If Summer 2013 was The Summer of George, this year was definitely The Year of Harry. It was a big year for Prince Harry – his milestone 30th birthday, leaving active post in the army for a desk job, seeing his dream of the Invictus Games come to life and wooing the world with his overseas visits. Harry was on fire this year – and I’m not just talking about his red hair.
The end of the year always brings the pressure for a “best of” post, which is always a struggle when it comes to Prince Harry, we all know I could go on about this topic for a lifetime, but this year it is even more difficult than ever. Prince Harry really came into his own this year and proven (not that he really needed to, IMO), that he is an integral part of the royal family. In my eyes, he is without a doubt the most relatable member of the firm and that really shown through in 2014.
Even though I don’t think I could really pick the best moments of this year if someone threatened me that I couldn’t eat pizza for the rest of my life, I’m going to try. I’m going on feeling here… those small moments that resulted in an instantaneous smile.
Cuddling babies in Chile
Harry’s visit to South America this summer may not have garnered the most press coverage, but it was one of the best visits he has undertaken. A big part of that was his interaction with so many children. It was where my #HarryWithKids movement was born. The most adorable moment of all came when Clarence House released a photo of Harry cuddling a little girl who had just awoken from a nap. If that didn’t melt your heart, you must not have one. Emily Andrews, royal reporter for The Sun, was on the tour and explained it perfectly to KKHO a few months ago, saying “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.”
Courtesy of Emily Andrews, The Sun, @byemilyandrews
The Invictus Games
ICYMI: Prince Harry welcomed his first child this year. First name Invictus, middle name Games. After attending the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado, Harry returned home determined to bring the Olympic-style event for wounded veterans to Britain. After leaving his active posting with the army earlier this year, in September, just in time for his thirtieth birthday, Harry blew the world away with the Invictus Games. We always knew that Captain Wales was passionate about the armed forces and veterans, but the Invictus Games shown an entirely new light on that. I don’t think we have ever seen Harry more in his element. Just recently, Prince Charles said that “I’m incredibly proud of what my youngest son achieved at the Invictus Games. I hope he hears that.“
Private Visit to Lesotho
Just this month, while his brother and sister-in-law drew crowds in New York City, Prince Harry made a private visit to Lesotho for his charity, Sentebale. So, what was different about this visit from all the rest we’ve seen Harry take over the years? Harry got behind the camera, alongside Chris Jackson of Getty Images, to show the world his Lesotho. #HarryWithKids has reached an entirely new level. If it were actually possible for a human heart to melt, I would be donezo.
Swinging at the Olympic Park
Get your mind out of the Hazza gutter! Harry got on an actual swing, at a playground, for the unveiling of a new play area at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I know this wouldn’t make most people’s top list for the year, but I die laughing at the sight of this. Classic Harry. Kid at heart. Its not often you see a guy in a suit climbing on a jungle gym.
Like I said, asking me to narrow down the year in Harry is just too monumental of a task, but I think the above really point to the man that Harry is, the man that the world got to see a little better this year. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings for this kick-ass royal. (Please, a photo with Prince George, pretty, pretty please).