There was to be no birthday party today for Prince Harry as he turned 25, but there was a heck of a gift — a princely inheritance estimated to be worth $15 million.
The legacy is from the estate of his late mother, Princess Diana, who divided her fortune equally between her two sons — Harry and his elder brother, Prince William — before her tragic death in 1997. Lady Di’s will provided that they would be able to have total access to the interest on the money at age 25, and to the principal when they turn 30 — so there’s still something more for Prince Harry to look forward to when he becomes a thirtysomething.
If the prince were just to withdraw the annual interest, according to reports, he could clear $500,000 a year.
He’s in the army now
The third in line to the British throne won’t be toasting his birthday fortune, at least not immediately. A second lieutenant in the British army, the prince is engaged in helicopter training with his army unit, a job that pays him about $44,000 a year. Pub crawls — even to celebrate a royal birthday — aren’t on the agenda.
That’s perhaps to the dismay of the British tabloids, which have had quite a lot of prurient fun over the years in trumpeting Harry’s peccadilloes, whether they be getting drunk in public, smoking marijuana, or dressing for a costume party in a Nazi uniform, as he did last January.
But leading up to his milestone birthday, Harry has shown the notorious British media his more mature side — the same one that he put on display last May when he visited New York City. During that trip, Harry paid a respectful visit to the site of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, and helped raise $400,000 for African charities through a polo match.
According to media reports, during his birthday interviews Harry apologized for the Nazi uniform he wore, calling it “a very stupid thing to do.” He also seems to have generated support by vowing to be a “caring prince” — while not entirely swearing off the occasional cigarette and pint.