Prince Harry, who turns 34 on Saturday, has lived a life of contradictions. He's grown up with extreme privilege, but he's also carried the burden of the world's scrutiny. He's known for his many charitable efforts, as well as for his partying. Due to circumstances outside of his control, he was born a royal — and he was also born a ginger.
In honour of the Duke of Sussex's 34th birthday, here are some significant public ups and downs in Harry's life.
September 15, 1984
Prince Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor is born in London. In Andrew Morton's biography of Princess Diana, "Diana: Her True Story," the princess revealed her husband's "dismay" after welcoming their second child: "Charles always wanted a girl," she said. "Harry was a boy. His first comment was, 'Oh God, it's a boy.' His second: 'And he's even got red hair.'" Charles discounted the comment as a joke.
Keep in mind: red hair ran in Diana's family, and she had just endured nine hours in labour with no anaesthesia.
(By the way, when Princess Diana and Prince Charles announced their second son's name, the palace said that he'd be known officially as Prince Henry Charles Albert David, but just 'Harry' to his family and chums. As the prince grew up, he was referred to by Kensington Palace and press as Prince Harry, which was then adopted by the public.)
August 31, 1997
His mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in Paris when Harry was just 12. He later spoke about how how hard it was for him to know how to cope with his grief, telling the U.K. paper The Telegraph that he "shut down all his emotions" for nearly 20 years. "I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions," he said. He told the paper that he didn't seek therapy until his late 20s, and that talking about his pain was instrumental in treating it.
In January, photos surfaced showing Harry wearing a Nazi uniform to a colonial-themed private costume party. The backlash was enormous, of course. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre urged him to visit Auschwitz: "There he will see the results of the hated symbol he so foolishly and brazenly chose to wear," the centre's founder Rabbi Marvin Hier said.
Harry released a statement of apology, writing that he was "very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone."
In May of that same year, Harry joined the Royal Military Academy.
During a stop in Canada, Harry seemed to enjoy himself at the Calgary stampede, reportedly asking a 22-year-old bartender to take her top off. "He was obsessed about my outfit and bra top," Cherie Cymbalisty told the U.K. tabloid News of the World. "He was very forward."
February 28, 2008
The U.K.'s ministry of defence announced that Harry — known in the army as "Captain Wales — had been serving in Afghanistan for over two months. He told reporters he "definitely" felt more comfortable as an army captain than as a prince who at the time was third in line for the throne.
"I've always been like that," he said. "My father's always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that. But it's very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the army. Everyone's wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing. I get on well with the lads and I enjoy my job. It really is as simple as that."
Later that year, he was promoted to lieutenant.
Footage emerged from a video diary Harry made during his military training in 2006 in which he referred to a member of his platoon as "our little Paki friend." Some of his fellow soldiers defended his "friendly" use of the racial slur, saying it was just part of army culture. But St. James' Palace issued an apology, saying "Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause."
Harry makes his way to Las Vegas, where he crosses paths with a bachelorette party, hangs out with Ryan Loche, "gives random naked hugs" and plays billiards naked. Grainy cell phone footage surfaces, and becomes tabloid fodder, of course.
A "royal insider" told E! News that the Queen was furious, and that the reprimand she gave Harry following the scandal was a turning point for him.
Several months later, he apologized publicly, telling reporters "I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down."
Nothing massively significant that we know of happened to or with Prince Harry in 2013, but he did take this adorable photo with a baby.
Harry founded the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded, injured or sick service personnel and veterans. The games launched in London in September, the same month he turned 30. That same year, he wrote a piece for The Sunday Times about the difficulties he witnessed while serving in Afghanistan. "To see young lads — much younger than me — wrapped in plastic and missing limbs, with hundreds of tubes coming out of them, was something I never prepared myself for," he wrote.
June 5, 2015
He was knighted by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, in a private ceremony.
He also spent time at the Soldier Recovery Centre in Darwin, Australia.
Rumours started about Harry dating Meghan Markle, who at the time was best known for her role on "Suits." She lived and worked in Toronto, where the legal dramedy was shot. According to apocryphal Harry and Meghan lore, he once visited her in Toronto over Halloween, and handed out candy with his identity safely obscured by a gorilla costume. There's no proof available, but neighbours swear it's true.
November 27, 2017
The couple announce their engagement.
May 19, 2018
Almost 23 million people worldwide watched as Harry and Meghan get married. They receive the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
September 15, 2018
Prince Harry turns 34. No word yet on how he's celebrating, although it's unlikely to involve him being naked in Vegas.
Also on HuffPost: