Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
***This prompt may violate our content policy.*** Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (born 15 September 1984), is a member of the British royal family. He is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. He graduated from Sandhurst military college, and after a brief deployment as a Forward Air Controller, in 2012 he served a combat tour in Afghanistan as a co-pilot and gunner for an Apache helicopter. In 2018, Harry was made Duke of Sussex prior to his wedding to American actress Meghan Markle. In January 2020, the couple stepped down as senior members of the royal family and moved to the Duchess's native Southern California.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, KCVO (Henry Charles Albert David; born 15 September 1984), is a member of the British royal family. He is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne.
Harry was the second son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and his first wife, Lady Diana Spencer. He was educated at Wetherby School, Ludgrove School, and Eton College. He spent parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho, then underwent officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet into the Blues and Royals, serving temporarily with his brother William and completed training as a troop leader. In 2007–2008, he served for over ten weeks in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week deployment in 2012–2013 with the Army Air Corps. In June 2015, he resigned from the army.
Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 and remains the patron of its foundation. He also gives patronage to several other organisations, including the HALO Trust and Walking With The Wounded. To encourage people to open up about their mental health issues, Harry, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, initiated the mental health awareness campaign "Heads Together" in April 2016.
In 2018, Harry was made Duke of Sussex prior to his wedding to American actress Meghan Markle. In January 2020, the couple stepped down as senior members of the royal family and moved to the Duchess's native Southern California. In October 2020, they launched Archewell Inc., an American public organisation that focuses on non-profit activities and creative media ventures. They have two children, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
Prince Harry was born in the 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 the British throne), and Diana, Princess of Wales. He was christened Henry Charles Albert David on 21 December 1984 at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. Growing up, he was referred to as "Harry" by family, friends, and the public. Harry and his elder brother, William, were raised at Kensington Palace in London, and Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. Diana wanted him and his brother to have a broader range of experiences and a better understanding of ordinary life than previous royal children. She took them to venues that ranged from Walt Disney World and McDonald's to AIDS clinics and homeless shelters. He began accompanying his parents on official visits at an early age; his first overseas tour was with his parents to Italy in 1985. He also travelled with his family to Canada in 1991 and 1998.
Harry's parents divorced in 1996. His mother died in a car crash in Paris the following year. Harry and William were staying with their father at Balmoral at the time, and the Prince of Wales told his sons about their mother's death. At his mother's funeral, Harry, then 12, accompanied his father, brother, paternal grandfather, and maternal uncle, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, in walking behind the funeral cortège from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey.
Like his father and brother, Harry was educated at independent schools. He started at London's Jane Mynors' nursery school and the pre-preparatory Wetherby School. Following this, he attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire. After passing entrance exams, he was admitted to Eton College. The decision to place Harry at Eton went against the past practice of the Mountbatten-Windsors to send children to Gordonstoun, which Harry's grandfather, father, two uncles, and two cousins had attended. It did, however, see Harry follow in his older brother's footsteps and the Spencer family, as both Diana's father and brother attended Eton.
In June 2003, Harry completed his education at Eton with two A-Levels, achieving a grade B in art and D in geography, having decided to drop history of art after AS level. He has been described as "a top tier athlete", having played competitive polo and rugby union. One of his former teachers, Sarah Forsyth, has asserted that he was a "weak student" and that staff at Eton conspired to help him cheat on examinations. Both Eton and Harry denied the claims. While a tribunal made no ruling on the cheating claim, it "accepted the prince had received help in preparing his A-level 'expressive' project, which he needed to pass to secure his place at Sandhurst." Harry also joined the Combined Cadet Force while studying at Eton and was made cadet officer in his final year, leading the corps' annual parade at the Eton tattoo.
After school, Harry took a gap year, during which he spent time in Australia working as a jackaroo on a cattle station, and participating in the Young England vs Young Australia Polo Test match. He also travelled to Lesotho, where he worked with orphaned children and produced the documentary film The Forgotten Kingdom.
Harry entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 8 May 2005, where he was known as Officer Cadet Wales, and joined the Alamein Company. In April 2006, Harry completed his officer training and was commissioned as a Cornet (second lieutenant) in the Blues and Royals, a regiment of the Household Cavalry in the British Army. On 13 April 2008, when he reached two years' seniority, Harry was promoted to lieutenant.
In 2006, it was announced that Harry's unit was scheduled to be deployed in Iraq the following year. A public debate ensued as to whether he should serve there. Defence Secretary John Reid said that he should be allowed to serve on the front line of battle zones. Harry agreed saying, "If they said 'no, you can't go front line' then I wouldn't drag my sorry ass through Sandhurst and I wouldn't be where I am now." The Ministry of Defence and Clarence House made a joint announcement on 22 February 2007 that Harry would be deployed with his regiment to Iraq, as part of the 1st Mechanised Brigade of the 3rd Mechanised Division – a move supported by Harry, who had stated that he would leave the army if he was told to remain in safety while his regiment went to war. He said: "There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country."
The head of the British army at the time, General Sir Richard Dannatt, said on 30 April 2007 that he had personally decided that Harry would serve with his unit in Iraq as a troop commander, and Harry was scheduled for deployment in May or June 2007 to patrol the Maysan Governorate. By 16 May, however, Dannatt announced that Harry would not serve in Iraq; concerns included Harry being a high-value target (as several threats by various groups had already been made against him) and the dangers the soldiers around him would face should any attempt be made on his life or if he was captured. Clarence House made public Harry's disappointment with the decision, though he said he would abide by it.
In early June 2007, it was reported that Harry had arrived in Canada to train alongside soldiers of the Canadian Forces and British Army, at CFB Suffield near Medicine Hat, Alberta. It was said that this was in preparation for a tour of duty in Afghanistan, where Canadian and British forces were participating in the NATO-led Afghan War.
This was confirmed in February of the following year, when the British Ministry of Defence revealed that Harry had been secretly deployed as a Forward Air Controller to Helmand Province in Afghanistan for the previous ten weeks. The revelation came after the media – notably, German newspaper Bild and Australian magazine New Idea – breached the blackout placed over the information by the Canadian and British authorities. He was immediately pulled out due to the fear that the media coverage would put his security and the security of fellow soldiers at risk. It was later reported that Harry helped Gurkha troops repel an attack from Taliban insurgents, and performed patrol duty in hostile areas while in Afghanistan.
His tour made Harry the first member of the British royal family to serve in a war zone since his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew helicopters during the Falklands War. For his service, his aunt, Princess Anne, presented Harry with an Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan at the Combermere Barracks in May 2008.
Army Air Corps and second deployment to Afghanistan
In October 2008, it was announced that Harry would follow his brother, father and uncle in learning to fly military helicopters. Harry attended the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury, where he joined his brother. Prince Charles presented him with his flying brevet (wings) on 7 May 2010 at a ceremony at the Army Air Corps Base (AAC), Middle Wallop. Harry was awarded his Apache Flying Badge on 14 April 2011. On 16 April 2011, it was announced that Harry had been promoted to captain. In June 2011, Clarence House announced that Harry would be available for deployment in current operations in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot. The final decision rested with the Ministry of Defence's senior commanders, including principally the Chief of the Defence Staff in consultation with the wishes of Harry, the Prince of Wales, and the Queen. In October, he was transferred to a US military base in California to complete his helicopter gunship training. This final phase included live-fire training and "environmental and judgment training" at naval and air force facilities in California and Arizona. In the same month, it was reported that Harry was top of his class in extensive training undertaken at the Naval Air Facility, El Centro, California. While training in Southern California, he spent time in San Diego. In November 2011, Harry returned to England. He went to Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk, in the east of England, to complete his training to fly Apache helicopters.
On 7 September 2012, Harry arrived at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan as part of the 100-strong 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps, to begin a four-month combat tour as a co-pilot and gunner for an Apache helicopter. On 10 September, within days of arriving in Afghanistan, it was reported that the Taliban had threatened his life. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid spoke to Reuters and was quoted as saying: "We are using all our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping." He added, "We have informed our commanders in Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him." On 21 January 2013, it was announced that Harry was returning from a 20-week deployment in Afghanistan. On 8 July 2013, the Ministry of Defence announced that Harry had successfully qualified as an Apache aircraft commander. Harry compared operating the Apache's weapons systems in Afghanistan to playing video games. He also discussed killing insurgents while piloting his Apache helicopter, and added "we fire when we have to, take a life to save a life, but essentially we're more of a deterrent than anything else".
On 17 January 2014, the Ministry of Defence announced that Harry had completed his attachment to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, and would take up a staff officer role, SO3 (Defence Engagement) in HQ London District. His responsibilities would include helping to co-ordinate significant projects and commemorative events involving the Army in London. He was based at Horse Guards in central London.
On 6 March 2014, Harry launched Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style sporting event for injured servicemen and women, which was held on 10–14 September 2014. Harry met British hopefuls for the Invictus Games at Tedworth House in Wiltshire for the start of the selection process on 29 April 2014. On 15 May 2014, Harry attended a ticket sale launch for Invictus Games at BT Tower, from where he tweeted on the Invictus Games' official Twitter account as the president of the Games. To promote the Games, he was interviewed by BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans along with two Invictus Games hopefuls. He said: "[The Invictus Games] is basically my full-time job at the moment, making sure that we pull this off." The show aired on 31 July 2014. Harry later wrote an article in The Sunday Times about his experiences in Afghanistan: how they had inspired him to help injured personnel and how, after the trip to the Warrior Games, he had vowed to create the Invictus Games. Harry and officials attended the British Armed Forces Team announcement for Invictus Games at Potters Field Park in August 2014. As president of the Invictus Games, he attended all events related to the Games from 8 to 14 September 2014.
In January 2015, it was reported that Harry would take on a new role in supporting wounded service personnel by working alongside members of the London District's Personal Recovery Unit for the MOD's Defence Recovery Capability scheme to ensure that wounded personnel have adequate recovery plans. The palace confirmed weeks later that the scheme was established in partnership with Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion. In late January 2015, Harry visited The Battle Back Centre set up by the Royal British Legion, and Fisher House UK at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. A partnership between Help for Heroes, the Fisher House Foundation and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) Charity created the Centre. Fisher House Foundation is one of the Invictus Games' sponsors. In February and March 2015, Harry visited Phoenix House in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, a recovery centre run by Help for Heroes. He also visited Merville Barracks in Colchester, where Chavasse VC House Personnel Recovery Centre is located, run by Help for Heroes in partnership with the Ministry of Defence and Royal British Legion.
On 17 March 2015, Kensington Palace announced that Harry would leave the Armed Forces in June. Before then, he would spend four weeks throughout April and May at army barracks in Darwin, Perth and Sydney whilst seconded to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). After leaving the Army, while considering his future, he would return to work in a voluntary capacity with the Ministry of Defence, supporting Case Officers in the Ministry's Recovery Capability Programme. He would be working with both those who administer and receive physical and mental care within the London District area.
On 6 April 2015, Harry reported for duty to Australia's Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin at the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra, Australia. Harry flew to Darwin later that day to begin his month-long secondment to the ADF's 1st Brigade. His visit included detachments to NORFORCE as well as to an aviation unit. While in Perth, he trained with Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), participating in the SASR selection course, including a fitness test and a physical training session with SASR selection candidates. He also joined SASR members in Perth for live-fire shooting exercises with numerous Special Forces weapons at a variety of ranges. Harry completed an insertion training exercise using a rigid-hull inflatable boat. In Sydney, he undertook urban operations training with the 2nd Commando Regiment. Training activities included remotely detonating an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and rappelling from a building. He also spent time flying over Sydney as co-pilot of an Army Black Hawk helicopter and participated in counter-terrorism training in Sydney Harbour with Royal Australian Navy clearance divers.
Harry's attachment with the ADF ended on 8 May 2015, and on 19 June 2015 he resigned his short service commission.
Since leaving the army, Harry has been closely involved with the armed forces through the Invictus Games, honorary military appointments and other official engagements. On 19 December 2017, he succeeded his grandfather Prince Philip as the Captain General of the Royal Marines. In May 2018, he was promoted to the substantive ranks of Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Navy, Major of the British Army and Squadron Leader of the Royal Air Force.
On 18 January 2020, Buckingham Palace announced that agreement had been reached for Harry "to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments". In February 2021, the Palace confirmed that the Duke would give up his position as Captain General of the Royal Marines and hand back all the other honorary military appointments.
Chelsy Davy, the daughter of Zimbabwean, South Africa-based businessman Charles Davy, was referred to as Harry's girlfriend in an interview conducted for his 21st birthday, and Harry said he "would love to tell everyone how amazing she is but once I start talking about that, I have left myself open.... There is truth and there is lies and unfortunately I cannot get the truth across." Davy was present when Harry received his Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan and also attended his graduation ceremony when he received his flying wings from his father. In early 2009, it was reported the pair had parted ways after a relationship that had lasted for five years.
In May 2012, Harry's cousin Princess Eugenie introduced him to Cressida Bonas, an actress and model who is the granddaughter of Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe. On 30 April 2014, it was reported that the couple had parted amicably.
In July 2016, Prince Harry began a relationship with American actress Meghan Markle. In November, the prince directed his communications secretary to release a statement on his behalf to express personal concern about pejorative and false comments made about his girlfriend by mainstream media and internet trolls. In September 2017, Prince Harry and Markle first appeared together in public at the Invictus Games in Toronto. Their engagement was announced on 27 November 2017 by Harry's father Prince Charles. The announcement prompted generally positive comments about having a mixed-race person as a member of the royal family, especially in regard to Commonwealth countries with populations of blended or native ancestry. On 19 May 2018, the marriage ceremony was held at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The couple later revealed in the 2021 television interview Oprah with Meghan and Harry that there was a private exchange of vows 3 days before with the Archbishop of Canterbury in their garden. However, this earlier exchange of vows was not an official religious or legally recognised marriage.
It was reportedly agreed in advance that excess funds generated from the BBC broadcast of the wedding ceremony would go to a charity chosen by the newlywed couple. In April 2020, Feeding Britain (which provides food packages to families in food poverty) was nominated to receive £90,000 from the BBC.
The Duke and Duchess initially lived at Nottingham Cottage in London, on the grounds of Kensington Palace. They then moved to Frogmore Cottage in the Home Park of Windsor Castle. The Crown Estate refurbished the cottage at a cost of £2.4 million, paid out of the Sovereign Grant, with the Duke later reimbursing expenses beyond restoration and ordinary maintenance. On 6 May 2019, the Duke and Duchess's son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was born. Their office was moved to Buckingham Palace and officially closed on 31 March 2020 when the Sussexes ceased "undertaking official engagements in support of the Queen". After some months in Canada and the United States, the couple bought a house in June 2020 on the former estate of Riven Rock in Montecito, California, where they own a chicken coop with hens rescued from a factory farm. The next month, the Duchess suffered a miscarriage. On 4 June 2021, their daughter Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor was born.
Harry is godfather to "five or six" children, including the daughters of Major Nicholas van Cutsem, the son of Hugh van Cutsem, and Jake Warren, his mother's godson, whose father is the Queen's horse racing manager. He became godfather to Charlie van Straubenzee's firstborn daughter in May 2020.
Wealth and inheritance
At the time of the announcement of Harry and Meghan's decision to "step back" as senior members of the royal family in 2020, 95% of the couple's income derived from the £2.3 million given to them annually by Harry's father, Charles, as part of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall.
Harry and his brother William inherited the "bulk" of the £12.9 million left by their mother on their respective 30th birthdays, a figure that had grown since her 1997 death to £10 million each in 2014. In 2002, The Times reported that Harry would also share with his brother a payment of £4.9 million from trust funds established by their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, on their respective 21st birthdays and would share a payment of £8 million upon their respective 40th birthdays. Harry's personal wealth was estimated at £30 million by The Daily Telegraph in 2020.
In 2014, Harry and William inherited their mother's wedding dress along with many other of her personal possessions, including dresses, diamond tiaras, jewels, letters, and paintings. The brothers also received the original lyrics and score of "Candle in the Wind" by Bernie Taupin and Elton John as performed by John at Diana's funeral.
In 2002, it was reported that with Charles's encouragement Harry had paid a visit to a drugs rehabilitation unit to talk to drug addicts after it emerged that he had been smoking cannabis and drinking at his father's Highgrove House and at a local pub. In 2017, Harry acknowledged that with the support of his brother he sought counselling years after his mother's death, stating: "It's all about timing. And for me personally, my brother, you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me. He kept saying this is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk to [someone] about stuff, it's OK". Harry added that he struggled with aggression, suffered from anxiety during royal engagements, and was "very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions". In his mental health television documentary The Me You Can't See, which premiered in 2021, he added that he underwent four years of therapy to address his mental health issues following encouragement from his future wife while they were dating.
He also mentioned that he suffered from "panic attacks [and] severe anxiety" in his late 20s and the heavy load of official visits and functions eventually "led to burnout". He further stated that he was willing to drink and take drugs, adding that he "wasn't drinking Monday to Friday, but [he] would probably drink a week's worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night" to help him cope with his issues. In 2021, American journalist Katie Couric recounted a meeting with Harry in her memoir, and alleged that during her 2012 interview with him in Belize to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee he smelled of cigarettes and alcohol, which seemed "to ooze from every pore" of his body. In an episode of Armchair Expert, he attributed his mental health issues to the ineffective parenting style of previous generations and to the "genetic pain and suffering" passed down in his family, adding that his issues stemmed from "the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered".
Members of the British royal family are politically neutral by convention. However, in September 2020, Harry and his wife released a video addressing American voters to "reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity" in the 2020 United States presidential election, which was seen by some as an implicit endorsement of Joe Biden.
Harry identifies as a feminist. As part of an interview with Gloria Steinem in August 2020, he was quoted as saying "You know that I'm a feminist too, right, Gloria? It's really important to me that you know that."
In May 2021, Harry was a guest on Dax Shepard and Monica Padman's podcast Armchair Expert during which he talked about the freedom of speech and laws related to it in the United States, stating "I've got so much I want to say about the First Amendment as I sort of understand it, but it is bonkers." He added that it was "a huge subject and one which [he didn't] understand", emphasising that one could "capitalise or exploit what's not said rather than uphold what is said." The comments were met by backlash from conservative Americans and Britons, prompting figures such as Ted Cruz, Dan Crenshaw, Nigel Farage, Candace Owens, Jack Posobiec, and Laura Ingraham to criticise him publicly.
In November 2021, in a panel at Wired's Re:Wired Conference, Harry claimed that a day before the January 2021 United States Capitol attack he emailed Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and 'warned' of potential civil unrest, but had not received a response. He added that he and Meghan were no longer on social media, and would avoid it "until things change". In the same month, Conservative politician and MP Johnny Mercer, who was leading the efforts to waive visa fees for foreign-born UK veterans and their families, announced in the Commons that the Duke of Sussex was supportive of their proposal and viewed it as "morally right" and not as "a political intervention".
At the age of 21, Harry became a Counsellor of State and began his duties in that capacity. On 6 January 2009, the Queen granted Harry and William their own royal household. Previously, William and Harry's affairs had been handled by their father's office at Clarence House in central London. The new household released a statement announcing they had established their own office at nearby St James's Palace to look after their public, military and charitable activities. In March 2012, Harry led an official visit to Belize as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He continued to the Bahamas and Jamaica, where the Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, was considering initiating a process of turning Jamaica into a republic. He then visited Brazil to attend the GREAT Campaign. Harry also played tambourine and took part in the music video for the song "Sing", which was released in May 2012 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.
Between 9 and 15 May 2013, he made an official visit to the United States. The tour promoted the rehabilitation of injured American and UK troops, publicised his own charities and supported British interests. It included engagements in Washington, DC, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He met survivors of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. In October 2013, he undertook his first official tour of Australia, attending the International Fleet Review at Sydney Harbour. He also paid a visit to the Australian SAS HQ in Perth. In May 2014, he visited Estonia and Italy. In Estonia, he visited Freedom Square in the capital Tallinn to honour fallen Estonian soldiers. He also attended a reception at the Estonian Parliament and a NATO military exercise. In Italy, Harry attended commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the Monte Cassino battles, in which Polish, Commonwealth and British troops fought. On 6 November 2014, he opened the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, a task usually performed by Prince Philip.
Before reporting for duty to the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Harry visited the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on 6 April 2015. On 7 May 2015, he made a farewell walkabout at the Sydney Opera House and visited Macquarie University Hospital. On 24–25 April 2015, he joined his father in Turkey to attend commemorations of the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign. On 28 October 2015, he carried out one day of engagements in the US. He launched the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 with First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden at Fort Belvoir. He later attended an Invictus Games board meeting and a reception to celebrate the launch at the British Ambassador's Residence. On 26 November 2015, as patron of Sentebale, Harry travelled to Lesotho to attend the opening of the Mamohato Children's Centre. From 30 November to 3 December 2015, he made an official visit to South Africa. He visited Cape Town, where he presented the insignia of the Order of the Companions of Honour to the Archbishop on behalf of the Queen. Harry also played the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, at Val de Vie Estate in Cape Town, fundraising for Sentebale. He visited Nepal 19–23 March 2016. He stayed until the end of March 2016 to help rebuild a secondary school with Team Rubicon UK, and visited a Hydropower Project in Central Nepal.
In April 2018, he was appointed Commonwealth youth ambassador, a position which he held until March 2020. Also that month, Harry became a patron of Walk of America, a campaign which brings together a number of veterans who will take part in a 1,000-mile expedition across the US in mid-2018. The Prince was appointed the president of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, which focuses on projects involving children and welfare of prisoners, in April. Periodically, online QCT chat sessions were conducted and uploaded to YouTube for general public viewing. He remained the charity's president until February 2021.
