Prince Harry’s Birthday: An Interview with Emily Andrews

#HarrysDirty30 bonus round! As with most things in life, I’ve saved the best for last.

If you are involved in the world of royal watching, you undoubtedly are familiar with The Sun’s royal correspondent, Emily Andrews. She is a royal road warrior, avid tweeter and incredibly kind to us royal bloggers/social media freaks. No tweet ever goes unnoticed and she is always more than willing to share her photos and personal experiences. So, when it came time to map out my “Month of Harry” I immediately knew I wanted to talk to Emily, and she did not hesitate to help me out.

Emily not only agreed straight away to do this interview, but she did it from her holiday in Greece. I hope you will appreciate her openness as much as I do; she could have provided me with blanket responses, but we all know that’s not how Emily rolls. From his special relationship with children around the world, to his (not so special) relationship with the press and social media sphere, Emily lays it on the line and provides a glimpse into our favorite prince on this, his milestone thirtieth birthday.

You were with Harry on his tour of Chile and Brazil – which didn’t get a ton of coverage back home. What was the best moment that you wish everyone could have seen?

Two things stand out which probably best convey the competing sides of Harry’s personality. The first was at a children’s day care centre in a poor suburb of Santiago, Chile. Harry loved visiting the nursery- he’s in his element with kids and these pre-schoolers (ages 18 months to five years) were incredibly cute. He joined a couple of classes, tried a bit of Spanish and sat on the floor to play musical instruments with the babies. They loved him-he’s very natural with children, like his mum-and one little girl with leaning disabilities took a particular shine to him. He even cradled one of the babies-such a cute picture that his press officer grabbed me to make sure I covered it! He was very friendly to me and seemed to be having a great time. The second was at a fire station the next day in Valparaiso. The proud fire fighters gave Harry a display of their hoses-using the force of the water to unveil a large Chilean flag. Unfortunately most of the British and Chilean journalists were stood in a press pen in the way and got completely soaked (very luckily I was next to Harry out of harm’s way!). All the press started running to avoid getting sprayed and Harry just loved it. He laughed so much and was delighted the journalists got wet. Anyone who says Harry doesn’t have a problem with the press is sadly mistaken…He took great delight in them getting a soaking.

#HarryWithKids has become my favorite part of his tours and most of his engagements, and we had a lot of that in South America… what is it about him that fosters such incredible moments?

I think he’s just a real natural. That comes from innate personality. He bonds with them very quickly, even when he doesn’t share their language. He is a very relaxed guy which transmits to the kids and they immediately respond. He’s not afraid of making a fool of himself either, he’s not hung up about protocol or looking serious. The fact that he’s the “spare” not the heir gives him some more leeway (doesn’t have to be so formal) but he also has a great sense of humour – which sees the fun in everything- and emotional empathy. And kids don’t ask difficult questions!

Courtesy of Emily Andrews, The Sun, @byemilyandrews

Courtesy of Emily Andrews, The Sun, @byemilyandrews

It’s often said there’s many sides to Harry – Prince Harry vs. Captain Wales and everything in between – do you see a difference in him depending on the engagement?

Yes. He can do “serious royal” Harry just as well as “down-with-the-kids” Harry. His recent south American tour saw lots of the latter (football, dancing, cradling babies) while the WW1 commemorations in the UK and Belgium showed his serious side. And what he’s achieved with the Invictus Games displays just what am organising powerhouse he can be. When he wants to get something done, he just goes for it. He seemed quite nervous at the Opening Ceremony for Invictus, which was very endearing. You could see how much he meant to him that it goes well. And it has- which is a massive credit to him.

Harry’s visit to Memphis with William for Guy Pelly’s wedding caused quite the media storm – and not in a good way. What did you make of that on your side of the pond?

It was the “Party Prince” raising his head again… Look, the guy had just split up from his (only second serious) girlfriend and wanted to cut loose. I think we’ve all been there. It’s just that most of us don’t have to cope with doing under the spotlight of the world’s media… It was interesting: Harry is very critical of the UK press interest in his private life, but if he lived in the States I think the scrutiny would be a lot worse! There’s quite a lot he gets away with…

Harry has recently made his lack of enthusiasm for social media known, but it seems social media is increasingly taking over as an important vehicle for getting the royals’ messages out – whether it is with a cause they are championing, like the Invictus Games, or an overseas visit. As a royal reporter, what is your reaction to Harry’s confession and what should we all take away from it for our social media posting?

