Prince Harry: The Spare Apparent

By , Contributor

Will Alexander/

Ever since his birth, Henry Windsor, or Prince Harry as he is more commonly known, has been surrounded by controversy. Princess Diana was convinced that had Harry been a girl, Prince Charles would have finally ended his affair with Camilla and settled down to family life, but it was not to be. Charles' wish for a daughter was not granted, therefore he further distanced himself from his wife, or so Diana claimed.

Even Harry's looks have fueled the rumor mill as his red hair spawned the tale that his father was not in fact Prince Charles, but Captain James Hewitt, Diana's five-year lover. These claims have always been rubbished by the royal family and in any case, Diana's affair with the dashing, flame haired officer did not begin until long after the prince was born.

Considered the "cool" royal with his mischievous sense of humor and impish grin, Harry has stepped out from his older brother's shadow, but was he ever in it in the first place? Whilst William has always been made painfully aware of his birthright and eventual burden of being King, Harry has been generally left to his own devices - namely larking about. William has demonstrated a relatively sensible and straight forward personal life, Harry's however, has been more complicated causing him to be labeled a "wild child" by the press.

He has been known to stumble out of nightclubs drunk and, on occasion, start physical and verbal fights with the waiting paparazzi. At the age of 17 he was caught smoking cannabis and drinking underage, but of course no action was taken; it obviously helps to be a prince in such instances. And who could forget his foolish choice to dress up as a Nazi officer, complete with swastika armband, at a party at Highgrove House? The young Prince definitely displayed a degree of thoughtlessness in this instance, but was quick to apologize for his insensitivity -  an apparent family trait.

The young prince seems to have calmed down somewhat in the past couple of years, ever since seemingly settling down with South African beauty Chelsy Davy, but even that relationship has not run a smooth course. Unlike his elder brother's relationship with Catherine Middleton, Harry and Chelsy's courtship has been put on ice more than once. But still, she remains a stalwart presence at events attended by the prince, often appearing at his side. 

Like many other royals before him, Harry has not been blessed academically, only obtaining two A-levels on leaving Eton, the prestigious boy's school that his ancestors have attended for generations. He has, however, excelled at sports, which is perhaps more fitting for a young man hell bent on entering into the British Army.

In 2005, Prince Harry enrolled at Sandhurst Military Academy where he trained for two years before Clarence House announced that he would be joining the rest of his regiment for a tour of duty in Iraq. It was however pronounced too great a security risk, but this did not stop the Prince from eventually joining the rest of the troops for a stint in Afghanistan.  This proved short lived as a German and an Australian newspaper broke the news that the Prince had been secretly deployed.  This broke the blackout clause that had been imposed by the British authorities to protect not only the prince, but his regiment, which would have also been in danger due to Harry being such a valuable enemy target.

In 2008, Clarence House announced that Prince Harry was to follow in the footsteps of his father, uncle and brother and begin training as a military helicopter pilot. He recently passed his Apache flying test last month and is looking forward to performing another tour of duty in Afghanistan before the British troops are due to pull out.

The young prince has been heavily involved in charity work, a cause which he has passionately promoted ever since his mother would take he and his brother to serve food in homeless shelters, to ensure that they experienced how "the other half" lived from a young age. 

Harry's young life has been blessed with privilege, but at a high price. The cost of being a modern day king is forever living in the public eye, suffering constant criticism whilst devoting every moment to the serving of your country. The cost of being that king's younger brother however is considerably lower, as Harry has discovered.  He benefits from all of the privilege but does not have to handle the heavy baggage of responsibility.

Despite this, the brothers have always remained close, Harry even taking up the role of best man at Prince William's wedding to Catherine Middleton - his Best Man's speech no doubt will be filled with witty remarks. Harry has made no secret of his approval of Catherine as his brother's choice of bride -  the pair have always got along famously. Perhaps this is because they are both considered to be the most down to earth of the royal family pack and the most in touch with the British public.

Harry is generally thought of as the most "normal" of the Royal family, or as normal as one can be coming from the most famous family in the world.  He has so far laughed and joked his way through his career as a prince of England and long may Prince Harry's reign as the jester continue.

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Creative, multi-talented and incredibly sarcastic, Lydia Morton is a PR person, journalist and blogger. In her free time she writes for various publications, most recently The RITZ Magazine and Quintessentially Magazine.

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