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September 15, 1984. Prince Henry Charles Albert David is born at 4.20pm at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London. Known immediately as Prince Harry, he weighs 6lb 14oz (3.2 kg). His mother is the Princess of Wales, popularly called Princess Diana. His father is Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, heir to the throne of Great Britain. The young prince is third in line to the throne, behind Prince Charles and Harry's older brother Prince William, and should be officially addressed as HRH Prince Henry of Wales.

Sidenote: Harry's legitimacy. There have been rumours that Charles is not the prince's father, based on an alleged resemblance between Harry and James Hewitt who was the Princess's lover in the late 1980s. However this seems unlikely: Hewitt and Diana did not meet until 19861 and according to recent claims about video tapes recorded by Diana she and Prince Charles were still having sex until 19852.

December 21, 1984. The prince is christened at St. George's Chapel, Windsor by Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie.

September 1987. He begins nursery school (kindergarten), attending Mrs Jane Mynors's nursery school in west London.

September 11, 1989. The prince starts at Wetherby School, a pre-prep school in west London.

September 1992. Prince Harry moves to Ludgrove School in Berkshire, where his older brother Prince William is also a pupil.

December 9, 1992. British Prime Minister John Major announces the separation of Harry's parents, Charles and Diana, to the House of Commons.3

August 28, 1996. Issuing of the Decree Absolute, the final stage in the divorce of Charles and Diana. Prince Harry is now officially the child of divorced parents.4

August 31, 1997. His mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, is killed in a car crash in Paris.

September 6, 1997. He attends the funeral of his mother in London.

November 1997. Harry accompanies Prince Charles on a royal visit to South Africa, where he meets President Nelson Mandela and sees the Spice Girls perform.

September 1998. He begins to attend Eton College, Windsor, where William is also educated.

November 24, 1998. Press interest in Harry and William is increasing, and is being felt more and more intrusively by Prince Charles and his household. Following front-page newspaper reports of Prince Harry being slightly injured while playing rugby ("Harry's arm is ruggered" according to the Daily Star), a formal complaint is made to the Press Complaints Commission over the press coverage of Harry's childhood. This results in the PCC modifying their guidelines over reporting of the royal children.5

January 13, 2002. The News of the World newspaper reports that Prince Charles has ordered Harry to pay a visit to the Featherstone Lodge drug rehabilitation clinic in Peckham, south London, for a day to see the damage that drug abuse can cause.

This follows Harry's admission that he has smoked cannabis on several occasions at parties and drunk alcohol at the Rattlebone Inn near his father's Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire, where he had been recognised by a number of regulars. There are also reports that police investigated a mock-fight involving Harry following after-hours drinking at the Rattlebone Inn, and that he was thrown out of the pub after insulting a French employee.6 Public reaction to the reports is in general relaxed, and it does little harm to the Prince's reputation as the cool one of the family, less serious and more athletic and fun-loving than his brother.

September 15, 2002. Harry celebrates his 18th birthday. Amongst his presents are a coat of arms from his grandmother, Elizabeth II, which incorporates elements from his mother's family, the Spencers, as well as from the British Royal Family.

August 14, 2003. Harry's A Level results are announced; A Levels are the highest exams in the English school system. He is awarded a B in French and a D in geography, having dropped history of art before the exams. These are not terrible grades, but would not be sufficient for the more prestigious universities, and his brother William achieved an A, a B and a C.

He announces that he plans to apply to Sandhurst military college in 2004, which will build on his achievements in the combined cadet corps at Eton, where he attained the highest possible rank and led 48 cadets as parade commander at the Eton Tattoo.7

September 2003. Harry arrives in Australia, where he is to spend part of his gap year before college working on a ranch as a jackaroo (cattle hand) and watching the Rugby Union World Cup. However press interest threatens to disrupt his plans, and he is criticised by many in Australia for the cost of security measures around him.8

1 Andrew Walker. "James Hewitt: Major Rat". BBCi. January 10, 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/in_depth/uk/2000/newsmakers/2646441.stm
2 Alan Rimmer. "The Diana Video Tapes". Sunday Mirror website. March 30, 2003. http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/page.cfm?objectid=12790749&method=full&siteid=106694
3 Michael White and David Sharrock. "Charles and Diana to Separate". The Guardian. December 10, 1992. (Reproduced on Guardian Century website). http://www.guardiancentury.co.uk/1990-1999/Story/0,6051,112651,00.html
4 "Text of Charles and Diana's divorce decree". CNN.com. August 28, 2003. http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9608/28/royal.divorce/decree/
5 Press Complaints Commission. "Royal Complaints to the Press Complaints Commission". PCC website. http://www.pcc.org.uk/students/royalforweb.htm (accessed October 28, 2003)
6 "Prince Harry sent to drugs clinic". BBCi. January 13, 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1757448.stm
"Police could act on Prince Harry". CNN.com. January 15, 2002. http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/01/14/uk.harry/?related
7 "Prince Harry's A-level results". BBCi. August 14, 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/3150649.stm
8 "Harry to stay at cattle station". BBCi. September 27, 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3144680.stm

Additional sources:

  • Debrett's website. http://www.debretts.co.uk/royal_connections/prince_harry.html
  • Prince of Wales's official website. http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/about/biography/harry.html
  • British Royal Family official website. http://www.royal.gov.uk/

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