I know many bloggers/social media aficionados were very upset with his comments on this. Twitter even emailed him asking if he wanted any help on how to use it!!! Ironically Harry is very interested in it, uses it (under a pseudonym) and pretty much reads everything we all write. He even helps the Queen with it. He follows all the main people on Twitter-and has even talked to me about what I post!! He loves to know who are behind some of the more positive/negative users, and so do his press team. He cares very much about public perception of him, so I can guarantee he’ll read your blogs at some stage Kelly. Yet at the same time he hates the fact he can’t do anything private (his supermarket shopping, going to the cinema, buying a burger etc. ) without someone spotting him, taking a phone picture and putting it on social media. He wants to be like all of us, with the anonymity we enjoy. But he can’t – and this massively frustrates him. But his press team use social media increasingly as it’s a way of them getting his/their message straight out without it being diluted/distorted (as they would see it…) by the press.  

One word to describe Prince Harry..

Captivating

This is a big birthday for Harry, what do you think we will see from him in this milestone year?

This is a massive opportunity for Harry (see my piece on him last month in The Sun) as to the direction his life takes. He’s arguably the most popular royal- probably the only member of The Firm most ordinary people would want to buy a drink. I think the success of the Invictus Games will be a massive boost to his confidence and we’ll see him become a campaigning great like his mother. It’s interesting that he’s really stealing a march on his brother in this area. I think he’ll also go back to active service in the Army- a job that he loves. And hopefully he’ll find a lovely new girlfriend – one whom will help, finally, consign the “Party Prince” headline to history!

It’s September 15, 2015 – what was The Sun’s biggest Harry headline of the year?

On his engagement: I’m gonna marry Harry!

 

I cannot thank Emily enough for not only agreeing to this interview, but for putting so much thought and candor into it. If you’re not following Emily on Twitter, get on that right now!

Happy 30th Birthday Prince Harry!

Happiest of birthdays to the one and only Prince Harry!

Henry Charles Albert David was born this day thirty years ago at 4:20pm in London to Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

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You will have seen many articles, round ups and shows about Harry’s monumental birthday, so I will not subject you to another “top” whatever list …although let’s be real, a day of nothing but the best Harry moments is basically heaven.

I’m keeping this simple on his big day.  The world loves Harry, he’s been called everything from the most loved royal to the people’s prince, and everyone has their reasons for loving him and their favorite moment. Nothing sums up who he is and why we’ve all come to love him over the past thirty years than the Invictus Games, which wrapped not too long before before the clock struck midnight.

Harry concluded his 20’s in an extremely meaningful way; he saw a dream come to life and he made a significant difference in the lives of so many from around the world. This is the power of Prince Harry. At the heart of every single thing he does, it is obvious he genuinely cares. His family, his military comrades, the young, the old – he loves, he inspires, he leaves places and people better than how he found them. It’s why we love him. Yes, he’s nice to look at, but that’s not it. You’ve all realized that by now… this guy is legit.

Here’s to you Harry, may your thirtieth year be the best yet.

Invictus Games 101 – One Day Away!

Just days outside of his landmark 30th birthday, Prince Harry will see another monumental day tomorrow, September 10th – the opening of the Invictus Games.

The Invictus Games, also known as Prince Harry’s baby, will see wounded servicemen and women from 14 nations descend upon London to compete in athletic events. Sound familiar? Harry was inspired by the Warrior Games in Colorado, which he attended last year. In fact, it was the reason for his tour of the United States. In short, America is eternally grateful to the Warrior Games. Or at least I am.

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Seeing Prince Harry in Colorado last May was inspiring – he was very clearly in his element and you just knew something was going to come of that trip. That something comes to life tomorrow. After trading active duty for a desk job earlier this year, we all knew these games wouldn’t be far away.

