Although they may no longer be senior members of the royal family, it's easy to think that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are the most popular royals. But a lot of that has to do with Harry, who's been one of the most beloved royals for years. He just recently became a dad of two, and these photos of Prince Harry over the years show how he's grown from his mother's sweet boy into a caring, devoted husband and father who cares so much about others.
Like many, Prince Harry went through a time of struggle, during which he was not all that popular. He's even spoken about those years in interviews, explaining what was going on in his young life and heart that made him rebel against the stricture of royal life. The passing away of his mother, Princess Diana, at the age of just 12 hit him hard, and he bottled up that grief and channeled it into mischievousness, according to Newsweek.
Eventually, though, he said he "pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good. I am now fired up and energized and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh," he told Newsweek in 2017.
That turnaround was one of the best things to see for fans, as Prince Harry seemed to take charge of his life and future. The life he's living now just showcases to the world what a great second act can follow heartbreak.
The Long Walk
Nothing was more tragic than watching Prince William and Harry weather the storm that arose following their mother's passing. Their grief was palpable during those few instances when they made public appearances, including the funeral procession that took place in September 1997.
The Wolf Of Wall Street
Both Prince William and Harry took part in an event to raise funds for BGC Partners. The company lost 658 employees in the 9/11 attacks and now hold an annual fundraiser on the date. On the 12th anniversary of the attacks in 2013, the princes joined stock traders in making deals, according to ITV.
Time Out On Vacation
Family time became more important than ever after the loss of Princess Diana. For instance, in 2002 Prince Charles took a ski trip with his sons, Harry and Prince William.
Trooping the Colour
On their way to 2003's Trooping the Colour, the Queen's birthday celebration, the princes waved to their adoring fans.
It's no secret that the young prince was a popular with girls. When his wax statue was unveiled at Madam Tussaud's, it gave more ladies than ever the chance to get up close and personal with the royal for a pic of their own.
Cuddling Up In Sydney
Harry's 2018 visit to Australia with Meghan Markle wasn't his first time in the country. In 2003, he got up close and personal with a couple of koalas at the Taronga Zoo, according to INSIDER.
Early Military Training
Prince Harry's military career began early and seemed a natural fit for the wilder of the royal brothers. In the photo above, according to PopSugar, he drills with members of the Eton College Combined Cadet Force, a program sponsored by the Ministry of Defense.
Back in 2004, the prince visited a children's charity in Lesotho where he rolled up his sleeves and got to work. It was part of a two-month working trip he took with his charity, Sentebale, according to The Telegraph. On the trip, the newspaper reported, he met an orphan that he was later reunited with during his 2015 trip to the country.
Harry shared a laugh with his father's brand-new wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, during Trooping the Colour in 2005. Prince Charles and Camilla tied the knot in April that same year, according to Good Housekeeping. In Harry: A Biography Of A Prince, Prince Harry said there is no ill will between him and Camilla, according to the International Business Times. "She’s not a wicked stepmother. Look at the position she’s coming into. Don’t feel sorry for me and William, feel sorry for her,” he said.
Time Out In The Alps
The family stopped for a break and a photo-op during their ski weekend in Klosters, Switzerland. There was a mild upset during the shoot as the prince was overheard muttering criticism of the press, according to Getty.
Harry's longtime on-again, off-again girlfriend Chelsea Davy joined him for a cricket match in Antigua, according to The Washington Post. They weren't afraid to break royal protocol and show a little PDA.
A Heart Of Gold
Harry's kind heart was already starting to show in 2008 as he met with patients at University Hospital in Cardiff. That smile indicates a love for this kind of work that just can't be faked.
Never Too Old For Fun
Long before he was a dad, or even a husband, people saw the kind of connection with children that made everyone know he'd be a great dad. In the photo above, according to Marie Claire, he's seen at the WellChild awards in London.
Even when he's having fun he's doing it to benefit others. In this photo, Harry is seen participating in a polo match on behalf of his African charity, Sentebale. The group works to better the mental and physical health of children affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana.
A Prince For All Occasions
Some confusion seemed to be taking place over one of the trophies at an event Harry attended in 2011. No doubt he brought the situation quickly under control with his trademark humor.
Back To Being A Student
The prince spoke as best he could with deaf students at a school in Lesotho sponsored by his charity Sentebale, according to Perth Now. He wasn't above being the student on this day, as the school's attendees helped him learn to communicate.
The Invictus Games are one of Harry's biggest projects. In this photo above, he may have been scouting out some talent as he watched a rowing demonstration at the River and Rowing Museum in London. He was visiting the Row2Recover team, which is comprised of wounded warriors, according to PopSugar.
Speaking To The World
In 2015, Harry chatted with staff and students at Siyabonga Secondary School in South Africa during a visit. He spoke about how his 10 years in the Army helped shape him into a leader, according to Ghana Now.
Always A Prince
At the launch event for the Invictus Games held in Orlando in 2016, NBC's Jenna Bush Hager asked him if he'd be interested in dating her sister, Barbara, according to The Mirror, to which he jokingly replied: "We can maybe talk off air."
Learning The Ropes
Nazhath Faheema, a Muslim Youth Ambassador of Peace, was the lucky one chosen to sit by the prince during a Ramadan breaking fast meal on his trip to Singapore, Channel News Asia reported. She educated him on the tradition of breaking fast with dates and porridge.
After getting engaged to American actress, Meghan Markle, in 2017, the couple sat down with the BBC where they openly spoke about their relationship and each other for the first time. “It’s hugely refreshing to be able to get to know someone who isn’t necessarily in your circle, doesn’t know much about me, I didn’t know much about her, so to be able to almost start fresh, right from the beginning, and getting to know each other step by step, and then taking a huge leap of only two dates, and then going on holiday in the middle of no where together,” he said.
No Nerves Here
Back in May 2018, was Harry feeling jitters on his wedding day to Meghan Markle? He certainly didn't appear to be. Just awash with excitement for this step that would start his next phase of life as a husband and father in addition to heir to the throne.
Harry has absolutely no problem with talking in front of the public, and he’s actually amazing at it. Cameras captured Harry telling a story during his 2018 tour of Australia with his wife who was pregnant at the time with their first child.
New Dad Joy
Nothing has been more endearing than watching Harry become a father for the very first time. The new dad's interview with reporters announcing the birth of his son, Archie, was a moment of unbridled joy we rarely get to see from a member of the royal family. And while introducing his baby boy to the world with Markle a few days later, Prince Harry adorably showed off his dad humor. "He's already got a little bit of facial hair as well, wonderful. It's in the family," he joked as he held Archie in his arms.
Like Father, Like Son
In September 2019, just a few short months after their son’s birth, Harry and Meghan took Archie on their tour to South Africa, where he met Archbishop Demond Tutu for the first time. Prince Harry could not look any happier next to his mini-me.
Happy In California
After moving to California in 2020, Harry made an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden where he took an informal tour of Los Angeles and revealed that he knew his wife was the one after the second date.
A Warm Welcome
Harry appeared during the televised concert, Vax Live! in May, where he spoke of the importance of vaccine equity to a stadium filled with people.
Harry appeared alongside his brother, Prince William, for the first time since his explosive interview during a statue unveiling in honor of their mom’s 60th birthday.
The Prince Harry You Can’t See
In a multi-part documentary series on Apple TV+ that debuted in May, Harry sat down with a therapist, where he talked about his emotional well being, giving people a look at “the me you can’t see.”
Never change, Harry. The world needs you just the way you are.
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