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  • Rachel Burchfield

35 facts about Harry for his 35th birthday

Things we all know about Prince Harry: a.) He’s hot and b.) He’s a prince. But, actually, Harry has lived quite an interesting life in his now 35 years. His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex, turned 35 yesterday, on September 15. Here’s 35 things you might not have known about him.

1. Harry has always been known as “Harry” rather than his birth name, Henry.

2. It has been widely reported that Charles was upset that he and Diana’s second child wasn’t a girl.

3. He took part in his first overseas tour with his parents in 1985. He went to Italy.

4. There have been rampant rumors that Harry is not biologically Charles’ son and, because of his red hair, he is the son of Diana and lover James Hewitt. This is impossible, however, because Harry was already born by the time Diana and Hewitt’s affair started. Diana’s side of the family, the Spencers, is where Harry’s hair color comes from.

5. His love affair with Africa began in 1997, when he accompanied Charles on a tour of Botswana and South Africa. On that trip, he met both Nelson Mandela and The Spice Girls.

6. He was only 12 when his mother, Diana, was killed in a Paris car crash. He turned 13 just nine days after her funeral on September 6, 1997. It’s Harry’s handwriting on the now-iconic “Mummy” card that was placed atop Diana’s coffin.

7. After two years of what he calls “total chaos” after Diana’s death, Harry chose to seek counseling to help him deal with his overwhelming grief.

8. As if losing his mother wasn’t enough, Harry lost his best friend, Henry van Straubenzee, also in a car crash in 2002, when Harry was just 18.

9. Harry, not a strong student, graduated from Eton College in June 2003 with two A-levels, achieving a B in art and a D in geography.

10. His true calling at school was sports, and he excelled in polo and rugby.

11. During his gap year, Harry spent time in Australia working on a cattle station and Lesotho, where he worked with orphaned children and produced the documentary film The Forgotten Kingdom.

12. Ever since he has had a special relationship with Lesotho, and in 2006 launched Sentebale, a charity to aid children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

13. Unlike his brother before him, he decided to not attend traditional university and instead enrolled in the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2005. He was known then as Officer Cadet Wales, after his father, the Prince of Wales. In 2008, he achieved the rank of lieutenant, and in 2011, the rank of captain.

14. He has a deep military career, and from 2007 to 2008 served for over 10 weeks in Afghanistan but was pulled out of service after an Australian magazine revealed that he was there. (This was a huge controversy at the time, if you’ll remember, and Harry was pissed.) This wasn’t the last he saw of that country – he went back for a 20-week deployment from 2012 to 2013 with the Army Air Corps.

15. He left the British Army in 2015 after 10 years of service.

16. His friends and his protection officers have a nickname for him – Spike Wells. At one point, Harry had a secret Facebook account under this name.

17. While still dealing with the rampant aftershocks of his mother’s death, Harry went through a rebellious phase that lasted throughout much of his twenties. At 17, he smoked pot and drank underage with his friends, and clashed physically with the paparazzi outside of nightclubs, whom he deeply resented because of their perceived role in his mother’s death.

18. On one occasion, Harry was photographed at a costume party wearing a Nazi uniform with a swastika armband. Then, in January 2009, News of the World released a video where Harry used a racial slur against one of his fellow officer cadets that was Pakistani. The video had been made three years earlier, in 2006.

19. Maybe most notably, while in Las Vegas in August 2012, Harry and an unknown young woman were photographed naked in a hotel room, reportedly during a game of strip poker. Thankfully, Harry took the time to work on himself and his mental health – as he has publicly acknowledged – and has been open about his struggles.

20. Interestingly enough, as kids, Harry’s older brother William was the “naughty one,” constantly bossing Harry around. Those roles flipped when the two became adults, though now, fortunately, neither is very naughty anymore.

21. He went on his first solo Royal tour in 2012, leading up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. He visited Belize, the Bahamas, and Jamaica.

22. Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014, where wounded, injured, or sick armed services personnel and veterans take part in nine sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing. It is named after Invictus, Latin for “unconquered” or “undefeated.”

23. Harry is a patron of the Invictus Games as well as several other organizations, including the HALO Trust, the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and Walking With the Wounded.

24. To raise awareness for HIV testing, Harry took an HIV test live on the Royal Family Facebook page in July 2016.

25. Before meeting Meghan, Harry had two high-profile, longterm relationships, first with Chelsy Davy, whom he dated for five years, and then with Cressida Bonas, whom he dated for two years.

26. Remember this, pop culture aficionados? In 2014, a reality show aired in the United States called “I Wanna Marry Harry,” where single women vied for the affection of a Prince Harry lookalike. I wonder if Meghan watched the show?

27. Harry, who, in the past, was very reluctant to speak about his romantic relationships, confirmed his relationship with Meghan in November 2016 when he issued a statement asking for the abuse and harassment of Meghan and her family to cease. The two were only about five months into their relationship at the time.

28. The couple made their first public appearance together in September 2017 at the opening of the Invictus Games in Toronto.

29. Right before his wedding in May 2018, Harry was named the second-ever Duke of Sussex; no one had held the title since 1843.

30. One of Harry’s hobbies? Painting, which he inherited a love of from dad Charles.

31. Another interesting passion of Harry’s? Dinosaurs. When he was dating Meghan, he once arranged for the Natural History Museum in London to open one night just for them so they could tour the exhibits alone.

32. At 6’2’’, he is the second tallest member of the Royal Family. The tallest? Brother William, who stands at 6’3’’.

33. Kate’s iconic ring could have actually been Meghan’s. After Diana died, William and Harry chose some of Diana’s personal belongings to keep. William chose Diana’s Cartier watch, and Harry selected the now-iconic sapphire and diamond engagement ring. However, William was ready much before Harry to propose to someone, so the brothers swapped the pieces of jewelry when William proposed to Kate in 2010.

34. I love a good pet name. What does Meghan call Harry? “My love.” Awww.

35. This past April, it was announced that he was working on a documentary with Oprah Winfrey about mental health. It is set to debut next year.

Happy (one day belated) birthday, Your Royal Highness!

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