Prince Harry is now the proud father of newborn Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and, alongside Meghan Markle, is settling down to family life at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. However, in his younger days the Duke of Sussex earned the nickname of the Party Prince, and got himself into a number of scrapes over his hard-partying lifestyle. Harry was “furious” with his father Prince Charles over one particular incident, when in 2002 it was revealed that the underage Harry had been drinking in the village pub near Highgrove, and had also been smoking marijuana.
It was widely reported at the time that the Prince of Wales had stepped in and taken 16-year-old Harry to visit a drug rehabilitation centre in South London, to give his son a “short sharp shock”.
However royal author Penny Junor, in her 2017 biography “The Duchess”, claims that the rehab trip was fabricated by Prince Charles’ office to make him “look good”.
Ms Junor writes: “Harry had in fact once visited a rehab centre, but not with his father – and not because his father was worried about him.
“Charles had no idea what either of his sons got up to, and Harry bitterly resented being made to look bad so his father could look good.
“Worse, he was furious that the blame for leading him astray should have fallen on Guy Pelly, a good friend of both princes, whose reputations was trashed.”
The fallout form the underage drinking scandal also prompted Harry and his older birth Prince William’s first “serious rift”.
Royal biographer Katie Nicholl in her 2010 book “William and Harry”, writes: “It was the catalyst for the first serious rift between William and Harry, who resented the fact that he had been blamed for everything while William got away scot-free.”
She explains that William had “hardly been a model of decorum” at Highgrove, in the party basement they dubbed “Club H” , and during lock-ins at the nearby Rattlebone Inn.
She reports how a former aide said: “William felt guilty that his brother had taken all the blame while he had come out as Mr Goody Two Shoes. For the first time their relationship really suffered and they barely spoke.
“In the end he forgave William because it wasn’t really William’s fault, but it took some time. Harry was reeling for a while.”
Ms Nicholl also reports that the Queen “despaired” over her grandson’s behaviour.
She writes: “Fortunately Harry escaped an official police warning but the incident sent shockwaves through the Royal Family.
“According to one aide, the Queen and Prince Philip were ‘in despair’ when they were informed.”
However, in Ms Nicholl’s opinion: “Harry was behaving like any other teenager and, given the tragedy of his childhood, it was quite remarkable that he had not come unhinged earlier.”