s only pseudonym. In addition to his various titles, Harry used the name “Spike Wells” for his private Facebook account, which has since been deactivated.
While his rejection from combat in Iraq disappointed Harry, he still found a way to join the army overseas. Violating a blackout order, the German magazine Bild and the Australian magazine New Idea reported in 2007 that Harry was serving in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence was forced to concede that Harry had already been there 10 weeks.
20. Bedside Manner
While serving with the military, Harry would try and boost morale by visiting wounded soldiers. They were amazed by his relatability and humor. One soldier who had been in a coma woke to find a note that read, “For God’s sake, mate. Came to see you and what were you doing? You were kipping.” (That’s British for napping.)
19. Getting His Wings
While preparing for his tour in Afghanistan, Harry began training to pilot military helicopters for the Army Air Corps. His instructors called him “an instinctive flyer,” and awarded him a trophy as best copilot gunner.
18. Phone Tapping
Of course, it’s easy to get in trouble when reporters are watching your every move. It was revealed in 2014 that reporters for News of the World had tapped both Harry and William’s cellphones.
This news was actually a huge relief to the brothers, who were worried their friends had been leaking their secrets to the press.
Harry has recently opened up about the grief he felt after his mother’s death. In 2017, he told a reporter that, on William’s suggestion, he began seeing a grief counsellor. Boxing, he says, also helped him deal with the emotions he’d been repressing since the tragedy.
15. North Pole
In 2011, Harry attempted to hike to the North Pole with a group of wounded veterans as part of the Walking with the Wounded Project. Unfortunately, he had to leave the expedition before they reached the pole: he had to be back in time for his brother’s wedding.
14. South Pole
Harry turned the adventure upside-down in 2013. He joined up with the veterans of the Walking with the Wounded Project to reach the South Pole. This time, he completed the trek.
13. A Charitable Fellow
Harry has been involved in other charities beyond his work with veterans. In 2006, he and returned to Lesotho, where he and Prince Seeiso set up Sentebale, a charity that helps children in Lesotho and Botswana who have been affected by HIV.
12. Invictus Games
In 2014, Harry created and organized the first Invictus Games, an Olympic-style event for wounded soldiers. Featuring around 300 military athletes, the first Invictus Games were held at Olympic Park in London.
11. More Games
Subsequent Invictus Games have been held in the United States and Canada. Veterans from up to 17 nations have competed. The 2018 Invictus games will be held in Sydney, Australia.
It turns out even royalty can’t escape sharing a flat. Harry’s official residence is Kensington Palace, a space he shares with Prince William, Kate, and their two children.
9. The In-Laws
Apparently, his charitable work hasn’t been enough to endear Harry to sister-in-law Kate Middleton’s parents: rumor has it they find his down-to-earth nature “impolite.”
8. Ice Cream Man
Harry loves ice cream. He even brought an ice cream cake with him to share on his trek to the North Pole.
7. Space Cadet
Harry’s an expert pilot, of course, but he’d like to get even higher. A huge Star Trek fan, Harry is eager to become the first royal in space, and plans on winning a spot on one of Virgin’s sub-orbital flights.
6. The Birthday Present
For his 30th birthday, Harry received a touching gift. His mother’s will stipulated that, when he turned 30, Harry would receive her wedding gown.
5. I Wanna Marry “Harry”
A young prince has no shortage of female admirers, American television network Fox took advantage of that fact in 2014 with the reality show I Wanna Marry “Harry.” 12 women competed for the affections of the prince, who was played by impersonator Matthew Hicks. The show was cancelled after four barely-watched episodes.
4. Meghan Markle
None of those contestants were quite as lucky as actress Meghan Markle. The Suits star met Harry in Toronto, and the two began dating shortly after.
3. Quick Engagement
On November 27, 2017, Prince Harry and Markle got engaged. The couple plan to marry in spring, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
2. The Ring
Harry proposed to Markle with a specially-made ring. It is composed of three diamonds, two of which were chosen from Diana’s private collection.
1. Vegas, Baby!
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Prince Harry learned that one the hard way, when, after a night of partying, he was caught completely nude after playing strip billiards in some cell phone photographs taken by another party-goer. Maybe pick another destination for the bachelor party, Harry!