He’s a newly wed husband to the former Meghan Markle, 38, and a new dad to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, born May 6.
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and world’s most famous redhead, turns 35 on Sunday. We don’t know how he is celebrating, but if he has a moment he may well look back and marvel at how much has changed for him just in the past five years.
He’s a newly wed husband to the former Meghan Markle, 38, and a new dad to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, born May 6, following a wildly popular royal wedding in May 2018. He has a newly renovated home outside London, reflecting his amped-up desire for more privacy and less scrutiny by the paparazzi for himself, Duchess Meghan and their baby.
The Duchess wished her husband a happy birthday on the couple’s joint Instagram account Sunday with a collage of photos of Harry through the years: “Your service to the causes you care so deeply for inspires me every day. You are the best husband and most amazing dad to our son. We love you ❤️Happiest birthday!”
The collage included a new black-and-white shot from Archie’s christening, which shows Harry crouching down to catch his son’s eye, as Meghan hold the baby in her lap.
Prince William and Duchess Kate also shared birthday wishes, along with a photo of Harry and Will from Harry’s wedding and a birthday cake emoji.
Harry is forging an independent royal path from that of his brother, Prince William, a future king with a different public role and different responsibilities.
He is taking on different charity projects and is likely to spend more time abroad in the Commonwealth as a representative of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, turns 35 on Sunday. (Photo: Naomi Baker/ Getty Images)
He and Meghan and baby Archie are headed to South Africa in the fall for a first post-baby official visit at the request of the government. They are beyond excited, according to their Instagram account, where they have posted a clutch of pictures of scenes from Africa, one of Harry’s favorite places.
“In just a few weeks our family will be taking its first official tour to Africa, a region of the world that over the past two decades has been a second home to me. Our team has helped create a meaningful programme that we’re so excited to share with you. On a personal note, I can’t wait to introduce my wife and son to South Africa! We’ll see all of you very soon,” said his message, signed “The Duke.”
Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan have adopted more public stands on controversial issues that verge on the political, such as campaigning for women’s empowerment and against environmental damage, global warming and climate change.
The latter cause made the couple the target of mockery after they used private jets for quick vacation getaways four times in recent weeks. Harry addressed the controversy while in Amsterdam, where he flew (by commercial jet) to launch a sustainability initiative in partnership with key travel providers, aiming to improve the practices of the global travel industry amid an ever-increasing number of travelers.
“I spend 99% of my life traveling the world by commercial” aircraft, Harry said at a Q&A session. “Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe, and it’s genuinely as simple as that. … For me, what it is, is about balance.” He said he would offset the carbon footprint any time he took a private jet.
As he moves into his mid-30s, Harry has evolved from his former status as Britain’s favorite royal (after the queen) and eligible bachelor, to just another public figure subjected to the same withering gaze of the famously fickle British media.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan of Sussex at the European premiere of ‘The Lion King’ in Leicester Square in London, July 14, 2019. (Photo: VICKIE FLORES/ EPA-EFE)
Thanks to social media, public carping about him has increased in volume, about such things as his spending (as in the $3 million spent spiffing up his new home).
It’s all a long way away from the days when he was the beloved second child of Princess Diana, with his cherub face, cheeky ways and ginger hair.
He grew from impish youth and hell-raising teen to disciplined Sandhurst grad and British Army warrior, and later to enthusiastic charity campaigner and strapping young royal, foot loose and fancy free around London, often with a gorgeous girlfriend on his arm.
Prince Harry is an “incredibly proud” new papa.
Meanwhile, Harry also has become more outspoken against racism – not a topic British royals have had to deal with much over the centuries. But it’s not surprising given his biracial American wife – and now their son – and the amount of abuse she has suffered from racist online trolls since their marriage.
Last Sunday, a scathing piece from “60 Minutes Australia” painted the picture of a royal house divided, with Meghan at the root of all Buckingham Palace problems.
The question is whether the recent mocking of Harry and Meghan is fair coverage or something nastier, rooted in racism. In June, two teens were sentenced to prison in Britain for neo-Nazi terrorist social media posts, including one that threatened to assassinate Harry and deemed him a “race traitor” for marrying Meghan.
Racism is something Harry has suspected and publicly decried ever since he acknowledged Markle as his girlfriend in the fall of 2016, after The Daily Mail published a story about her with the headline: “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton.”
Prince Harry beams as he speaks to reporters at Windsor Castle on May 6, 2019, announcing that his wife, Duchess Meghan, had given birth to a “very healthy” boy. (Photo: STEVE PARSONS/AFP/Getty Images)
Harry issued an unprecedented statement calling out the “wave of abuse and harassment” of Meghan. “Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
Now he’s discussing environmentalism, conservation, racism and “unconscious bias” in a conversation with Jane Goodall in the pages of British Vogue. Calling someone out for racist behavior or words inevitably is denied, Harry explained.
“I’m not saying that you’re a racist. I’m just saying that your unconscious bias is proving that, because of the way that you’ve been brought up, the environment you’ve been brought up in, suggests that you have this … unconscious point of view – where naturally you will look at someone in a different way,” Harry said.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana leave St. Mary’s Hospital in London with their new baby son, Prince Harry, on Sept. 16, 1984. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
But at least some of the recent criticism purports to be a pushback against Harry and Meghan supposedly acting like “celebrities” or getting too involved in politics, especially liberal politics.
Daily Mail columnist and “Good Morning Britain” co-host Piers Morgan, a self-described former friend of Meghan and one of the loudest critics of Harry and “me-me-me Meghan,” says she is way too woke for his conservative tastes.
But some of Harry and Meghan’s friends are convinced racism is behind the criticism. Actress/activist Jameela Jamil (one of the women Meghan chose to grace her Vogue cover) posted impassioned tweets defending her friends and attacking their recent media coverage.
“Dear England and English press, just say you hate her because she’s black, and him for marrying a black woman and be done with it,” she tweeted on Aug. 20. “Your bullying is so embarrassing and obvious. You’ve all lost your marbles. It’s 2019. Grow up.”
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