Troubled life and times of Hooray Harry

Harry is a playboy prince who loves to drink, party and hang out with a bunch of wastrels. And he is an embarrassment to his family who hope a career in the military will put him back on the straight and narrow.

Harry is a playboy prince who loves to drink, party and hang out with a bunch of wastrels. And he is an embarrassment to his family who hope a career in the military will put him back on the straight and narrow.

Well, for one Prince Harry, the one immortalised as Prince Hal in Shakespeare's Henry IV Parts One and Two, it worked and he went on to reign as Henry V, legendary victor of Harfleur and Agincourt.

Whether a spell in the Army can bring the same transformation upon Hal's latter-day namesake, Henry Charles Albert David Windsor, remains to be seen. But some are not holding their breath.

"I think it's unlikely on present form," said Penny Junor, the biographer of his father, the Prince of Wales. "But it is a good idea because it will give him the discipline he needs and keep him out of the public eye. And it can't come too soon.''

Indeed, even before the Nazi uniform gaffe, the Royal Household was counting the days until the Prince's delayed entry to Sandhurst in May after a series of negative headlines.

Perhaps, given the precedents, it was tempting fate for the Prince and Princess of Wales to call their second son Henry when he was born in September 1984. But the Royal Family was still at a peak of popularity fuelled by Charles and Diana's glamorous wedding. Tales of infidelity and bulimia, separation, divorce and Diana's death in 1997, when he was just 12, were still a long way off.

One can only imagine how moments such as being forced to walk to church in public within hours of his mother's death affected his mental make-up. And he was also destined to grow up knowing he had no clear role: he was "the spare" to his older brother, William, the heir to the throne.

On top of that, there has been the unfounded speculation that, given the obvious physical dissimilarity from his father and brother, Harry may have been the product of the affair between his mother and the former army officer James Hewitt, whom he does, curiously, resemble. Although Mr Hewitt denies that their liaison coincided with Harry's conception, the gossip lingers.

The media agreed the princes would be left alone during their schooling, and stories were kept out of the headlines, which some believe created a feeling in them that they were untouchable.

But after Prince Harry, then aged 17, was reported to be experimenting with cannabis and alcohol in late-night sessions at a pub near Highgrove, the image of the louche Hooray Henry prince was born.

This has been reinforced by the Prince's frequent appearances at parties, polo matches and nightclubs, cigarette and vodka and cranberry juice in hand and, on one occasion, a Page Three girl on his lap. There were also the inevitable links to blonde, horsey girls from the shires, often part of the same Highgrove set.

This group, said to be known as Club H, includes such people as Harry Meade, son of Richard Meade, the Olympic gold medal-winning horseman, whose 22nd birthday party Prince Harry was attending when he was photographed in the Nazi uniform. Like many around the Royals, the young Meade is an ardent pro-hunter and was among those who interrupted Tony Blair's speech to the Labour Party conference.

The Prince is, according to those who know, an amiable chap of the "nice but dim" variety, whose visits to the capital's fleshpots display all the bright-eyed eagerness of a country lad up for a night on the town.

On one such visit last autumn, clearly inebriated, he lashed out at photographers. Not long after, a former teacher at Eton told an industrial tribunal she helped complete part of his art coursework; the Prince gained a grade B in art and D in geography in his A-levels. Eton and the Palace denied the claims. His boisterous reputation was reinforced during a recent trip to Argentina, which was cut short amid reports of carousing in bars.

Nor has Harry's romance with Chelsy Davy, the 19-year old daughter of a controversial Zimbabwean businessman, helped his public image. When asked about her origins, he is said to have replied that she was "not black or anything".

Many wonder why there is no-one around the Prince to steer him away from Nazi uniforms and unsuitable friends. But Ms Junor says: "He's a 20-year-old man who does what he wants. It's not uncommon. And, inexplicable as it may seem, his personal protection officers are not there to act in loco parentis."

Ms Junor believes much blame for the Prince's errant behaviour must lie with his father. "Harry needed someone to give him guidance; the nature of his position means he cannot just make the same mistakes other young people can. And his father was just not there for him.''

News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Sport
sport
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £550 - £650

£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...

Data Insight Manager - Marketing

£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape