Harry Windsor is most known today as the prince who walked away from the British Royal family. From a bystander as the press chased his parents, to the most newsworthy royal, Harry is a tabloid star—often for the wrong reason. But now that he's broken the royal family shackles, he is ready to reveal all the secrets he couldn't before—and he isn't holding back. Here is the life of Prince Harry, including new details only now coming to light.
Prince Harry, the Royal Who Walked AwayPublished 9 months ago
Amidst all of the Royal Family drama, it was unsure if Harry and Megan would attend what is probably his father's, King Charles's, most important day of his life. On May 6th, Prince Charles was coronated to become King of England. However, reportedly Prince Harry sought an apology from his father ahead of the Coronation—otherwise, he wasn't attending.
Surprisingly, Harry showed up. He briefly visited his home country but quickly returned to California to be with Meghan and their children. Although he was invited to have lunch with his family after the ceremony, he declined. According to sources, the coronation was not intended as a day of reconciliation between Harry and his family, but pay of respects.
Prince Henry Charles Albert David Windsor entered the world with the title, The Duke of Sussex, in 1984 at St. Mary’s Hospital, London. With such a big title, comes great responsibility. The burden of being born to one of the most observed and scandalous families in the world showed itself from when Harry was just a child.
Harry and his family were at times celebrated by the public, and sometimes they were scrutinized and shamed. The public life forced them to hide from and run away from the paparazzi all through the day. He inherited this misfortune from his ever-scandalous parents then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Both parents had affairs and there were many rumors about Harry’s “real” father being James Hewitt, Will Carling, and others.
Harry was very close with his mother, Princess Diana. But, Diana and Prince Charles's rocky marriage soon turned into a public chaotic mess, creating a tough environment for Harry and William to grow up in. Although Diana knew that her sons had more of everything than other kids, she insisted on instilling some grounded values in them.
Diana took Harry and William to McDonald’s to dine with regular kids, and to homeless shelters to see how the less fortunate live. But, in 1992, when Harry was 8, his parents separated and eventually divorced in 1996. Bouncing between his parents, there was very little stability in his family. Harry felt that he didn’t get enough time with either his parents. Little did he know how much worse it would get...
Only a year and a week after the divorce, the shocking and tragic news of Princess Diana’s death came. Harry was staying in Balmoral with his brother and father when he heard the news, and things went from bad to worse. Harry was just twelve years old, he’d lost his mother to a car accident, and the vultures of the tabloids descended on him and his family.
It would have been one thing for the press to have just hounded Diana’s ex-husband, then-Prince Charles, but Harry and William were caught in the crossfire too. Looking back, Harry has since stated that he struggled during this part of his life. He suffered from nightmares for years and even the sound of a camera shutter or the sight of a flash threw bad memories into his mind.
Millions of people around the world watched Princess Diana’s funeral with tears in their eyes for the loss of the Princess of Wales, but especially, the heartache everyone could see in her grieving sons. Harry and William escorting her coffin were enough to make a grown man cry. Prince Philip reportedly told his grandsons, “If you don’t walk, I think you’ll regret it later. If I walk, will you walk with me?”
Harry and William did their mother proud and the image of them on that day became iconic and was burnt into many people’s minds. In memory of his mom, Prince Charles took Harry on a trip that mirrored many visits that Diana made. Harry also took on a number of causes that were close to Diana too.
The trauma Harry suffered when his mother died in 1997 is still present to this day. But back in 2002, when the wound was still rather fresh, something was about to tear it back open. Just before Christmas that year, Harry was horrified to hear that his friend Henry van Straubenzee had also been killed in a car wreck.
Losing a close friend at that age is hard enough, but when the cause of death mirrored the demise of his own mother, that hit three times as hard. Harry showed his mettle and provided support to his friend’s family in their time of need. He also paid tribute to Henry by becoming a patron of a charity that was set up in van Straubenzee’s honor.
