|Date of Birth
||15 September 1984
|Place of Birth
||St Mary's Hospital, London
Prince Henry of Wales (Henry Charles Albert David; born 15 September 1984), commonly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and grandson of Queen Elizabeth II. As such, he is third in the line of succession to the thrones of 16 independent states, though he is resident in and most directly involved with the United Kingdom, the oldest realm.
After an education at various schools around the United Kingdom and spending parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho, Harry, unlike his elder brother, Prince William, eschewed a university education in favour of following in the footsteps of various royal men by enrolling in the military. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Regiment – serving temporarily with his brother – and completed his training as a tank commander. He served for 77 days on the front line in the Afghan War,although he was pulled out after the American media revealed his presence.
Harry was born at St Mary's Hospital in London, England, on 15 September 1984, the second child of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, younger brother of Prince William, and fourth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Baptised at St George's Chapel, in Windsor Castle, by then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, Harry's godparents were his uncle, Prince Andrew, Duke of York; his aunt, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones; Lady Vestey; Mrs William Bartholomew; Bryan Organ; and Gerald Ward.
Diana wanted William and Harry to have a broader range of experiences than previous royal children and took both to venues that ranged from Disneyland and McDonald's to AIDS clinics and shelters for the homeless.Diana, Princess of Wales, who was by then divorced from the Prince of Wales, died in a car accident in 1997. Harry and his brother and father were staying at Balmoral Castle at the time, and the Prince of Wales waited until early the following morning to tell his sons about their mother's death.At his mother's funeral, Harry accompanied his father, brother, paternal grandfather, and maternal uncle in walking behind the funeral cortège from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey.
Prince Harry entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 8 May 2005, where he was known as Officer Cadet Wales, and joined the Alamein Company.Within a year, in April 2006, Harry completed his officer's training and was commissioned as a Cornet in the Blues and Royals, a regiment of the Household Cavalry in the British Army.[By April 2008, whereupon he reached two years' seniority, Harry was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
The British Ministry of Defence and Clarence House made a joint announcement on 22 February 2007 that Prince Harry would be deployed with his regiment to the front line in Iraq, to serve as part of the 1st Mechanised Brigade of the 3rd Mechanised Division – a move supported by Henry, 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."Then head of the British army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, first said on 30 April 2007 that he had personally decided that the Prince would serve with his unit in Iraq, and Harry was scheduled for deployment in May or June 2007, to patrol the Maysan province.By 16 May, however, Dannatt announced that Prince Harr would not serve in Iraq;concerns included Harry being a high-value target (as several threats by various groups have already been made against him) and the dangers the soldiers around him would face should any attempt be made on the Prince's life or capture. Clarence House made public the Prince's disappointment with the decision, though he said he would abide by it.In May 2007, British soldiers in Iraq were reported to be wearing t-shirts bearing the statement "I'm Harry!"; a reference to the scene in the movie Spartacus in which the survivors of Spartacus's army, defeated by Roman legions, are offered leniency by Crassus if they will identify their leader. Every survivor declares: "I'm Spartacus!
It was reported in early June 2007 that Prince Harry had arrived in Canada to train, alongside other 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;rumours that were confirmed in February the following year, when the British Ministry of Defence revealed that Harry had secretly been deployed as a Forward Air Controller to Helmand Province in the Asian country.The revelation came after the media – notably, the German newspaper Bild and Australian magazine New Idea breached the blackout placed over the information by the Canadian and British authorities.It was later reported that, while in Afghanistan, Harry had called in United States Air Force air strikes,helped Gurkha troops repel an attack from Taliban insurgents, and performed patrol duty in hostile areas.His tour came 735 years after his ancestor, Edward I of England (then Prince Edward), had also been on military duty in the Middle East during the Ninth crusade,and also made Henry the first member of the Royal Family to have served in a war zone since his uncle, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, flew helicopters during the Falklands War; at the time, Andrew was second in line to the thrones of the Commonwealth realms. For his service, Prince Harry was decorated with the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan by his aunt, the Princess Royal, at the Combermere Barracks in May 2008.
In October 2008, the news was revealed that Prince Harry was to follow his brother, father, and uncle with the wish to fly military helicopters. After passing the initial aptitude test, he will undertake a month-long course; depending on whether or not he passes this course he may proceed onto full flight training in early 2009.Harry will need to pass his flying assessment at the Army Air Corps Base in Middle Wallop, the result of which will determine if he will pass on to train as a pilot of either the Apache, Lynx, or Gazelle helicopter, as his brother, father and uncle are capable of doing.