Prince Harry, turns 30 on the 15th September 2014. In celebration of this milestone, Harry At 30 takes a look at his life over the past three decades, from mischievous toddler to frontline soldier, from troubled teen, to becoming arguably the world’s most eligible bachelor.
Featuring archive footage and contributions from friends, military colleagues, historians, journalists, photographers and royal correspondents, this hour-long documentary explores every iconic moment in the prince’s life. The programme gives an insight into Harry’s military career, his charity work, family life and his public duty and explores what makes him such a well-respected and well-liked member of the Royal Family.
The public’s interest in Prince Harry began when he was born and his mother Diana posed with him on the steps of St Mary’s Hospital. Ever since, the cameras have been a constant in his life. Long-serving royal press photographer Arthur Edwards recounts his experiences with Harry over the years and Ingrid Seward the editor in chief of Majesty Magazine, describes what he is like.
Ingrid says: “Harry is incredibly charming when you meet him, he’s funny and he just reminds me of his mum because he’s very quick-witted.”
The Evening Standard’s royal editor, Robert Jobson also reveals his experiences of working with the prince.
Robert says: “I remember once he had a pop at me because I’d written a story about him. But I quite admire him for that, he will stand up for his position he won’t just smooth it over – he will say what he wants to say and then that will be it.”
Alongside archive footage of the prince as a toddler, police protections officer Ken Wharfe recounts his time looking after the young prince. Former press officer to the Queen Dickie Arbiter also describes how the devastating death of Princess Diana in 1997 affected Harry who was just 13 at the time.
When he turned 18 Harry chose to continue his mother’s legacy by supporting disadvantaged children and issues around HIV & AIDS in Africa. He visited Lesotho in Africa during a gap year where he met Prince Seeiso and they set up the charity Sentebale. Singer Joss Stone is an ambassador for Sentebale and counts Prince Harry as a friend.
Speaking about the charity, she says: “And the kids you can see it actually working, right in front you, there they are, now they’re happy now, now they’re good, now they’re healthy, now they’re educated.”
Along with this charity work, Prince Harry’s other focus is the military. He has served on the front line in Afghanistan and former army chief Lord Richard Dannatt reveals the complications behind getting him to front line action in 2007. Press photographer John Stillwell travelled to Afghanistan to photograph Harry during his service and describes the conditions the prince faced.
He says: “Other photographers before I went were saying to me ‘oh you’re going to Afghanistan’, they were all saying to me exactly the same thing, Harry will be in Camp Bastion in a 30ft deep bunker, he won’t even see daylight and it wasn’t like that at all. It was probably the worst conditions that I’ve seen. It was a bombed out college on the front line.”
It was on his return from Afghanistan that he met injured ex -marine Ben McBean. They flew back from Camp Bastion together and Harry has since gone on to support him in his recovery.
Ben says: “He’s just a normal guy, I keep calling him bloke because you just have a pint with him down the pub.”
As well as supporting Ben, Harry is patron of the ‘Walking With The Wounded’ charity and walked to the South Pole in 2013 in support of wounded soldiers. In 2011 a team of servicemen which included Jaco Van Gass walked to the North Pole and Harry joined them for part of the journey.
Jaco says: “From the moment he stepped off that plane he said ‘guys don’t call me Harry or sir it’s ‘H’ and I’m one of you guys I’m part of a team now.’ It’s amazing how down to earth he is.”
The programme reveals how this year Prince Harry is taking on his biggest challenge to date with The Invictus Games, a brand new Olympic style event for wounded soldiers that will be taking place in the Olympic village.
Harry’s achievements have helped him to earn the status of perhaps the world’s most eligible bachelor. OK magazine’s show business and royal editor Chrissie Reeves reveals the difficulties his ex-girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas faced while they were with him. Also, journalist and writer Celia Walden and friend Joss Stone speculate on what kind of woman could be the next royal princess.
Joss says: “There’s a lot that comes with it I think, people judging you, people talking about you when they don’t know what they are talking about. You know, what have the press said today, what has this person said about me, what picture did they put online? I think you have to make a choice to not care actually. It’s easy for me to say isn’t it?”
Giving an insight into Harry’s personality, she adds: “He’s like a free spirit, which I think is rare is in his line of work.”
Narrated by Lesley Sharp, Harry At 30 airs on Tuesday 2nd September at 8pm on ITV