In Harry's 2023 tell-all autobiography, he addresses the infamous rumor that he is the son of Princess Diana's former lover, James Hewitt. Prince Charles was the first to joke about it. 'Pa liked telling stories,' he writes that his father would say, '"Who knows if I'm really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I'm even your real father? Maybe your real father is in Broadmoor, darling boy!"'
"It was a remarkably unfunny joke, given the rumor circulating just then," Harry writes. "One cause of this rumor was Major Hewitt's flaming ginger hair, but another cause was sadism," Harry continues. 'Tabloid readers were delighted by the idea that the younger child of Prince Charles wasn't the child of Prince Charles. Harry then goes on to deny the rumors, admitting "the story was simply too good to drop".
Harry was first educated at Jane Mynor’s nursery school and the pre-preparatory Wetherby School in London. When he was just seven years old, he was then sent off to Ludgrove School, a boarding school in Berkshire. Next, Harry passed the entrance exams and was admitted to Eton College, just as his brother William was, but controversy lurked around the corner…
Harry completed his education at Eton in June 2003, but one of his former teachers made allegations that the “weak student” had cheated on his exams with the support of a “conspiracy” of Eton staff. The resulting panel didn’t clear up these accusations; it in fact "accepted the prince had received help in preparing his A-level 'expressive' project, which he needed to pass to secure his place at Sandhurst," and discussion of the matter ended.
Harry had developed an interest in the military while he was at Eton, but he was in no rush to join before having a little fun and character-building first. Harry took a gap year and spent three months in Australia working on the ranch of Annie and Noel Hill, who were friends of his mother’s.
Harry also visited Lesotho in South Africa and produced the documentary The Forgotten Kingdom, as well as taking a qualifying course to become a rugby coach. When he was ready to get back on with it, Harry entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on May 8th, 2005. He was known as Officer Cadet Wales and he joined the Alamein Company.
While Harry was in Africa, he met a young woman by the name of Chelsy Davy. The daughter of a Zimbabwean landowner, Chelsy shared Harry’s interest in sport, adventure, and partying until all hours of the night. The newspapers immediately picked up on the relationship and did their usual thing of following people around.
Harry didn’t help matters when he’d get himself into trouble and bring the wrong attention his way while boozing the night away, but the fact remains people should have some privacy. Around the time of his 21st birthday, Harry said in an interview that 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.” After five years, the pair split up in 2009.
Thanks to all of his drunken stupors, Harry earned himself a reputation as the “wild child” of Princess Diana’s sons. Not only was he constantly being caught on camera guzzling booze and smoking weed, but he also got into fights with the paparazzi who were following him around. Many have attributed this behavior to his mother’s passing, but he was no stranger to partying before that.
While still studying at Eton, Harry had been caught drinking and smoking by the staff. Prince Charles decided the best course of action was to send Harry to Featherstone Lodge, a rehab center, but Charles was concerned about how that would look if anyone found out. Instead, Harry spent a total of one day there learning about the pitfalls of drugs and alcohol, before being sent on his merry way. Obviously, nothing was learned at this time.
Much to his family’s dismay, Harry had quite the history of infamous intoxicated nights on the town. But in early 2005, Harry attended a costume party, where he may have upset the most people in one go. The shindig in question had a fancy dress theme of “Natives and Colonials,” and Harry responded by arriving in a full Nazi Germany Afrika Korps uniform.
Pictures of Harry and his armband were taken and published almost before the party had ended, causing the royal family to sigh in disbelief for the hundredth time. Harry issued a statement in apology for the choice of outfits, but some politicians felt that wasn’t enough. They insisted on an official (and public) apology, but the Lord Chancellor deemed it unnecessary.
After joining the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005, Harry did manage to find the time in between parties to advance his military career, and in 2006, he was faced with deployment overseas to an active war zone. The public found out that Harry was being sent to Iraq, saying there was no need for such a high-profile figure to enter combat. The British Army gave in to the public.
Harry wasn’t happy with the decision, stating that he wouldn’t have signed up if he knew he wouldn’t be allowed to fight. He got his wish in 2007 when news broke that he’d been serving in Afghanistan for the last 10 weeks. When he returned home, Harry admitted that he’d battled the Taliban while over there, and this his instructors had called him an “instinctive flyer” while performing as a copilot gunner.
Harry found himself in another spot of bother in 2012 during a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. He and a group of his friends got incredibly, yet unsurprising legless, and photographs of them naked were circulated. A mystery photographer used their cell phone to take the snaps after Harry and an unknown female had finished their losing game of strip billiards, and another royal outrage ensued!
As you’d expect, TMZ had no problems publishing them stateside, but no publications in the UK were willing to print the pictures of Harry in his birthday suit. The palace even sent the vague threat of the Press Complaints Commission’s wrath, saying that Harry was a victim and his privacy had been invaded. It was all redundant though, as The Sun went ahead and printed them anyway.
After Harry and Chelsy Davy split up, he spent a few years enjoying the single life. Then in May 2012, Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie introduced him to a friend of hers, an actress and model named Cressida Bonas. Just like before, the tabloids caught wind of the courting couple, especially since Cressida is the granddaughter of Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe.
Many people, including Harry, held their breath at what they thought would lead to a future royal wedding, but it wasn’t meant to be. Harry was smitten as a kitten with his new lady, but when Cressida came face to face with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s family, she decided the role of wife and mother wasn’t for her. Harry asked Cressida to reconsider, but she ended the relationship in April 2014.
On September 7th, 2012, Harry arrived in southern Afghanistan to start a four-month combat tour as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner. Just three days later, Harry’s life was publicly threatened. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Reuters, "We are using all our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping. We have informed our commanders in Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him."
Harry faced "the same risk as any other Apache pilot" while there, and he safely and successfully qualified as an Apache aircraft commander. When Harry returned home, he was asked how he jumps between his roles. He described his "three mess," set up as, "one in the army, one socially in my own private time, and then one with the family and stuff like that. So there is a switch and I flick it when necessary."
As a royal, wealthy man in uniform, Harry was no stranger to having a line of admirers trying to live out their dreams of becoming a real-life Disney princess. This idea became a reality in 2014 when an American reality TV show called I Wanna Marry “Harry” aired. Quite simply, twelve women competed for the affections of Prince Harry…or so they thought.
The truth of the matter was that it was all a ploy, and that “Harry” was actually an impersonator called Matthew Hicks. The show was canceled after airing only four episodes, and the remaining four were released on a few streaming platforms. UK channel ITV2 broadcast the whole series, but the ratings were nothing to get excited over.
Harry turned 30 in 2014, and one of his gifts was utterly heartbreaking. Little did he know, but Harry’s mother Princess Diana had stated in her will that Harry would receive something of hers on his 30th birthday: her famous wedding gown.
Although it wouldn’t be the strangest item of clothing Harry had been seen in, the dress wasn’t directly for him and obviously handed down to Harry’s future wife, whoever that may be. That wasn’t all that he got - he also cashed in a sweet £12.9 million inheritance, too.
Throughout his entire life, the tabloids had made Harry’s life hell. One way or another, they’d gotten in the way, been caught following people in places they shouldn’t be, and of course, they were involved in the death of Princess Diana, Harry’s mom. This was something Harry would never be able to un-see, and it all came to a head in 2014 when Harry and his brother Prince William suspected there was a mole in their social group.
Apart from discovering their friends hadn’t betrayed them, the truth was even worst than their suspicions. The reason that the media was getting ahold of information that nobody should have had access to was that reporters for the News of the World had tapped both Harry and William’s cellphones. Their concerns and momentary paranoia may have subsided around people, but they’d understandably be cautious around technology in the future.
