Happy birthday, Prince Harry! 32 facts you need to know about the royal

Prince Harry has had a busy year, from spearheading his second Invictus Games in Orlando to helping to host the Obamas, visiting Nepal and cementing a friendship with Hollywood star Margot Robbie. And things are only going to get more exciting in the year to come as he hosts his next sports event for wounded soldiers in Toronto, goes on tour in the Caribbean and perhaps finds a new love!

As the royal turns 32 on Sept. 15, we look back on the most interesting facts you need to know about everyone's favourite ginger!

  1. Prince Harry was born on Sept. 15, 1984 at 4:20 p.m. at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. He weighed 6 lb. 14 oz. and was given the full name Henry Charles Albert David.
  2. The prince qualified as an Apache pilot with the Army Air Corps. Though the talented royal is humble about the accomplishment, this means that he’s considered an amazing pilot and a natural leader with great instincts.
  3. At the age of 13 Harry was delighted to meet the Spice Girls, along with his dad, Prince Charles, while attending a charity concert in South Africa. He also met President Nelson Mandela for tea during the visit abroad.
  4. Harry had to fight hard to convince Prince Charles to let him start his charity, Sentebale – which helps children who are victims of or are orphaned by AIDS – when he was in his early 20s. The name means “forget me not” in Sesotho and honours Princess Diana.
  5. During the Obamas’ visit to Kensington Palace – where they met Prince George – Harry’s good behaviour confused his nephew. “All throughout, [George] was like, ‘Uncle Harry, why are you so quiet?’” Michelle said, proving Harry has become the “fun uncle” he always wanted to be.
  6. Harry triumphed over Usain Bolt during a Jamaican visit when he distracted the runner and gave himself a head start on their race. The prince recently tweeted a congratulatory message in honour of the Olympian’s performance in Rio and 30th birthday.
  7. As a child Harry had a grey, lop-eared rabbit who lived in a hutch in the corner of the stable yard at Highgrove next to William’s pet guinea pig.
  8. At age 19, Harry made a documentary called The Forgotten Kingdom: Prince Harry in Lesotho. Though it started out as a private video diary, it transformed into an opportunity to spotlight the troubles faced by orphans in South Africa.
  9. The royal started playing polo when he was a teenager, learning the ropes at the Beaufort Polo Club, which is about a kilometre from Prince Charles’s country home of Highgrove. He now plays in numerous charity games every year, often with big brother William.
  10. Harry has always been close to his brother, William, two years his senior. But their bond has been more plain to see as they’ve grown into adulthood. In 2009, they shared living quarters while they were in Royal Air Force training. And in 2011, Harry was honoured to be best man at his brother’s wedding, where he delivered a heartfelt speech.
  11. Harry made his first overseas trip when he was just eight months old. He accompanied his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, to Italy.
  12. Harry doesn’t own any, but he has a penchant for puppies. His devotion to dogs has been seen everywhere, from a childhood Spanish holiday to the Invictus Games in Florida last year.
  13. Harry launched his Invictus Games in 2014 after he saw veterans healing through sports at the Wounded Warrior Games. “[I was] happy to steal it off the Americans,” he joked. “It was such a wonderful concept.”
  14. Harry’s visit to Toronto in 2017 will be his sixth time in Canada. He came with his parents in 1991, and in 1998 with Charles and William. He dropped in on Calgary in 2007 and 2009 during military duties and he came to Toronto in May 2016 to officially launch the countdown to 2017’s Invictus Games.
  15. In May 2005, Harry entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and began a 44-week training course to become an officer cadet. In April 2006, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals).
  16. With his busy schedule, you might expect Harry to be slow at getting back to you, but that’s not the case! “He’s pretty quick on text, actually,” said Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie.
  17. Portia Simpson-Miller, then prime minister of Jamaica, couldn’t help giving Harry a hug during his 2012 visit to the Caribbean isle. “I’ve been told over and over again that I’m very good with hugs, which is great,” Harry said.
  18. The war film Zulu is one of Harry’s favourite movies. The former soldier, who left the military in 2015 after 10 years, watches it every year before Christmas and attended London’s gala screening fundraiser in June 2014 to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary.
  19. Though he’s been single since his split from Cressida Bonas in 2014, Prince Harry does dream of finding the perfect partner and starting a family of his own. “I’d love to have children,” he has said. “There have been moments through life, especially when we do a tour abroad, when I think, ‘I’d love to have kids now.’”
  20. Prince Harry formed a close bond with his nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, when he was growing up. He is godfather to her son, Fred.
  21. During a tour of the U.S., the prince played baseball with New York Yankee Mark Teixeira and shocked everyone by hitting a home run.
  22. He has visited the South Pole, arriving with his Walking With the Wounded teammates on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. “Unlucky for some but not for us,” Harry joked, reflecting on the date.
  23. In 2015, there were rumours that Game of Thrones offered Harry a cameo. The prince is a fan of the show and watches it with Kate.
  24. For the Queen’s 90th birthday, Harry joked that the best gift he could offer her would be “a day off.” But what he actually gave her was a skit, where he played a dummy for ventriloquist Nina Conti.
  25. Princess Diana’s influence on Harry is always evident. “I hope that a lot of my mother’s talents are shown in a lot of the work that I do,” said the prince, who has continued to champion her battle to reduce the stigma around AIDS and clear landmines in Angola.
  26. Harry loved visiting Disney World with Diana. “It’s one of my very, very happy memories. I went on Space Mountain 14 times. I was like, ‘This is absolutely fantastic, best thing ever!’” he said.
  27. Harry is well known for his sense of humour, but his most famous funnyman moment was a joint venture with the Queen. The pair united to release a video, which went viral, in response to U.S. President Barack Obama and wife Michelle’s playful provocative message suggesting America would emerge victorious at the 2016 Invictus Games.
  28. Along with William, Harry will honour Diana’s memory with a garden at her former home of Kensington Palace ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death. “We want to make sure that there’s something she’s remembered by,” he said.
  29. Some of Harry’s favourite foods are jam roly-polies (cake filled with jam), cottage pie and sticky toffee pudding.
  30. Harry welcomed Kate to the family with open arms. “To have a big sister is very, very nice ... I’m really looking forward to getting her under my wing – or she’ll be taking me under her wing, probably,” he said after the royal wedding. Kate has since become a go-to for romantic advice and cooking lessons.
  31. Harry learned to ride a horse at Highgrove, taking to the sport immediately. He was good enough to be off the leading rein at four years old. He had his own Shetland pony named Smokey who travelled with him to Balmoral in the summer.
  32. The prince is pretty good about chores, but not doing the dishes. In 2009, William set the record straight: “Harry does do washing up but then he leaves most of it in the sink. And then I come back in the morning and I have to wash it up.”

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