Prince Henry of Wales
Coined "the spare" by the world's press, Prince Henry "Harry" Windsor was born a ginger-haired wild child who was not afraid to defy expectations and to break the rules as he saw fit, carrying this attitude throughout his life. The son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, Prince Harry was third in line to the British throne after his father and older brother, Prince William Windsor. At a young age, Prince Harry was rambunctious and rowdier than his more reserved brother. He often flashed a big smile when seen in public, and was dubbed the "Happy Prince." But amidst all the luxuries afforded him, his charmed life was marred by his parents' widely publicized battles and divorce, followed by the unexpected death of his beloved "Mummy" in a 1997 car crash in Paris. As a young adult, Prince Harry had his fair share of scandals, including scuffles with the paparazzi, being caught using marijuana, wearing a Nazi uniform to a costume party, and throwing a wild Las Vegas party resulting in nude photos of himself splashed across the Internet. Yet, Harry possessed a nobler side. He inherited his mother's philanthropic ways and risked his life to fight on the frontlines of war, single-handedly redefining the meaning of a modern-day prince.
Henry Charles Albert David Windsor was born on Sept. 15, 1984 in London, England to the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana. Prince Harry was third in line to the British throne, after his father and his older brother, Prince William. Even as a young boy, Prince Harry was distinctly more boisterous than Prince William. When photographed, the red-headed child smiled and made faces at the cameras, which earned him the nickname "The Happy Prince." Prince Harry attended Mrs. Jane Mynors' nursery school in West London and later the Ludgrove School in Berkshire. Amidst all the luxuries afforded him, Prince Harry's life was not without conflict and controversy. For years, Prince Harry's looks - red hair and small nose - led to speculation that he was not really Prince Charles' son, but that of similarly tressed James Hewitt, one of Diana's former lovers. The princess denied those rumors, claiming that she did not meet Hewitt until after Prince Harry was born. In 1992, when he was eight, Prince Harry's parents finally parted ways. For many years leading up to the separation, rumors swirled that Prince Charles continued to see his longtime love, Camilla Parker Bowles. As a result of the alleged affair, coupled with the Royal Family's indifference, Princess Diana reportedly battled depression and bulimia throughout her marriage to Prince Charles.
After his parents' divorce in 1996, Harry and William split their time between their parents. Princess Diana took her boys to ordinary places like McDonald's and Disneyland, and also to homeless shelters and AIDS clinics to give them a better understanding of the world. In his father's company, Prince Harry often went riding, skiing, hunting, and fishing with his father and brother, but his sport of choice was polo. On Aug. 31, 1997, Prince Harry woke up to the news that his mother had died as a result of a car accident in a road tunnel in Paris, France. Photographers on motorbikes were allegedly chasing the car that the Princess was in, along with her then-boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, when their car hit a pillar and into a wall. Al-Fayed and the legally intoxicated driver were killed on the scene. The Princess died two hours later at a hospital. A royal funeral was held in Westminster Abbey. Millions of people watched and sympathized with the young princes as they walked behind their mother's coffin. Prince Harry was only 12 when his mother passed away, but during her funeral service, he carried himself with dignity that captured the sympathy of millions of people worldwide. On the Princess' casket, Prince Harry reportedly placed a card made out to "Mummy." During the eulogy, Princess' Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, criticized the media for their relentless hounding of his sister and promised his nephews he and the rest of the Spencer family would continue their mother's quest to give them a normal life.
Following in his brother's footsteps, Prince Harry also attended Eton College, a prestigious public boarding school near London. It was around this time that Prince Harry started inciting controversy, mostly for his constant partying, drinking, and for admitting that he smoked marijuana when he was 17. The Royal Family did not deny the Prince's revelation, but stressed that his use was "experimental." After he graduated from Eton in 2003, Prince Harry spent a year partying in London and then working at a ranch in Australia. He also worked at an orphanage in Lesotho, Africa; while there, he made the documentary "The Forgotten Kingdom: Prince Harry in Lesotho" (2004) about the AIDS crisis in the area. Aside from his philanthropic work, Prince Harry also made headlines when he began dating Chelsy Davy, the daughter of a wealthy Zimbabwean family. When pressed to comment on his relationship with Davy, Prince Harry stayed mum, but he later told Britain's Press Association that Davy was "special" and "amazing." In the fall of 2004, Prince Harry's wild child image intensified when he became involved in a scuffle with a photographer. He was reportedly hit on the nose with a camera before he lunged at the photographer and shoved the camera into the man's face, cutting his lip.
In January 2005, Prince Harry landed in hot water again after photographs of him attending a costume party wearing a Nazi uniform with a Swastika armband appeared on the front page of the British tabloid The Sun. Public outcry ensued. The Prince issued a public apology for his discretion, and admitted that it was "a poor choice of costume." In May 2005, Prince Harry started attending the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, where he was known as Officer Cadet Wales. He graduated from the Academy in 2006 as a Second Lieutenant in the Army and was reportedly eager to start a course that troops usually took before heading out into war, leading to speculation that he might serve on the frontlines in Iraq. But in May 2007, the head of the British Army announced that it was not deploying the Prince due to the threat to his safety and those around him. While Iraq was out of the question, the British Army confirmed in 2008 that Prince Harry had fought on the frontlines in Afghanistan. Prince Harry continued to make tabloid news and reportedly led a playboy lifestyle, much to the dismay of his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Davy. In early 2011, there was speculation over whether Davy would accompany Prince Harry to his brother's highly anticipated wedding to Kate Middleton on April 29. She did attend, but it was not clear if it was as his guest the morning that the world tuned in numbering in the billions to watch a commoner become a royal.
As best man, Prince Harry managed to steal the show by taking a cheeky glance back at the bride as she walked down the aisle, then whispering mischievously to his brother who refused to turn around. What he said was analyzed for days, with most lip-reading experts agreeing it was something along the lines of "What till you see what's coming." After the press insisted on hooking up in the public's mind the bachelor prince and Pippa Middleton, the bride's sister, he resumed his military duties. Now seemingly more comfortable in his royal role, he became an ubiquitous presence at his grandmother's Diamond Jubilee celebration in June 2012 and a month later during London's Summer Olympics, during which he could be seen presiding over ceremonies for the Queen and sitting in the stands with his brother and sister-in-law, cheering on British athletes. Only weeks after the Olympics ended, Prince Harry and a group of friends took a personal vacation to Las Vegas in mid-August. Letting loose some steam, he was photographed poolside with his pals and challenging Olympic gold-winning U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte to a race in the pool. However, when pictures were sold shortly after to outlet TMZ of the third in line for the throne completely naked after playing strip billiards and hugging equally naked women in his VIP suite, it became his most audacious scandal yet and a major embarrassment to the Royal Family, who had just been enjoying a positive shift in public perception for over a year. Once again, the "wild child" was back in the hot seat like never before.