This month is a special month at the Royal Palace, and on September 15, HRH Prince Henry of Wales (better known to most as Prince Harry) turns 30-years-old. Fittingly, on the eve of his milestone birthday BBC AMERICA premieres Harry at 30, which intimately explores every stage and iconic moment of the Prince’s life. Featuring contributions from friends, military colleagues, historians, journalists, photographers and royal correspondents, the revealing one-hour documentary looks at the highs and lows of Harry’s extraordinary life, providing unique and privileged insight into what it was like to lose his mother at such an early age, how he dealt with growing up in the shadow of his older brother, and what his thoughts are on being Britain’s most eligible bachelor. BBC AMERICA premieres Harry at 30 on Sunday, September 14, 10:00pm ET.
A reported 700 million people watched the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana back in 1981, and with the arrival of Prince William in 1982 and Harry in 1984, the lives of the Royal Princes have been a constant point of fascination. From the day Diana posed with Harry on the steps of St Mary’s Hospital in 1984, the cameras have been an ever-present companion, as long serving Royal press photographer Arthur Edwards well remembers. Former police protection officer Ken Wharfe also recounts his time looking after the young Prince, with tales of Harry’s boisterous nature. In discussing the unfolding dramas behind Prince Charles and Diana’s marriage in 1992, former press officer to the Queen, Dickie Arbiter, recounts how Diana’s devastating death left the Princes heartbroken and tested the relationship between the monarchy and the public like never before. Harry survived the shocking loss of his mother and at 18-years-old chose to become the keeper of her legacy in supporting disadvantaged children and issues around HIV and AIDS in Africa. But in an era when the monarchy’s popularity was at an all-time low, Harry’s teenage good deeds were often overshadowed by a tabloid public image of Harry the party animal. Personal accounts from ex-military boss, Lord Richard Dannatt, and ex-marine, Ben McBean, shed light on how Harry turned his childhood Army ambitions into two front line tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Alongside his achievements, Harry’s status as one of the world’s most eligible bachelors always makes him front page news, with OK! Magazine’s showbiz and royal editor Chrissie Reeves revealing the difficulties for ex-loves Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. Singer and close friend, Joss Stone, goes on to share her experience as an ambassador for Harry’s Lesotho charity, Sentebale (set up in his mother’s honor and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year). And now, in 2014, Prince Harry takes on his biggest challenge to date with the Invictus Games, a new international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women that for 10 days this September will be taking over London’s Olympic village.
It’s been 30 years of striking a tricky balance between his private life, his military career and his public duty and in Harry at 30, this archive-rich biography reveals how he’s evolved into a thoroughly modern prince and a unique member of the Royal Family.