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Profile: Prince Harry

Prince Harry Image copyright Reuters

Prince Harry has grown up in the media spotlight - from a young royal dealing with his mother's death, through his partying teenage years, to his career in the military and, most recently, in charity work.

He has attempted to walk the line between his public and private lives; he has embraced publicity at times to promote the good causes he supports, but has also drawn a line when the attention has become too much.

Harry spent 10 years in the armed forces, in which he saw action in Afghanistan twice, including as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner.

His military career came to an end in 2015, shortly after he was pushed down to fifth in line to the throne by the birth of his brother Prince William's second child, Charlotte.

The prince, now 34, has said his Army experience will "stay with me for the rest of my life". This is borne out in his charity work, which concentrates on mental health and helping service veterans.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The prince has been the driving force behind the Invictus Games

The most notable part of Harry's charity work is his founding and chairing of the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style international competition for injured ex-service personnel.

He launched the sporting event in London in March 2014. The second Games, in May 2016, were held in Orlando and the third, in September 2017, took place in Toronto.

The 2017 Games saw the first public appearance of Harry with US actress Meghan Markle. They were photographed holding hands, fuelling speculation about their relationship - they married in May 2018 at a ceremony at St George's Chapel in Windsor and are expecting their first baby in the spring of 2019.

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Media captionWATCH: Harry and Meghan hold hands

He has supported the charity Walking With the Wounded, for injured veterans, and causes first championed by his mother, Princess Diana, including the Halo Trust's work in clearing landmines and helping children affected by HIV and Aids.

Captain Wales

During his military career, he become the first royal in more than 25 years to serve in a war zone.

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

Image copyright PA
Image caption Harry served a tour in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot

He then spent 10 weeks serving in Afghanistan in 2008 - but had to pull out amid concerns for his safety after news leaked of his unpublicised deployment.

He returned to Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot from September 2012 to January 2013, before qualifying as an Apache commander in July 2013.

He later described how he had shot at Taliban insurgents, and said that being in Afghanistan was "as normal as it's going to get" for him.

'Poor choice' of costume

The prince has sometimes fallen foul of the press, whose attention has been a constant part of his life.

An early upset involved Harry smoking cannabis. St James's Palace confirmed in January 2002 that the then 17-year-old had "experimented with the drug on several occasions" but said the use was not "regular".

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".

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

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

Clarence House later issued a statement saying: "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 apologised 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".

Clarence House complained in 2005 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.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The prince was an Olympic ambassador at the London 2012 Games

Harry was a constant presence at the London 2012 Games, during which he was an Olympic ambassador.

He was highly visible during the Queen's Jubilee in 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 appeared in August 2012 of the prince and a young woman naked in a Las Vegas hotel room - a reminder 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."

Young life

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Harry was born in 1984 to Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Image caption William and Harry's mother, Princess Diana, died in 1997 when he was 12

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 of that year in St George's Chapel, Windsor.

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

Image copyright PA
Image caption Harry followed in the footsteps of his brother by going to school at Eton
Image copyright PA
Image caption The prince, christened Henry, was always known as Harry

The prince followed the educational path of his older brother William, entering Eton in 1998. He left the school in 2003 with two A-levels.

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 33, many people around the world will find it hard to forget the image of him as a 12-year-old at the funeral of Princess Diana, in 1997.

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

Tackling stigma

Harry was best man at his brother William's wedding in April 2011 and has since spoken of how hard it was not to have his late mother there.

In recent years he has had counselling to help him deal with his grief.

In a candid interview with the Daily Telegraph, he describes shutting down all of his emotions for nearly 20 years and refusing to thinking about his mother.

This, he said, had a "quite serious effect" on his personal life and his work, and brought him close to a breakdown "on numerous occasions".

He also said he would probably regret "for the rest of his life" the shortness of his last phone call with his mother, and spoke of her "fun" parenting. She was a "total kid through and through", he said.

In recent years Harry, William and the Duchess of Cambridge have focused their campaigning efforts on mental health. They founded the Heads Together group, which aims to tackle stigma and fundraise for new support services.

Image caption Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge supported Heads Together runners at the London marathon

As one of the world's most high-profile bachelors, Harry's love life has drawn much interest over the years.

In late 2016, he confirmed a new relationship with Ms Markle, while issuing a statement accusing journalists of harassing her.

He described "nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers", attempts by reporters and photographers to get into her home and the "bombardment" of nearly every friend and loved one in her life.

Image copyright Getty Images

In September 2017, Meghan told Vanity Fair magazine she and Harry were "two people who are really happy and in love".

The couple made their first public appearance together at the same month's Invictus Games, and were married in May 2018 at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

Kensington Palace announced the Duchess of Sussex's pregnancy in October 2018 - she is due to give birth next spring.

The news emerged as the royal couple began a tour of Australia.

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