During his trip to Angola in 2019, the Duke visited the Born Free to Shine project in Luanda, an initiative by First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço which aims to "prevent HIV transmission from mothers to babies" through education, medical testing and treatment. He also met HIV+ youth and teenagers during his visit. During his visit to the Luengue-Luiana National Park, the Duke unveiled an initiative by the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy to help with protecting "an ancient elephant migration route" by providing safe passage for them in the forest.
In January 2020, the Duke and Duchess announced that they were stepping back from their role as senior members of the royal family, and would balance their time between the United Kingdom and North America. A statement released by the Palace confirmed that the Duke and Duchess were to become financially independent and cease to represent the Queen. The couple retain their HRH stylings but are not permitted to use them. The formal role of the Duke and Duchess was subject to a twelve-month review period, ending in March 2021. In March 2020, Harry attended the opening of the Silverstone Experience in Silverstone Circuit together with racing driver Lewis Hamilton. Harry's appearance at the museum was his final solo engagement as a senior royal before he and his wife officially stepped down on 31 March.
Civilian career and investments
In summer 2019, before announcing their decision to step back in January 2020, Harry and his wife were involved in talks with Jeffrey Katzenberg, the founder of the now-defunct streaming platform Quibi, over a possible role in the service without gaining personal profits, but they eventually decided against joining the project. In September 2019, it was reported that the couple had hired New York-based PR firm Sunshine Sachs. In June 2020, they signed with the Harry Walker Agency, owned by media company Endeavor, to conduct paid public speaking engagements. In September 2020, the Sussexes signed a private commercial deal with Netflix "to develop scripted and unscripted series, film, documentaries, and children programming for the streaming service". In October 2020, the couple hosted a special episode of Time 100 Talks with the theme being on "Engineering a Better World". In December 2020, the Duke and Duchess signed a multi-year deal with Spotify to produce and host their own programs through their audio producing company, Archewell Audio. The debut episode of the podcast, a holiday special, was released on the service in December 2020.
In March 2021, San Francisco-based mental health start-up BetterUp, a company that helps people get in contact with coaches or counsellors, said that Harry would become its first chief impact officer; he "will help promote mental fitness and expand the company's roster of coaches and customers, among other duties". Harry added that he had been working with a BetterUp coach himself and found it "invaluable." In the same month, Harry was appointed as a commissioner for the Aspen Institute's Commission on Information Disorder to carry out a six-month study on the state of misinformation and disinformation in the United States. The study was published in November 2021 as a report with 15 recommendations. In the following month, in his capacity as BetterUp's chief impact officer, Harry was interviewed by Fast Company, stating that the recent trend of people leaving their jobs (known as the Great Resignation) was something that needed to be celebrated, though his remarks were criticised for coming from a position of privilege.
In April 2019, it was announced that Harry was working as co-creator and executive producer on a documentary series about mental health together with Oprah Winfrey, which was initially set to air in 2020 on Apple TV+. It was later announced that the series, titled The Me You Can't See, would be released on 21 May 2021. In the following month, UCAS reported an increase in the percentage of students declaring mental health issues on their university applications, citing self-help books and Prince Harry's statements on his struggles with "panic attacks and anxiety" as contributing factors. In July 2021, it was announced that Harry was set to publish a memoir via Penguin Random House in late 2022, with proceeds from its sales going to charity and Harry reportedly earning an advance of at least $20 million. It will be ghostwritten by novelist J. R. Moehringer. In the following month, Harry confirmed that $1.5 million of the proceeds from the memoir would go to the charity Sentebale. The memoir is reportedly part of a four-book publishing deal that also includes a second book by Harry and a wellness guide by Meghan. In September 2021, Harry and Meghan went to New York, where they visited the 9/11 Memorial with New York governor Kathy Hochul and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, and held meetings with the U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield. In October 2021, Harry and Meghan announced their partnership with Ethic, a sustainable investment firm based in New York City, which also manages the couple's investments. According to state filings from Delaware, where the couple's Archewell foundation is registered, Harry and Meghan incorporated 11 companies and a trust beginning in early 2020 which include Orinoco Publishing LLC and Peca Publishing LLC to hold the rights for their books as well as Cobblestone Lane LLC and IPHW LLC which are holders of their foundation's logos.
Humanitarian and environmental activities
In 2006, he was in Lesotho to visit Mants'ase Children's Home near Mohale's Hoek, which he first toured in 2004. Along with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, he launched Sentebale: The Princes' Fund for Lesotho, a charity to aid children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. He has granted his patronage to organisations including WellChild, Dolen Cymru, MapAction and the London Marathon Charitable Trust; he stepped down from MapAction in 2019 and the London Marathon Charitable Trust in 2021. In 2007, William and Harry organised the Concert for Diana, in memory of their mother, which benefited the charities and patronages of Diana, William, and Harry. In September 2009, William and Harry set up The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry to enable the princes to take forward their charitable ambitions. Harry left the charity in June 2019.
After taking part in an unfinished trip to the North Pole with Walking With The Wounded in 2011, Harry joined the charity's 200-mile expedition to the South Pole in December 2013, accompanying twelve injured servicemen and women from the UK, the US and the Commonwealth. As patron of Walk of Britain, he walked with the team on 30 September and 20 October 2015. To raise awareness for HIV testing, Harry took a test live on the royal family Facebook page on 14 July 2016. He later attended the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, on 21 July 2016. On World AIDS Day, Harry and Rihanna helped publicise HIV testing by taking the test themselves. Since 2016, Harry has been working with Terrence Higgins Trust to raise awareness about HIV and sexual health. In November 2019, to mark the National HIV Testing Week, the Duke interviewed HIV+ Rugby player Gareth Thomas on behalf of the trust.