In July 2016, Harry started a relationship with an actress from America, Meghan Markle. By that November, Harry was using his then-princely powers to have his communication secretary release a statement regarding people talking about Meghan online and in the press. Harry was known for trying to avoid getting press, whereas his new lady was an actress by trade, so getting attention is a huge part of her job.
Despite their clash in this area, Harry and Meghan grew closer by the day, and they were thankful to the mutual friend who introduced them. That period between July and November had been nice for them to get to know each other. You know, before the tabloids were all over them constantly.
During their first date, Harry had already asked for a second meeting with Meghan Markle. She agreed, and on that next meeting, Harry invited her on a trip to Botswana with him. With what sounded like the start of a Disney Princess movie, the pair vanished abroad for some alone time. However, that wouldn’t last…
The media were relentless with their coverage of Harry and Meghan; it was like they knew where they were going to be and at what time. Finally, Harry had enough and he released a statement pleading with the press to cease its “wave of abuse and harassment.” Other royals raised an eyebrow at this behavior, as Harry urgently and informally addressed the people in this manner. To the observant, it was obvious that Harry’s priorities were shifting.
The lovebird's engagement was announced on November 27th, 2017. Although catholic, Meghan was baptized to become a Roman catholic. She was also divorced, but the Anglican Church has permitted marriage to divorced persons with a living former spouse since 2002. They married on May 19th, 2018. With the combination of royalty and Hollywood, came a very glamorous wedding guest list...
Amongst non-royal notable guests were George and Amal Clooney, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, James Corden, Sir Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham, James Blunt, Marcus Mumford, and wife Carey Mulligan. Meghan's Suits co-stars were there as well as Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey. Two of Harry's ex-girlfriends, Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy, were also invited. That was a nice gesture, as long as it wasn’t just to rub their noses in it!
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with their mother’s former engagement ring. However, the ring wasn’t originally meant for Willam’s future bride, as it was initially left to Harry. Meghan didn’t have to worry about missing out though, because Harry proposed to her with something just as fancy. The central piece in Harry’s engagement ring to Meghan was from Botswana and the two other diamonds were from Prince Diana’s collection
But that may not be the only way Harry chose to honor his beloved late mother. According to Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, Harry might have fallen for Meghan in the first place because of her and Diana's similar personalities. "Harry went for and married Meghan because she's like Diana," he reportedly said claimed. "Both women who would always stand up for what they believe in and wouldn't be pushovers." Still, Paul doesn't think that means they'd be besties. "I think, possibly, they would have clashed," he continued. "I imagine it would have been two strong, independent women with different views on things—it would have been a battle between Meghan's way and Diana's way."
Harry and Meghan were going to have to wait a little while if there were expecting to jump straight into their own lives together. Their first official home was on the grounds of Kensington Palace, and they weren’t alone. Harry and Meghan had to share living space with Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their children!
Although this sounds like someone’s pitch for a new sitcom, as the upcoming years would prove, nobody in attendance was laughing. Harry and Meghan continued with their marriage regardless and had their first child on May 6th, 2019. He was named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and his parents made their first of many controversial decisions. Instead of taking one of Harry’s titles and making their son an Earl, Harry and Meghan decided against it and chose to raise him as a public citizen.
In time, cracks began to emerge in the relationship between Harry and Prince William. Maybe it was the time they spent living together. Perhaps it was the fact that their wives could never seem to hit it off properly. Or maybe they’d both just gotten older and drifted apart. Only they’ll ever truly know the answer, but there was one incident that might hold some of the blame.
In 2019, a rumor began to make the rounds that William was having an affair with a woman named Rose Hanbury. When Harry heard the news he confronted his brother and was furious with him. Harry was recently married and he still remembered all the problems his parents’ cheating ways caused, so it’s no wonder he was so emotional. All parties denied the affairs and falling out, but there was now an obvious rift between the brothers.
In January 2020, Harry and Meghan announced that they were leaving the royal family! They moved to America in an effort to ensure their privacy, saying "This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter."
