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Prince Harry turns 30 with a beer - and a fortune

2014-09-15 19:22

London - Prince Harry celebrated his 30th birthday on Monday with a beer after the end of his multi-sport event for wounded troops, and with a windfall from his late mother Diana's estate.

Harry, fourth in line to the British throne, can put his feet up after organising the four-day international Invictus Games for injured veterans, which was deemed a success.

As the Games closed, 26 000 revellers chanted the prince's name.

Entering his fourth decade, a beer for Harry these days is more likely the reward for a job well done rather than a prelude to the sort of high jinks that had senior royals cringing when he was in his early 20s.

The Times newspaper marked his birthday with 18 pictures tracing his life and times.

Notable moments caught on film included the prince wearing a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party in 2005, stumbling out of a swanky nightclub two years later, and hanging out with girlfriends.

There was also a shot of the army captain's infamous pre-Afghanistan party visit to Las Vegas, which ended in leaked pictures of the prince naked.

Despite trying to carve out a new, more mature role for himself as he embarks on his 30s, there is still an element of royal rebel about Prince Henry of Wales.

Indeed, it is hard to imagine too many members of the House of Windsor appearing on stage at a rock concert in a fleece jacket and jeans, launching a Mexican wave and embracing long-haired rockers as Harry did on Sunday.

The ginger-haired prince is still a bachelor after breaking up with girlfriend Cressida Bonas in April, though the society beauty was spotted at Sunday's concert.

Anticipating the birthday milestone, Harry said: "On the birthday side of things, I'll be chuffed to bits when I'm having a beer with Dave Henson, captain of the Team GB team - we turn 30 at exactly the same time, on Sunday night.

"We're really looking forward to being 30, both feeling quite old about it."

After flying Apache attack helicopters in Afghanistan, Harry now has a desk job organising commemorative army events in London.

'Crowd surf, question mark?' 

The younger son of Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and the late Diana, princess of Wales, Harry will be pushed further down the line of succession next year by the birth of his elder brother Prince William's second child.

Turning 30 means Harry is entitled to the inheritance left to him by his mother, who was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997. It is estimated to be worth £10.7m.

William and Harry also now take joint ownership of Diana's wedding dress and other personal items that have been held in trust by her brother Earl Charles Spencer.

Public relations expert Mark Borkowski told The Guardian newspaper that the challenge for Harry at 30 was "what his personal brand stands for, because there is a clock ticking on it".

Meanwhile fellow PR guru Phil Hall told The Independent newspaper that the military focus was "part of a rebranding of Harry, because people will forgive a hero".

The Invictus Games saw more than 400 wounded warriors from 13 nations do battle across nine sports on the Olympic Park in London, scene of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

At the closing concert, Harry set off a Mexican wave, saying "Always wanted to do that," and read a message from "granny" - Queen Elizabeth II - praising the courage and determination of the competitors.

The prince has suggested the event could be staged again in Britain next year, before moving to the United States in 2016 and Canada the following year.

Ending his speech, Harry held up his notes as the crowd chanted his name, saying: "It says here: crowd surf, question mark?" before shaking his head with a cheeky grin and introducing headliners the Foo Fighters.

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