Yesterday, Captain Wales welcome the international competitors and spectators to his Invictus Games:

So, what can you expect over the four day games? It is a packed schedule, including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby (Harry and Zara and Mike Tindall will compete in a celebrity match), sitting volleyball, archery, swimming, powerlifting, indoor rowing and road cycling.

The opening and closing ceremonies have gained a lot of attention as the games draw near. Prince Harry’s family is due to come out in full force to support at the opening ceremony – Prince Charles, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. However, given his sister-in-law’s current status with acute morning sickness, her engagements are currently TBD. In addition, Coldplay’s Chris Martin has composed the official anthem for the Invictus Games, to be premiered at the ceremony. The closing ceremony will certainly be quite the show, with the Foo Fighters and Ellie Goulding headlining the concert-style event; James Blunt, The Vamps, Rizzle Kicks and The Kaiser Chiefs will also play the Septemver 14 event.

Of the closing concert, Prince Harry said, “I am hugely grateful to all the artists and organisers for coming together in September to put on what will be a truly awesome concert. It will be a celebration of everything the competitors will have achieved over the four days of the Invictus Games, not to mention the efforts of the hundreds of other athletes we couldn’t fit into the teams this year. And for those who didn’t make it back from operations, this is also for you.”

Let’s just cross our fingers for some Captain Wales dancing in the crowd. In the meantime, you can still buy tickets for the events, and please follow along with the Invictus Games on Twitter.

Ready the Lindo Wing… The Duchess of Cambridge is Pregnant!

HAPPY MONDAY Y’ALL… The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her second child!

But seriously, talk about an exciting early morning wakeup on a Monday. I 100% have royal baby ESP… I should not be awake yet. Same as when she was in labor with Prince George. I get a feeling, I spring to life before the sun rises. Royal baby adrenaline – it’s the new coffee.

Kensington Palace released a statement this morning:

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child.The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news. As with her first pregnancy, The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Her Royal Highness will no longer accompany The Duke of Cambridge on their planned engagement in Oxford today. The Duchess of Cambridge is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace.

It is unfortunate Kate is experiencing this severe morning sickness again, sadly meaning the couple had to make the announcement in this manor once again and before her 12 week mark. The Duchess of Cambridge will not accompanying her husband on an engagement in Oxford today, and one would assume that based on this, her appearance at the Invictus Games Opening ceremony on Wednesday to support her brother-in-law (and almost fifth-in-line to the throne) is up in the air now, although no word yet as I am sure it is day by day. Kate is due for another defining moment on September 20-21 when she undertakes her first solo overseas tour to Malta.

William and Kate will be parents to another beautiful baby. Prince George will be a big brother – he is soo cute with Lupo, imagine with another baby?! Harry will be an uncle again. It’s all too much for this early in the morning.

No due date has been announced yet…but should be April (shocked I can do math this early). Hope that all the local ladder selling shops are fully stocked. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ENTIRE FAMILY! 

 

Visiting Royal Britain – Festivals with Prince Harry

If you know anything about Prince Harry, you know that he never shies away from a good time… and he is definitely no stranger to a festival. Well, it’s a good thing he lives in Britain! From London to Edinburgh and everywhere in between, Britain’s festivals are world-renowned. In keeping with “The Month of Harry,” this edition of Visiting Royal Britain is dedicated to some of the land’s best festivals – those Harry has been spotted at and even one or two he should seriously consider attending. Fedoras optional.

Glastonbury, via VisitBritain Images

Glastonbury, via VisitBritain Images

Glastonbury

Obviously Harry has attended Britain’s largest and best known music festival, which is held in Somerset each June. Aside from featuring some of the biggest pop and rock names from around the globe, the Glastonbury area itself has a lot to offer for festival-goers. Next year’s is scheduled for June 24 – 25, so get your tickets now, and maybe Harry will whisk you away to the top of  Glastonbury Tor to take in breath-taking views of the Somerset Levels, Dorset, Wiltshire and even Wales.

Great British Beer Festival

How better to recover from a breakup than to drown your sorrows in a pint… or several? Harry surprised attendees as this August’s Great British Beer Festival in West London. Maybe next year he’ll ditch the baseball cap in favor of participating in the World Famous Hat Day. Tasting over 1,000 beers (not all at once) while wearing funny hats? How very British.

