Many find it easy to judge Prince Harry on his actions when he’s off royal duty, but it seems that really he’s being harshly judged by others’ standards rather than those that should be expected of a 28 year old.
Born into a comparatively easy position compared to that of his brother William, Harry is still expected to be a dignified and dutiful royal, as (until the birth of Baby Cambridge in July) third in line to the throne. But should we really be that shallow and expect pristine behaviour at all times? I don’t think so.
Unlike William, Harry did not go to university but joined the Army in 2005 at Sandhurst and in 2008 was promoted to Lieutenant. In early 2007, it was announced that Harry would be serving in Iraq, the Prince saying “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”. Bravo! It appears Harry enjoys his life in the army, feeling like just another soldier and is the first Royal to serve in a war zone since Andrew, Duke of York, flew in the Falklands in the 1980s.
Perhaps as is expected from soldiers, they work hard and play harder. Harry was, but seems to have slowed down a bit, notorious on the London club scene, often seen partying into the early hours and sometimes, coming into confrontation with paparazzi.
Notoriously, Harry wore a Nazi officer costume to a fancy dress party. After recognising this was in bad taste, he issued a public apology for the gaffe.
And then, onto those pictures in Las Vegas. Playing ‘strip billiards’ in 2012, hiding behind a scantily clad blonde, Harry was heavily criticised for this, but so was his security. Sure it was silly, and there was alcohol involved, but was it really so bad? Prince Charles did something similar when he was younger, it just wasn’t publicised. In an age where someone can take a photo on their phone and upload it in seconds, we can’t expect to not have images like this thrown to the press…
But living in such a scrutinised position, how can one person not slip up from time to time?
Starting royal duties at 21, Harry has taken on a number of patronages since that date. These include Sentable, Dolen Cyrmu and The Royal Foundation which he, William and Catherine use to support their charitable work.
He has also, being a Captain in the Blues and Royals, assisted in the Walking for the Wounded campaign to the South Pole, supporting injured servicemen and women, helping them find work outside of the military.
For the Diamond Jubilee, Harry visited the Caribbean for his grandmother, the Queen. He went to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, where the Queen is still head of State.
He is currently in America where he has visited HALO the land mine charity, of such work his mother Diana was incredibly supportive
of, and laid a wreath at the National Cemetery, Arlington with the message: ‘To my comrades in arms of the United States of America, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom. Captain Harry Wales’.
Harry could be called a loveable rogue, but is that really fair? The work he does he is passionate about, including sports charities and those that help children at home and abroad. He has since quietened down from his partying ways and has served in Afghanistan. He was the dutiful best-man to William in 2011 when he and Catherine tied the knot and has had criticism levelled at him and his parentage questioned from people he doesn’t even know: the press.
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