They also boasted big things in their future including a podcast, documentaries, and TV shows. However, they got a bit too excited and forgot to tell the Queen about their decision before they went public. Due to how quickly Harry and Meghan appeared in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, there’s a good chance that Oprah knew what was going on before the Queen did.
The palace released a statement saying they accepted Harry and Meghan’s choice, but sources, say that as of 2023, the former prince and the royal family are not on good terms. Harry, along with six other claimants, including Sir Elton John, are suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publisher of the Daily Mail, of invading their privacy by using private detectives who intercepted their calls and voicemails and even put tracking and listening devices on cars and in homes.
Harry testified as a witness saying: “The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN’s phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation.” He made similar claims in his memoir, Spare Netflix documentary, alleging his family colluded with the press, sometimes selling him out to win favors for themselves. A friend says: “Harry has torpedoed any remaining bridges with this statement. It is just six weeks until the coronation and the last thing Charles needs.”
Harry and Prince William had drifted further and further apart by this time, and there was even an ITV documentary made on the story. Although, after their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, died on September 8th, 2022, Harry and Prince William were seen together again. The future is uncertain between the two brothers, but their shared loss may be a bittersweet bridge to get back into each other’s lives.
On the other hand, too much water may have passed through that bridge, and it may only be a matter of time before we all find out the details. Harry (and to an extent, Meghan) has a book called Spare due out revolving around their marriage and new life together away from the royal family. It was originally due for release in August 2020, but several delays have disappointed fans and they must now wait until 2023. And it's not just fans that are waiting - according to Esquire, the royal family is apparently "shaken up" and "nervous" about what might be contained inside...
The British Royal Family has been one of the most influential families in the history of pop culture all over the world. Be it for good or bad reasons, the Royal Family has been a regular in media headlines. Unfortunately, being a royal has gone hand in hand with constant scandals for centuries, challenging the idea that being a princess, queen or king is a fairytale.
From royals who have abandoned their royal duties to queens who have never been married and worldwide cheating scandals, here’s a list of the most controversial scandals in British Royal history.
One of the most detrimental and publicized love triangles in royal history, and worldwide history in general, is the love triangle involving Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Camilla. As media reports have shown, Prince Charles was already head over heels for Camilla when he married Princess Diana in 1981.
Charles and Diana's wedding was watched by more than 50 million people from around the world and quickly became the media’s favorite topic to speculate about. After a tumultuous marriage and affairs by both parties, the couple finally separated in 1992. And in 1995, Diana famously shared with the entire world that a marriage with three people was a bit too crowded to work.
A tragic love story that was chronicled with detail in Netflix’s The Crown, Princess Margaret, and Peter Townsend's relationship was another huge scandal that the British Royal Family had to endure. Princess Margaret fell completely in love with Peter Townsend, who was sixteen years older than her at the time.
Townsend was a royal equerry and a very trusted team member of the royal house. Unfortunately, the Royal Family didn’t take the romance very well, as it forbade the couple from marrying each other unless Princess Margaret gave up all of her royal privileges.
This royal scandal is an even less glamorous one, in fact, it's very sad. In the first half of the 20th century, mental disability was looked down upon, especially if you came from a royal family. The mentally disabled were seen as an embarrassment and a threat to families of royal descent. It was a sign that something was wrong with the family.
The women in the picture are Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon, the Queen's first cousins. In 1941, they were sent to the Royal Earlswood Asylum for Mental Defectives. According to reports, they were left there and forgotten, not receiving visitors. This was the fate of mentally challenged royal members, at least in their era.
Prince Harry is not the first, and probably not the last royal who has decided to give up on their royal status. In 1936, King Edward VIII wanted to marry Wallis Simpson, who was a divorced American socialite. Unfortunately, according to the royal family, the government, and the church rules of England, King Edward wasn’t allowed to marry a divorcee.