Secret Garden Party Festival

The fun-loving royal made headlines this summer when he was spotted at the Secret Garden Party Festival, despite his extremely clever disguise of a straw fedora. He was also seen on the swings – GUYS, I love the swings. We’re totes meant to be, right? Tickets are already on sale for the annual independent arts and music festival, so get to it and make your way to Abbots Ripton near Huntingdon (it’s quite pretty) and reserve your seat on the swings!

I am holding out for the day we see Prince Harry venture up to Edinburgh for Hogmanay during New Year’s (carrying a torch, Viking hat on head) or over to Wales for Hay-on-Wye, which Bill Clinton once called “the Woodstock of the minds.”

What festival do you think we’ll see Harry pop up at next?

30 for 30 – Counting Down ‘Til Harry’s Big Birthday!

With one big royal birthday down for this year, it’s almost time to light the candles on another cake. That’s right – Prince Harry turns thirty-years-old one month from today. So, how does one celebrate the king of celebrations? With an entire month dedicated to him, how else?!

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Over the next thirty days, I am going to tweet out a special moment, event, anecdote or photo from throughout Harry’s life until September 15th. As much as I’d like to say I’ll be blogging each day until his birthday, we all know that is not happening… but it’s safe to say you will get your fair share of H on this blog in the coming weeks.

In addition to the @RoyalReview “The Month of Harry” on Twitter, I want to hear from you – what is your favorite Harry moment over the past thirty years? I know, this is an impossible task – it’s like asking what you like more, sunshine or rainbows, but I have faith that you’re all up for the challenge. Tweet me, comment, etc. using the hashtag #harrysdirty30 and share your favorite Harry memory.

Happy Harry Month!

Visiting Royal Britain: All About George

Yes, I realize Prince George’s first birthday was two weeks ago, but in my family we celebrate for weeks, so I am continuing that tradition here for this edition of “Visiting Royal Britain.”

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We have taken a look at the palaces and parks where George will frequent throughout his life, but what about those locations specifically tied to his birthday and first year? Let’s take a look!

The Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum, via VisitBritain Images

Natural History Museum, via VisitBritain Images

The three photos released for George’s birthday might just be the cutest thing we see all summer, but did you know that you can visit the very spot that the little prince marched about for the portraits? While The Natural History Museum itself is a staple in London culture (the museum has served as the backdrop for several films, reportedly including the upcoming Paddington Bear movie), but the Sensational Butterflies exhibit is for a limited time only – September 14 to be exact. Tickets are just £5.50 and free for Georgie’s cohorts (children under three).

Buckingham Palace – Royal Childhood Exhibit

Buckingham Palace, via VisitBritain Images

Buckingham Palace, via VisitBritain Images

Families visiting London this summer will be able to experience the first-ever Royal Childhood exhibit at Buckingham Palace,which opened just four days into George’s second year.Some of the Royal family’s most treasured possessions from childhood will be on display, giving visitors an unprecedented glimpse into life as a young member of the royal family growing up at Buckingham Palace – including the christening gown George wore last year. Spanning more than 250 years, Royal Childhood brings together objects from the Royal Collection, the Royal Archives and the private collections of members of the Royal Family, including family gifts, clothing and toes, as well as previously unseen photographs and film footage. The exhibit will be open for two months only, closing on September 28, and concluding with a one-time educational session on growing up in a royal palace.

Buckingham Palace was also an important location for George’s celebrations – he reportedly went swimming there the morning of his birthday. Adult supervision provided by The Duchess of Cambridge.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace, via VisitBritain Images

Kensington Palace, via VisitBritain Images

This is an obvious one. Prince George’s home, where he will likely do a large portion of his growing up, and one of the many royal palaces open to visitors (no, you cannot actually go into the Cambridge’s apartment). While Kate has been spotted walking George along in his stroller during his newborn days, you’re not all that likely to catch a glimpse. However, if you happened to be in the hood on July 22, you may have seen his family driving in for his first birthday party – including his great-grandmother, The Queen. One can only imagine what this celebration entailed (I may have alluded to it before he was even born cough*shamelessplug*cough).