On 27 December 2017, Harry was officially appointed the new president of African Parks, a conservation NGO. He previously spent three weeks in Malawi with African Parks where he joined a team of volunteers and professionals to carry out one of the largest elephant translocations in history. The effort to repopulate areas decimated due to poaching and habitat loss moved 500 elephants from Liwonde and Majete National Parks to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. Harry had previously helped with relocating rhinos in the Okavango Delta and later became patron of the Rhino Conservation Botswana. In July 2018, the Elton John AIDS Foundation announced that the Duke of Sussex and British singer Elton John were about to launch a global coalition called MenStar that would focus "on treating HIV infections in men".
In March 2019, Prince Harry gave a speech at WE Day UK, an annual event organised by We Charity to inspire young people to become more active towards global social and environmental change. He discussed mental health, climate change and the importance of social participation. In May 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex together with Harry's brother and sister-in-law launched Shout, the UK's first 24/7 text messaging service for those who suffer from mental issues. Harry attended a Google summit in August 2019 and gave a speech on the importance of tackling climate change in Sicily. He explained that he and Meghan plan to have no more than 2 children to help sustain the environment. In September 2019, the Duke launched Travalyst during his visit to the Netherlands after two years of development. The initiative is set "to encourage sustainable practices in the travel industry" and "tackle climate change and environmental damage", in collaboration with a number of companies. The organisation later announced a partnership with Google in 2021. In October 2019, along with other members of the royal family, Harry voiced a Public Health England announcement, for the "Every Mind Matters" mental health program.
In February 2020, Harry recorded a new version of the song "Unbroken" with Jon Bon Jovi. The new version features backing vocals from members of the Invictus Choir. The song was released on 27 March 2020, the proceeds of which were donated to the Invictus Games Foundation. In April 2020, Harry launched a new initiative named HeadFIT, a platform designed to provide mental support for members of the armed forces. The initiative was developed mutually by the Royal Foundation's Heads Together campaign, the Ministry of Defence, and King's College London.
In April 2020, the Duke and Duchess delivered foods prepared by the Project Angel Food to Los Angeles residents amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. In August 2020, Harry and Meghan collaborated with Baby2Baby and participated in drive-through distribution of school supplies to students. During the UK's Remembrance Week in November 2020, he joined American veterans from The Mission Continues Service Platoons to distribute food with Compton Veterans and the Walker Family Events Foundation in Compton, California.
In April 2021, Harry and Meghan were announced as campaign chairs for Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, an event organised by Global Citizen to increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations. They also announced their support for a vaccine equity fundraiser initiated by the same organisation, and penned an open letter to the pharmaceutical industry CEOs urging them to address the vaccine equity crisis. Later that month, he narrated "Hope Starts Here", a special video rereleased by African Parks to mark the Earth Day in which he urged organisations and communities to preserve biodiversity and paid tribute to his grandfather Prince Philip for his efforts as a conservationist. He helped with the establishment of Peak State, a mental fitness programme aimed at providing tools and resources for managing mental health, to which he publicly lent his support in May 2021.
Like his mother, Harry has worked with the HALO Trust, an organisation that removes debris—particularly landmines—left behind by war. In 2013 he was named as patron of the charity's 25th Anniversary Appeal. In September 2019, he walked through a de-mining site in Angola, the same country visited by his mother 22 years earlier. In June 2021, after ten members of the trust were killed by an armed group at a mine clearance camp in Afghanistan, Harry issued a statement saying the attack "was nothing less than an act of barbarism". In September 2021, together with First Lady Jill Biden, he hosted a virtual event for the Warrior Games, which were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same month, Harry and Meghan spoke again in support of vaccine equity at the Global Citizen Live concert. In October 2021, he spoke against oil drilling in the Okavango River in an op-ed for The Washington Post. In the same month and ahead of the 2021 G20 Rome summit, Harry and his wife penned an open letter together with the Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom, asking the G20 leaders to expedite efforts for the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. In January 2022 and following criticism aimed at Spotify for their handling of COVID-19 misinformation, Harry and Meghan made an announcement stating that since April 2021 they had begun "expressing concerns" about the issue on the platform.
Harry enjoys playing many sports, including competitive polo, skiing, and motocross. Like his brother and father, he has participated in polo matches to raise money for charitable causes. Harry is also a keen Rugby football fan and supported England's bid to host rugby union's 2015 Rugby World Cup, and presented the trophy at rugby league's 2019 Challenge Cup finals. In 2004, Harry trained as a Rugby Development Officer for the Rugby Football Union and coached students in schools to encourage them to learn the sport. He, along with former rugby player Brian Moore, both argued that in response to Black Lives Matter, the song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, should no longer be sung in rugby context. Until February 2021, he was the patron of both the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League, Rugby League's governing body in England.
In 2012, together with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Harry launched Coach Core. The program was set up following the 2012 Olympics and provides apprenticeship opportunities for people who desire to pursue a career as a professional coach. In June 2019, the Duke was present at the launch of Made by Sport, a charity coalition set to raise money to boost sport in disadvantaged communities. In his statement, he lent his support to the charity by arguing that its role in bringing sport into the life of disadvantaged people would save "hundreds of millions of pounds" towards treating the issues among young people.
Sussex Royal and Archewell
In June 2019, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would split from The Royal Foundation and establish their own charity foundation by the end of 2019. Nevertheless, the couple would collaborate with Harry's brother and his wife on mutual projects, such as the mental health initiative Heads Together. In July 2019, Harry and Meghan's new charity was registered in England and Wales under the title "Sussex Royal The Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex". On 21 February, it was confirmed that "Sussex Royal" would not be used as a brand name for the couple following their withdrawal from public life. On 5 August 2020, Sussex Royal Foundation was renamed "MWX Foundation" and dissolved the same day.