As much as he fought, he didn’t manage to convince the royalty of his right to marry whoever he loved. For that reason, Prince Edward chose to abdicate the throne, which passed on to his brother George VI. His marriage to Wallis lasted until his death in 1972.
Over the years, Prince Harry has had his fair share of controversial moments both in his family and in the media. So when, in 2005, he arrived at a costume party dressed as a Nazi, complete with a swastika armband and a desert uniform, the world was completely shocked.
Someone took a photo of him which was circulated in several newspapers and magazines around the world. Later on, Prince Harry issued an official statement agreeing that he had chosen a terrible costume, for which he apologized.
As much as the royal family has been loved by thousands of people over the years, they’ve also had a large number of haters. Hence, their security is one of the most expensive and enforced security systems in the world.
Sadly, in 1100, William II was hunting in England’s New Forest, until he managed to catch something with an arrow. As he ran towards whatever he had managed to hunt, a man named Walter Tirel killed William with an arrow of his own. Although it wasn’t confirmed if it was an accident or a murder, everyone was pretty sure William had been murdered.
Sarah Ferguson’s scandal was one of the biggest cash scandals in the history of the royal family. Apparently, in May 2010, the Duchess of York was caught red-handed after she agreed to give access to her ex-husband in exchange for £500,000.
What she didn’t know was that she was being filmed by an undercover news reporter who was posing as a fake businessman. She was exposed a couple of days after, causing an incredibly huge embarrassment and scandal surrounding the royal family. She later apologized for her lapse in judgment.
Queen Victoria didn’t just embark on one controversial relationship, but two! She became completely infatuated with an Indian attendant with the name of Abdul Karim. Although he started as a servant, he was quickly promoted to be a part of her inner circle.
Although it’s believed that their relationship was merely platonic, after Queen Victoria died, her family deported him back to India and did everything they could to erase his existence. Before Karim though, she liked another servant who was of Scottish descent. Some people actually believe that they secretly married.
Another scandal that involved Princess Margaret was shared in her 2002 biography, written by Noel Botham. In the book, Noel claims that the Princess allegedly did cocaine at a Rolling Stones concert back in 1967. According to her story, Princess Margaret was invited by Mick Jagger to the concert, and the drug was provided by Keith Richards.
The Princess wasn’t so scandalized with the idea of taking some, and allegedly went to the bathroom and did it. When she returned to the room, it is said that she shared how much more she was going to enjoy the concert after that. The story was naturally never confirmed by the princess, though.
It seems like this king was ready to annul his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon way too soon, but no church allowed him to do so. After the annulment was strictly denied by the Catholic Pope, Henry decided that the only solution would be to create a church of his own.
Yes, folks, Henry VIII created the Church of England in 1534 and blatantly appointed himself as the church’s head. He then annulled the marriage, married five more times throughout his time, and even managed to have two of his wives beheaded. Quite the remarkable king we'd say!
After the 1568 uprising, Mary Queen of Scots had to abdicate her throne and subsequently flee to England. There, Queen Elizabeth I decided to hold her captive, as she believed that Mary was a threat to the English throne. Apparently, her worry wasn’t completely without cause, since Mary and others had plotted to kill Queen Elizabeth.
At some point, one of Queen Elizabeth's spies managed to intercept a letter written by Mary that ordered her assassination. After that happened, Queen Elizabeth ordered Mary’s beheading.
Believe it or not, even with the crazy amount of security in the Royal Palace, a man once managed to break into Queen Elizabeth II’s room in 1982. He was a British man named Michael Fagan who was unemployed and unknown at the time. He somehow climbed up the drainpipe located in Buckingham Palace and got into the Queen’s room.
The room was unguarded at that split second because a guard had left before he should have (and probably never came back again!). When the Queen woke up and saw the man, she apparently engaged in a conversation with him for 10 minutes until he asked for a cigarette. That was her opening to ask for help.