Having successfully transitioned from troubled, naughty party boy to hardworking royal, Prince Harry now boasts a combination of accessibility, charisma, confidence, and a great sense of humor. Here are some interesting things to know about our favorite royal:
1. His full name is Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales.
Contrary to popular belief, “Harry” is not the prince’s real name but a nickname he’s been using since childhood.
2. He is fifth in line to the throne.
The line of succession to the British throne begins with Prince Charles, who is followed by Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and then Prince Harry.
3. He discovered polo very early on.
Just as his grandmother Queen Elizabeth had, Prince Harry started riding horses at the age of four. His first horse was a Shetland pony named Trigger.
4. Princess Diana fondly called him “my little Spencer.”
Princess Diana of Wales, née Spencer, gave him this nickname because his red hair is a trademark of her side of the family.
5. He was supposed to work on a cattle ranch in Australia during his gap year.
Instead, he went to Lesotho, Africa to work with children whose parents had died of AIDS. He befriended Crown Prince Seeiso, a member of the Lesotho royal family who had also lost his mother at a young age, and the two founded Sentebale, a charity to help these African children.
6. He has his own coat of arms and monogram.
The former was gifted to him on his 18th birthday. It features a lion and a unicorn on either side of the shield, which is topped by a coronet and a smaller lion. It also includes elements from the Spencer (Princess Diana’s family) coat of arms, namely the small, red scallops on the collars of the lion, unicorn, and shield that appear three times.
The Prince’s monogram consists of a script letter “H” with a crown on top.
7. He served in the British army for 10 years, roughly eight months of which were spent in Helmand, Afghanistan.
The prince, known as Captain Wales in the army, served in Afghanistan for 77 days in 2007 to
8. He is the first member of the British royal family to reach the South Pole.
As part of the Walking With The Wounded charity event, Prince Harry, along with participants from the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Commonwealth (countries long affiliated with the British Empire), trekked more than 200 miles to reach the South Pole in temperatures as low as -35 degrees Celsius.
9. He created the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style sporting event for wounded, injured, and sick armed services personnel and associated veterans.
On a trip to the Warrior Games in the U.S. in 2014, Prince Harry saw how sports can inspire recovery and support
10. He sees himself as having three core roles in his work life.
The first is to honor and extend his mother’s legacy by lobbying for causes she believed in, such as AIDS and anti-mining. The second is to support the queen, who is already passing on some of her duties to her grandchildren. The last is to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues, which he confesses has helped him work through some of his own issues. In an interview with Newsweek, he also mentioned that he is involved in modernizing the British monarchy. “The monarchy is a force for good,” he says, “and we want to carry on the positive atmosphere that the queen has achieved for over 60 years, but we won’t be trying to fill her boots.”