PRINCE Harry may no longer be a working royal, but he still knows how to live in style.
The Duke of Sussex has found solace with wife Meghan Markle in a sprawling £11.93million ($14.6million) mansion in Montecito, California, and now reportedly has his eyes on a plush £6.3million plot in Malibu.
Prince Harry is marking his 39th birthday today at The Invictus GamesCredit: Goff
While Harry has lamented much of his life growing up in the UK and working for the Royal Family, it wasn’t always filled with sadness and struggle.
Even the Duke himself admitted his childhood was “filled with laughter, filled with happiness, and filled with adventure” in Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan last year.
Here, as Harry marks his 39th birthday today, we look back on the early years of luxury and fun that saw him labelled “the happy prince”.
King Charles, Princess Diana and the children lived in apartments 8 and 9 at Kensington Palace, which is now the home of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The luxurious West London home spanned three floors and the entirety of one of them was reserved for William and Harry.
Diana hired renowned interior designer Dudley Poplak to transform the dated property to her taste and installed a plush playroom with beautiful wooden rocking horses.
Luxury children’s design company Dragons Of Walton Street, which flogs hairbrushes for £150 and cots for £2,100 upwards, also helped to put the space together.
Archive photos show the young family beside an upright piano and relaxing on comfy sofas inside elegantly decorated rooms.
Harry and William were treated to a plush playroom with fancy wooden rocking horsesCredit: Getty
The youngsters were often seen smiling and laughing in childhood snapsCredit: Getty – Contributor
While many would assume a royal child would sit down to a lavish state dinner every evening, it turns out that wasn’t always the case
During Harry and William’s childhood, they would often tuck into run-of-the-mill healthy meals under the instruction of their strict nanny.
Former royal chef Darren McGrady told the Daily Express: “The nanny always insisted they had their protein, roast chicken, and cabbage because cabbage was good for you.
“If it was left to the boys it would have been cheeseburgers, pizza, chicken nuggets and loaded potatoes.”
The youngsters were once so determined to get fast-food-style meals that they forged a note pretending to be their nanny.
The handwritten letter, which was foiled due to having ‘childish handwriting’, read: “Please give the boys pizza tonight instead of chicken.”
However, there were a few occasions when Harry and William managed to bypass their strict diet.
At Kensington Palace, food was served “buffet style”, which meant they “could go back for more and more and more” and Darren says “it was always the desserts” they returned for.
He also told Hello! Magazine that Diana regularly caved into their demands and would ensure their favourite dessert “banana flan [was] in the menu book”.
Darren also said the late Princess often told the children: “If you want fried chicken or loaded potato skins or hamburgers, that’s fine.”
Ski trips & Spice Girl snaps
Diana, William and Harry during a ski trip to Austria in 1991Credit: Rex Features
The young princes also made regular trips to Balmoral to bask in nature
From a young age, both Harry and William were taught to ski and were regularly snapped with their parents on the slopes in Austria and Switzerland.
During their early attempts, William was said to be ‘cautious’ while Harry allegedly used to race downhill from the age of six after just a few hours of coaching.
They also enjoyed sunny seaside getaways, which were captured in photos including two from 1997 that showed Harry on a jetski and another on a luxury yacht in St Tropez, France.
The prince also regularly went to Balmoral and to Norfolk during the school holidays and their dad regularly made them go litter-picking to help them fall in love with nature.
Harry also joined his parents on royal tours – including when they met the Spice Girls in 1997Credit: Rex
Diana and Harry on a jet ski in St Tropez, FranceCredit: Rex
In a BBC documentary, William recalled: “We’re there with our, basically, spikes, stabbing the rubbish into black plastic bags.”
The young princes also accompanied their parents on Royal Tours overseas.
While the visits were work for his parents, it seems the boys loved their time in beautiful locations around the world and it landed them enviable opportunities – including meeting the Spice Girls in 1997.
One photo, which was taken at the group’s concert in Johannesburg, South Africa, showed Harry looking bashful while holding Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham’s hands.
Prince Harry dressed as a red goblin for his nursery’s school Nativity playCredit: Getty – Contributor
Harry was known as the ‘happy prince’ during his childhoodCredit: Getty – Contributor
Far from rough-and-tumble nurseries and comprehensive schools, both William and Harry were privately educated at expensive institutions.
They included being sent to Mrs Maynors’ Nursery – now The Minors Nursery School – which currently costs a whopping £4,300 per term for mornings alone and £7,685 in the second year for a full day.
Recalling what Harry was like there, his old teacher Ms Levin said: “He seemed happiest in his own little world, left alone to get on with what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it, without interference.”
The princes were then sent to Wetherby Preparatory School, in Notting Hill, which now costs £8,945 per term and boasts alumni including Hugh Grant, Romeo Beckham and Elizabeth Hurley’s son Damian.
In a sweet photo from 1989, a young Prince Harry, then five or six, grinned cheekily at his brother while standing on the school steps alongside Diana.
Harry, who also attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire, would go on to attend Eton College, which currently charges £46,000 per year, between 1998 and 2003.