In March 2021, it was reported that the Charity Commission for England and Wales was conducting a review of the Sussex Royal organisation in a "regulatory and compliance case" regarding its conduct under charity law during dissolution. Representatives for the couple claimed that Sussex Royal was "managed by a board of trustees" and that "suggestion of mismanagement" directed exclusively at the Duke and Duchess would be incorrect. The commission later concluded that the foundation did not act unlawfully, but criticised the board of directors for expending a "substantial proportion of funds" to setting up and closing the charity.
In April 2020, Meghan and Harry confirmed their new foundation (in lieu of Sussex Royal) would be called "Archewell". The name stems from the Greek word "arche", which means "source of action"; the same word that inspired the name of their son. Archewell was registered in the United States. Its website was officially launched in October 2020.
In his youth, Harry earned a reputation for being rebellious, leading the tabloid press to label him a "wild child". At age 17, he was seen smoking cannabis, drinking underage with friends, and clashing physically with paparazzi outside nightclubs. In early 2005, he was photographed at Highgrove House at a "Colonial and Native" themed costume party wearing a Nazi German Afrika Korps uniform with a swastika armband. He later issued a public statement apologising for his behaviour.
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 camouflage hood a "raghead". These terms were described by Leader of the Opposition David Cameron as "unacceptable", and by The Daily Telegraph as "racist". A British Muslim youth organisation called Harry a "thug". Further extracts showed him kissing a comrade and asking another whether he felt gay, queer, or on the side. He was also filmed pretending to have a call with his grandmother, stating "I've got to go, got to go. Send my love to the corgis and Grandpa ... God save you."Clarence House immediately issued an apology from Harry, who stated that no malice was intended in his remarks.
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 Clarence House would contact the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) if British publications used the pictures.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 PCC upon hearing that a number of British newspapers were considering publishing the photographs. On 24 August 2012, The Sun newspaper published the photographs.
In view of their environmental activism, Harry and his wife were criticised in August 2019 for reportedly taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, including one to Elton John's home in Nice, France. The criticism was in line with the reactions the royal family faced in June 2019, after it was revealed that they "had doubled [their] carbon footprint from business travel". Harry received backlash again in August 2021 for taking a two-hour flight to California on a private jet from Aspen, Colorado, after participating in a charity polo match.
In July 2019, Harry and his wife attended the premiere of The Lion King in London. Their attendance garnered commentary and criticism as it took place on the date of a memorial concert for the Royal Marines killed by the IRA, to which Harry was invited as Captain General of the Royal Marines, but had declined to attend.
In December 2021, reports emerged about Harry's meetings with Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, whose receipt of a CBE became the subject of an investigation by the Scottish Charity Regulator. Mahfouz had met Prince Harry in 2013 and 2014 and donated £50,000 to his charity Sentebale and £10,000 to Walking With The Wounded, of which Harry is patron. The Sunday Times claimed that the meetings with Harry opened the way for Mahfouz to get access to the Prince of Wales. Harry referred to the incident as the "CBE scandal" in December 2021 and stated that he severed ties with Mahfouz in 2015 after expressing "growing concerns" about his motives, though aides from his father's household denied having any discussions with him regarding Mahfouz. A spokesperson for Sentebale defended the meetings and added that there was not any impropriety regarding the donations.
In 2018 and 2021, Harry was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine. In 2019, the magazine named Harry and his wife among the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet. In 2021, they were featured on one of the magazine's seven worldwide Time 100 covers.
Legal issues and incidents
In February 2014, a judge sentenced the convicted criminal Ashraf Islam to three years in prison, as he had plotted to murder Harry and had given it "considerable thought" due to his belief that Harry had "a moral guilt" since he was in the army. In June 2019, two members of the neo-Nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division were jailed for eighteen months and four years, respectively, for sharing propaganda posters among which was one that labeled Harry as a "race traitor" with a gun pointed at his head.
In May 2019, Splash News issued a formal apology to the Sussexes for sending photographers to their Cotswolds residence, which put their privacy at risk. The agency also agreed to pay damages and legal costs associated with the case. In October 2019, it was announced that Harry had sued The Sun, the Daily Mirror and the now-defunct News of the World "in relation to alleged phone-hacking". Former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman had previously stated that he had hacked Harry's phone on nine occasions. Among other points discussed in the lawsuit was a report by the News of the World about Harry's visit to a drugs rehabilitation clinic after smoking cannabis in January 2002, which according to his legal team was "to blag" his father into believing that Harry was a drunkard and drug addict in order "to get an exclusive but 'softer' story" on his alleged issues with drugs and alcohol, a claim that was denied by the outlet's publisher News Group Newspapers.
On 30 January 2020, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) sided with the Mail on Sunday over a dispute between the Duke and the newspaper regarding an Instagram photo involving Harry in which, according to the newspaper, elephants were in fact "tranquilised" and "tethered" during a relocating process. The IPSO rejected Harry's claim that the paper's description was "inaccurate" or "misleading". Later that month, lawyers issued a legal warning to the press after paparazzi photographs were published in the media. After his resignation from the royal family was announced, Harry appeared "to lay the blame at the feet of the press" for his decision. In March 2020, the couple took Splash UK to court after the Duchess and their son were photographed without permission during a "private family outing" while staying in Canada. The case was settled later that year with Splash UK agreeing to no longer take unauthorised photos of the family. On 20 April 2020, the Duke and Duchess announced that they would no longer cooperate with the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Mirror and the Express.
A September 2020 article by The Times claiming an Invictus Games fundraiser had been cancelled due to its affiliation with a competitor of Netflix, Harry's business partner, became the subject of a legal complaint issued by the Duke. In December 2020, Harry's legal team sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) for publishing a story in the Mail on Sunday claiming his working relationship with the Royal Marines had suffered post-royal departure. The newspaper subsequently accepted the claims were false, and issued an apology. The prince's lawyer said the "substantial damages" paid by the publisher would be donated to the Invictus Games Foundation.
In June 2021, lawyers for Harry and Meghan accused the BBC of defamation and sent letters out to various media organisations saying that their reports on the Queen not being consulted about the name of their daughter was false and defamatory. In November 2021, Harry and Meghan's former communications secretary Jason Knauf gave a statement to the court following ANL's appeal against a judge's ruling that accused the media company of breaching Meghan's privacy for publishing a letter she had sent to her father. Knauf mentioned the Duchess of Sussex directly gave him briefing points to share with Finding Freedom's authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand and added that the Duke of Sussex had welcomed the suggestion that they should conceal their involvement with the process of writing the book, while they both discussed the book "on a routine basis". ANL had previously applied to use the book in their defense, arguing that the Duke and Duchess had "co-operated with the authors of the recently published book Finding Freedom to put out their version of certain events".
In January 2022, the couple mutually filed a legal complaint against The Times for an article reporting on Archewell raising less than $50,000 in 2020. In the same month, it was revealed that Harry, whose taxpayer-funded police security was taken away after stepping back from royal roles in 2020, had been in a legal fight since September 2021 to challenge the Home Office's refusal to allow him to pay for police protection in a personal capacity when in the UK as he believed his private security team's lack of access to local intelligence and legal jurisdiction abroad would make them unable to protect his family.
Oprah interview and Twitter trolling
Harry and his wife were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in a television special for CBS, broadcast on 7 March 2021. Meghan spoke about "stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood" and "how she is handling life under intense public pressure". Harry joined her later, and the pair talked about the initial difficulties associated with their move to the United States in 2020 and their plans for the future. During the interview, Harry criticised his father's parenting style while he was trying to deal with the death of his mother. He maintained his father did not answer his calls and had cut him off financially, and he had no relationship with his brother, Prince William, stating "The relationship is space, at the moment. Time heals all things, hopefully." There was a wide and polarised reaction to the interview.
In October 2021, Twitter analytics service Bot Sentinel released their analysis of more than 114,000 tweets about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as a result of which they found 83 accounts with a combined number of 187,631 followers responsible for approximately 70% of the negative content posted about the couple. The report prompted an investigation by Twitter. Twitter stated that it found no evidence of "widespread coordination" between the accounts, and said that it had taken action against users who violated Twitter's conduct policy. Bot Sentinel also released three more reports in the following months, arguing that the accounts were part of a "bot network" and a similar network could be found on YouTube. In January 2022, the BBC named Harry and Meghan among people whose photos and videos were used in fake instant profits advertisements and bitcoin-related investment schemes.
On the morning of his wedding, the Queen granted him the Dukedom of Sussex, as well as two subsidiary titles, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Harry uses the earldom in Scotland and the barony in Northern Ireland. On 18 January 2020, Buckingham Palace announced that, following their decision to step back from royal duties, from 31 March 2020 Harry and his wife would not use their Royal Highness styles, but as a British prince, he will not be stripped of his style and titles.
Before his marriage, Harry used Wales as his surname for military purposes and was known as Captain Harry Wales in such contexts. On 4 June 2015, as part of the 2015 Special Honours, Harry was knighted by his grandmother, the Queen, for "services to the sovereign", being appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).
In February 2021, it was announced via written confirmation that Harry's honorary military appointments (i.e. those mentioned above) were returned to the Queen.
Harry's charitable efforts have been recognised three times by the international community. In December 2010, the German charity Ein Herz für Kinder ("A Heart for Children") awarded him the Golden Heart Award, in recognition of his "charitable and humanitarian efforts". On 7 May 2012, the Atlantic Council awarded him its Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership Award. In August 2018, the Royal Canadian Legion granted him the 2018 Founders Award for his role in founding the Invictus Games. In October 2018, he was presented with the RSA Badge in Gold, the organisation's highest honour, for his work with injured veterans. In July 2021, Harry and Meghan were among people who were selected by UK-based charity Population Matters to receive the Change Champions award for their decision to have only two children and help with maintaining a smaller and more sustainable population.
Agnatically, Harry is a member of the House of Glücksburg, a cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg, one of Europe's oldest royal houses. Harry's paternal grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, issued letters patent on 8 February 1960 declaring his father to be a member of the House of Windsor.
Ancestors on Harry's father's side include most of the royal families of Europe, and on his mother's side, the earls Spencer—a cadet branch of the Spencer family descended from the earls of Sunderland; the senior branch are now also dukes of Marlborough; the Barons Fermoy; and more anciently from Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond—two illegitimate sons of King Charles II.
Harry and his brother William descend matrilineally from Eliza Kewark, a housekeeper for his eighteenth-century ancestor Theodore Forbes—a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in Surat. She is variously described in contemporary documents as "a dark-skinned native woman", "an Armenian woman from Bombay", and "Mrs. Forbesian". Genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner assumed Kewark was Armenian. In June 2013, BritainsDNA announced that genealogical DNA tests on two of Harry and William's distant matrilineal cousins confirm Kewark was matrilineally of Indian descent.
- Prince Harry, Duke of Sussexen.wikipedia.org