Prince Harry: Valiant Rebel and Totally Hot Dude

Brother, can you spare a diamond?

By , Contributor

Photo Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/

LONDON - Since Prince Harry gave his mother's sapphire engagement ring to Prince William for the purpose of slipping on Kate's finger, he's presumably owed a bit of bling in return.

Not that Hooray Harry appears in any immediate need of affiancing jewelry, seemingly loathe as he is to pop the question in Chelsy Davy's direction - or any other belle with wedding bells on the brain.

With the heir taken, the spare is now World's Most Eligible Bachelor. Indeed, Harry was awarded that soubriquet by a British magazine when he turned 18. Nearly a decade on, the handle fits to a T, as in Totally Hot Dude, the real stud muffin in this brace of princes and a delightful rogue to boot.

Chelsyharry.jpgOh, he's had his bad press over the years: HARRY'S SHAME! HARRY OUT OF CONTROL! HERR HARRY and HITLER YOUTH!

Those last couple resulted from the prince wearing a Second World War Nazi uniform, with swastika on the sleeve, to a costume party in 2005. It apparently never crossed his booze-pickled mind that such a get-up was a) not funny; b) profoundly offensive; and c) tabloid catnip.

But that's Harry for you, love him or lambaste him, party animal and dashing rake, more Spencerian than Windsor in character, right down to the russet hair and freckles. "My little Spencer'' Diana called him, fondly. And: "Harry's the naughty one, just like me.''

p-105-4241_thumb.jpgOught naught go out pubbing quite so much, perhaps, and emerge from night clubs falling down drunk. But a boy will sow his wild oats and Harry has been very much the wild child among his generation of royals. Yet he's also the first member of the House of Windsor to do front-line combat duty - at his insistence - since Prince Andrew piloted a helicopter in the Falklands War.

That's the core duality of Harry: The most valiant of royal spawn, risking his life on distant battlefields, and the most rebellious.

PrinceWilliamPrinceHarry.jpgAll his life, Prince Harry has played the second lead to William. That's the role he'll fill in Friday's royal nuptials too as his brother's best man. And he's always been Will's bestest man, the only person on this planet to share a sibling's particular pain as mother-less boys.

Always close, if separated by different destinies, the brothers have become even tighter as adults. Harry has said of William: "It's amazing how close we've become. We have even resorted to hugging each other.''

Now he's got the sister he says he's always wanted. And for the moment, they will continue a domestic menage-a-trois, at least when all in London at the same time, with Clarence House their shared residential address.

As befits a party connoisseur, Harry has arranged much of the wedding evening festivities, with three state rooms at Buckingham Palace converted into a nightclub. He's teed up a DJ to spin tunes, compiled a playlist featuring some of William's favorite artists and told caterers to prepare a "survivors breakfast'' of bacon sandwiches for those guests still vertical the following morning.

As best man, Harry's other formal duty on W-Day is to deliver the speech at the wedding breakfast buffet, hosted by granny. What will he dare say? Courtiers are nervous but Harry's was recently quoted as promising to be "selective'' about groom disclosures, for fear of upsetting the Queen. At the same time, he teased there will be enough in there to make William squirm and "lose a bit of hair.''

Like reigning, not a problem that Harry needs worry about.

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Rosie's a columnist with the Toronto Star, Canada's largest circulation daily newspaper. She's covered the royals since 1982. Rosie functions as a news columnist, foreign correspondent, war correspondent, and sports columnist and photographer, as well as, multi-tasker.

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