30 things you never knew about Prince Harry on his birthday

From family nicknames and a super secret Facebook account to under the radar romance: 30 things you never knew about Prince Harry as he celebrates his birthday

From the moment he was born his whole life has been documented, so you might think you know everything there is to know about the red-haired royal. But in honor of Prince Harry’s 37th birthday today, we rounded up some facts about the royal that might surprise you. Click through to see them all… 

1. Prince Harry was born on September 15, 1984: The Royal came into the world at 4:20pm weighing 6lb 14oz. He shares a birthday with Hollywood actors Tom Hardy and Tommy Lee Jones and legendary crime writer Agatha Christie.

2. He’s actually called Henry: However, it was announced early on that he would be known as Harry to family and friends. His full name is Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor, although Royals don’t technically use a surname. He is also known as Prince Henry of Wales.

3. Harry is the second child of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana: He used to be third in line to the throne after his father and older brother Prince William, but dropped down when William’s children George, Charlotte and Louis were born.

4. Diana had a secret nickname for her red-haired prince. Harry is famous for his ginger locks, and when he was a child his mother affectionately referred to him as ‘My Little Spencer’, because red hair runs on Diana’s side of the family.

5. His first pet was a rabbit: The Royal family are known for their love of dogs, particularly corgis, but when Harry was a boy he had a pet rabbit, seen here with Charles and Diana. The name of his lop-eared friend is unknown, but it sparked Harry’s lifelong love of animals.

6. Harry is an accomplished horse rider: The prince is a keen polo player now, but he’s been riding Shetland ponies on the family’s country estate from the age of four. Nowadays, he prefers to play competitive polo.

7. He went to boarding school when he was seven: Harry followed in his older brother Prince William’s footsteps when he attended Ludgrove boarding school just outside of London. Because Harry’s birthday falls in September, he spent an extra year at the school to improve his academic performance. This was also around the time his mother tragically died in August 1997 when he was just 12 years old. 

8. That same year Harry went to Africa for the first time, a place that is now close to his heart: Harry and William left the UK with father Prince Charles so they could grieve for their mother out of the public spotlight. To this day, Harry is still spotted wearing the bracelet he got in memory of Diana on that special trip.

9. Harry was never the most academic at school, but he did pretty well in his exams: For the most part he got As and Bs. Although he grew up to be a keen traveler, he only scored a D in Geography.

10. Harry was once embroiled in a grades scandal: While a teenager at the prestigious Eton College for boys, the prince was accused of getting someone else to write part of his coursework for his final year exams. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

11. Harry was a cowboy on his gap year: The then 18-year-old Royal took a trip Down Under and worked on an Australian ranch owned by family friends. His job as a ‘jackaroo’ required him to round up and tend to cattle. 

12. He almost became a rugby coach: Before entering the military, Harry qualified as a rugby coach and taught at five different schools in England. He also travelled to Lesotho in South Africa where he worked with orphaned children on the documentary The Forgotten Kingdom.

13. His close friend died when he was 18: The teenage prince and brother William were devastated when their friend, Henry van Straubenzee, was killed in a car crash in 2002. Harry now serves as a patron of a charity set up in his friend’s name.

14. Harry joined Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in May 2005 and was known as Officer Cadet Wales: He was due to be posted to Iraq in 2007, but this was overruled by the head of the British Army. However, he was secretly deployed in Afghanistan in 2008, making him the first member of the Royal family to serve in a war zone since his uncle Prince Andrew flew helicopters in the Falklands.

15. Harry followed his brother, father and uncle in learning to fly military helicopters: The prince was a ‘natural pilot’ and trained in flying Apache helicopters, which he once said was similar to ‘playing video games’. He completed another tour of Afghanistan at Camp Bastion in 2012 after being promoted to Captain Wales.

16. Harry is renowned in the military for his bedside manner: The prince would often visit wounded soldiers and once left a note for a comrade, who woke from a coma to read: ‘For God’s sake mate. Came to see you and what were you were doing? You were kipping’. (British for sleeping).

17. Harry is a Counsellor of State: This is the counsel who will take over from Queen Elizabeth if she is incapacitated. It also includes her husband Prince Philip and the next four people in the line of succession over the age of 21. Currently that would be Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew. 

18. He once had a secret Facebook account under the pseudonym Spike Wells: Unfortunately you can’t add him as a friend as the account has been deactivated. Spike is just one of Harry’s nicknames, along with the more obvious H and Hazza.

19. Harry and his brother William had their phones hacked by now defunct British newspaper The News of the World: The princes are said to have been relieved when they finally discovered it wasn’t their friends who had been selling stories about them to the press.

20. Boxing helped him cope with his mother’s death: Harry is well known for his love of sports, playing polo, rugby and motocross. He also supports British football club Arsenal FC. However, he took up boxing on the advice of a grief counsellor and credits it with helping him deal with emotions he had suppressed since the loss of his mother.

21. He almost climbed the North Pole: In 2011, Harry joined a group of wounded veterans for the Walking With The Wounded project. Unfortunately he couldn’t walk the whole way as it clashed with his brother William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.

22. But he did reach the South Pole: Two years later Harry completed the 200-mile trek with the same charity, which he is patron of. They reached their destination on Friday the 13th December 2013, which Harry said was ‘unlucky for some, but lucky for us.’

23. Harry is passionate about charity work: He has carried on his mother Princess Diana’s legacy by working with landmine and HIV charities.

24. He created the Invictus Games: The first ever Invictus games, an Olympic-style event for wounded soldiers, was held in 2014 in London. Since then it has been held in the United States, Canada and Australia.Here’s Harry with Michelle Obama when it was held in Orlando in 2016. 

25. Will Harry become the first royal in space? We already know he’s a pilot, but the prince is said to want to go where no royal has gone before — outer space! So far the closest he’s got is meeting the Star Wars cast.

26. Rumor has it the Middletons don’t like him: Harry is often described as one of the more fun, likable royals, but apparently he hasn’t gone down well with Kate Middleton’s parents, Michael and Carole (pictured back). They reportedly find him ‘impolite’.

27. At least children like him: Harry is said to have nicknamed himself ‘the Funcle’ – that’s ‘Fun Uncle’ to William and Kate’s kids, George, Charlotte and Louis. Describing children as ‘amazing’, Harry revealed he is also godfather to ‘quite a few of my friends’ kids.’

28. He’s pretty tall for a royal: Harry is the second tallest member of the Royal family at 6’2, just behind big brother Prince William, who is 6’3. The only other Royal to reach such heights was Edward I and that was back in 1272!

29. Harry hasn’t always got it right: He was once photographed in a Nazi costume at a party in his college days, for which the Royal family issued a public apology. The young prince was forced to apologize again when photos emerged of him partying in Vegas in 2012. But the so-called ‘party prince’ has since tamed his wild child ways.

30. Before Harry met Meghan he was one of the world’s most eligible bachelors: His first official girlfriend was Chelsy Davy, who he dated on and off for six years. He then had a relationship with Cressida Bonas for two years before the pair parted amicably. He was also linked to British pop star Ellie Goulding and a string of other high profile ladies. 

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