Profile: Prince Harry

Prince Harry on a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park earlier this month Prince Harry has become increasingly comfortable with public appearances

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After a series of colourful incidents in his private life as a younger man, Prince Harry has been making headlines for positive reasons more recently.

Just before Christmas, the fourth-in-line to the throne and his fellow adventurers arrived at the South Pole after walking 200 miles on the Walking With The Wounded charity expedition.

The prince, who was patron of the South Pole Allied Challenge 2013, joined 12 injured servicemen and women from the UK, the US and the Commonwealth on the trek.

Like his mother before him, the prince is well known for his charitable work.

Wembley appearance

Harry, also known as Captain Wales - an army staff officer based at Horse Guards in London - has publicly supported charities including Help For Heroes and ABF The Soldiers' Charity.

Last month, he launched the Paralympic-style Invictus Games for injured members of the armed forces.

Princess Diana and Prince Harry in August 1985 Prince Harry was born on 15 September 1984
Prince Harry, left, aged five, on his first day at Wetherby School, Notting Hill, London Harry, aged five, is pictured on his first day at Wetherby School, Notting Hill, in September 1989
Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Prince Harry watch Prince William sign the Eton College entrance book in September 1995 Harry followed in the footsteps of his brother by going to school at Eton
Princes William and Harry at their mother's funeral William and Harry's mother, Diana, died in August 1997
Prince Harry on exercise in November 2005 In January 2006, Clarence House announced Prince Harry would join the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry after completing his Sandhurst training in April of that year

Other recent public appearances have included a drive around the Goodwood Motor Circuit, West Sussex, for the Endeavour Fund for injured servicemen.

And he appeared on stage to address 12,000 young people at the UK's first We Day youth empowerment event at Wembley Arena last month.

In years gone by, however, the prince has made the newspapers for less admirable reasons on a number of occasions.

Offensive language

In 2005, there was widespread outrage when an image came to light of the prince attending a friend's fancy dress birthday party dressed as a Nazi.

Clarence House later issued a statement that read: "Prince Harry has apologised for any offence or embarrassment he has caused. He realises it was a poor choice of costume."

And in 2009, Harry was forced to apologise for using offensive language to describe an Asian member of his army platoon after video footage of the incident emerged.

St James's Palace said the prince was "extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause" but said he had "used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon".

Prince Harry and former girlfriend Chelsy Davy in April 2007 Prince Harry was previously in a relationship with Chelsy Davy

Even after dedicating himself to military life, Prince Harry, 29, has rarely been out of the spotlight for long.

In April 2005, Clarence House complained that the prince's safety was put at risk when paparazzi followed Harry and his then girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, as they were driven along a dirt track in Botswana.

There was further difficulty for the prince when a former art teacher at Eton claimed she had done some of Harry's A-level coursework - allegations later rejected at a tribunal.

An early upset involved Harry smoking cannabis.

St James's Palace confirmed in January 2002 that the then 17-year-old prince had "experimented with the drug on several occasions".

It stressed the cannabis use could not be described as "regular".

And, in October 2004, there was a scuffle with a photographer outside a club.

A royal spokesman said at the time that the 20-year-old prince "was hit in the face by a camera when photographers crowded around him as he was getting into a car".

"In pushing the camera away, it's understood that a photographer's lip was cut," the spokesman added.

Olympic ambassador
Olympic torchbearer Wai-Ming Lee, Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry in July 2012 The prince was an Olympic ambassador at the London 2012 Games

More recently, the Royal Family had been attempting to distance Harry from his past image as the "party prince".

As an Olympic ambassador, the prince was a constant presence at the London 2012 Games.

And he was highly visible during the Queen's Jubilee the same year, and as part of the celebrations completed his first royal solo tour overseas with visits to Belize, the Bahamas, Brazil, and Jamaica.

However, photos that appeared in August 2012 of the prince and a young woman naked in a Las Vegas hotel room were reminders of his partying image.

The two photos, first published on US gossip website TMZ, were taken on a private break with friends, with the site reporting the prince was in a group playing "strip billiards".

He later said he had "probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down".

"But at the end of the day I was in a private area and there should have been a certain amount of privacy that one should expect."

'Unacceptable risks'

Prince Harry's military career has undoubtedly been affected by media attention.

Prince Harry in Afghanistan in November 2012 Harry served a tour in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot from September 2012-January 2013

The royal, who spent 10 weeks serving in Afghanistan in 2008, had to pull out amid concerns for his safety after news leaked of his unpublicised deployment.

His deployment to Helmand Province made him the first royal in over 25 years to serve in a war zone.

He had earlier been left disappointed in May 2007 when army chiefs decided not to send him to Iraq because of "unacceptable risks".

But he went on to serve a tour in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot from September 2012 to January 2013, before qualifying as an Apache commander in July last year.

In January this year, it was announced he would be taking up a new army staff officer role after completing his attachment as a helicopter pilot.

The London District HQ, which he has joined, plans major spectacles including Trooping the Colour and state visits.

Windsor christening

Harry's decision to join the armed forces meant he followed in the footsteps of other royals, including his father, the Prince of Wales, who trained to be a pilot with the RAF and commanded a Royal Navy minehunter, HMS Bronington.

His grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, served in the navy during World War II, while Harry's uncle Prince Andrew was a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War.

Born at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, on 15 September 1984, the prince was christened Henry Charles Albert David by the Archbishop of Canterbury in December 1984 in St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Princess Diana with Prince Harry and Prince William at Thorpe Park in Chertsey, Surrey The prince, christened Henry, was always known as "Harry"

But it was officially announced from the start of his life that he would be known as "Harry".

Harry attended the same schools as his brother, starting at Jane Mynors' nursery school in London in September 1987, when he was three.

In 1989 Prince Harry joined Prince William at Wetherby School, moving to Ludgrove School in Berkshire in September 1992 and entering Eton in 1998.

He left Eton with a grade B in his art A-level and a D in geography. He had dropped his third A-level subject, history of art, after taking the AS-level exam.

Wedding speculation

Before joining the army, Harry took a gap year, working on a sheep farm in Australia and with Aids orphans in Lesotho.

Although he is now 29, many people around the world will find it hard to forget the image of him as a 12-year-old at the funeral of his mother Diana in September 1997 .

Cressida Bonas and Prince Harry at the WE Day event at Wembley Arena on 7 March 2014 Cressida Bonas and Prince Harry remain "the best of friends", BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said

He walked behind the hearse that carried his mother's coffin to Westminster Abbey, accompanied by his brother, father, grandfather and uncle.

Harry, who was best man at his brother William's wedding in April 2011, spoke of how "hard" it was not to have his late mother there.

Inevitably, Harry's own love life has been in the press spotlight over the years.

And with his 30th birthday fast approaching, speculation had been mounting that he might propose to girlfriend Cressida Bonas.

But the hopes of royal wedding fans have been dashed by news of the couple's "amicable" split.

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