Harry’s ‘wild child’ years: Before he was a woke warrior, the Duke smoked, drank and partied through his twenties after smoking joints at Highgrove and taking cocaine at 17 (and even did a stint in rehab)
- Duke of Sussex says he was first offered cocaine at 17 and took it ‘a few times’
- The 38-year-old was famous for being a party animal during his teens and 20s
- Harry became known for raucous nights out in Las Vegas and Croatia
Prince Harry has made several revelations in his memoir Spare – including that he first took cocaine at the age of 17 and also experimented with magic mushrooms.
He revealed being offered the class A drug while at someone’s house during a shooting trip.
While the revelations have shocked some royal fans, it was no secret that, before marrying and becoming a father-of-two, Harry had a reputation for being something of a party animal. He also had an on-and-off smoking habit, which he was reported to have given up when he met Meghan.
With reports of booze-fuelled trips abroad and often pictured at now-closed Kensington club Mahiki, the Duke of Sussex was the ultimate royal party boy.
Prince Harry reveals in his memoir that he first took cocaine when he was just 17 years old – but while he has now settled down as a married father-of-two, stories of his party animal days are not new for royal fans as he was often pictured on boozy nights out in his teens and twenties. Pictured: Prince Harry at Chinawhite club)
The King’s youngest son was often splashed across the front pages of newspapers stumbling out of nightclubs and getting up to mischief.
His antics were of such concern to the Royal Family that in 2002, five years after the death of his mother Princess Diana, a 17-year-old Harry was checked into a rehab clinic in Peckham, Featherstone Lodge.
Harry (pictured enjoying a drink in Belize, 2012) was known for raucous partying and wild nights out both at home and abroad
At the time it was reported King Charles was concerned after his youngest son admitted to smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol at private parties in Highgrove.
After the reports emerged, a spokesman for St James’s Palace told the News of the World: ‘This is a serious matter which was resolved within the family, and is now in the past and closed.’
Although it is thought Harry did not spend a long time at the centre, it was reported he was taken there for the day to give him a ‘short, sharp shock’.
The Mail on Sunday reported at the time Harry had been involved in a police investigation a pub near Highgrove, The Rattlebone Inn. It was thought the young Prince had become involved in a mock fight. He also allegedly swore at a French employee.
The landlady of the pub had told the newspaper Harry was ‘barred’ and ‘everyone knows’ it – however she later told the PA news agency that any and all members of the royal family were welcome on the premises.
However, despite a very short stint at the rehab centre in south London, Harry’s partying habits remained, with his antics often caught on camera over the years as he struggled with the limelight.
The young prince was once taken to a rehab centre in south London for a day to give him a ‘shock’ after the palace became concerned about his partying
Prince Harry was allegedly barred from The Rattlebone Inn neat Highgrove in Wiltshire, after getting into a ‘mock fight’ and swearing at a member of staff
In 2004, he famously got into a ‘scuffle’ with paparrazzi after leaving Pangaea nightclub.
At the time, a spokesman for Prince Harry said: ‘Prince Harry was hit in the face by a camera as photographers crowded around him as he was getting into a car. In pushing the camera away, it’s understood that a photographer’s lip was cut.’
The following year, Harry found himself embroiled in further controversy when he attended a fancy dress party thrown by Olympic showjumper Richard Meade dressed as a Nazi.
The then-20-year-old made headlines around the world after the photos appeared on the front page of The Sun newspaper.
After the party, a source told the Daily Mail: ‘If this was his idea of a joke then it went down like a lead balloon.’
Harry issued a groveling apology shortly after the image was published.
He said: ‘I am very sorry if I have caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise.’
Harry reportedly stayed out partying at the Goring Hotel the night before he was best man at Prince William’s wedding in 2011 (pictured walking into Westminster Abbey with William)
The Duke of Sussex has since gone on to address the incident, both in Spare and in Harry & Meghan, the Sussexes’ Netflix documentary.
In the documentary, he recalled his shame at the error of judgment and revealed how he had met with holocaust survivors and London’s Chief Rabbi in the wake of the controversy.
However, in an extract of Spare, he appears to try and shift blame for the incident onto the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Page Six reported Kate and William ‘howled’ at the idea of him dressing in the Nazi regalia, as Harry alleged they suggested he assume the costume for the ‘Native and Colonial’-themed party.
Calmer years followed for the young Prince as Harry founded his charity Sentebale and carried out projects in Botswana and Lesthotho (with the co-founder of the charity being Prince Seeiso of Lesotho).
While he still enjoyed a good night out, the Duke of Sussex became savvier in going under the radar – and was even reported to have snuck in and out of Chelsea nightclub Embargoes through the fire escape in 2010.
And he continued to party incognito – reportedly enjoying a late night drinking session the night before he played the role of clean-cut best man at Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.
A source told the Daily Mail Harry had been out until 3am the night before William’s nuptials with Chelsy Davy and Pippa Middleton, and left the party venue (The Goring Hotel, where the Middletons were staying) with a giant leap from above which injured his ankle.
The source said: ‘People were surprised to see him there so late before one of the biggest wedding days of the decade, and even more surprised when he jumped off the balcony — and landed with a thump.
‘He had struggled to climb up the railings to get into position, so when he jumped over the edge he did so rather unsteadily and landed awkwardly next to a flower bed.’
They added: ‘People were laughing and joking that his fall could have seen him walking through Westminster Abbey the following morning with a broken leg. At one point it was thought he’d twisted his ankle.’
Later that year, on a booze-filled trip to Hvar in Croatia the following year, Harry was pictured back to his antics.
Then 26, he was pictured in an open air nightclub Veneranda with two models, Ana Simovic, 23, and Svetlana Gavrilovic, 28, during a night of ‘out of control’ partying.
Posing with the pair and his friend Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip, 25, he wore a T-shirt given to him by club bosses concerned that he needed dry clothes.
The Daily Mail reported that Miss Gavrilovic described the Prince as a ‘true gentleman’.
She said: ‘He noticed us and came over to say “Hi”. I was very surprised by how approachable he was.’
Veneranda staff later told how the prince was enjoying a ‘wild’ night, saying he ‘could not be stopped’ from plunging into the out-of-bounds pool while dancing to house music and downing £5 shots of tequila.
After several years of cleaning up his image during his service in Afghanistan and through his philanthropic work, Harry arrived at the club on the Adriatic island at 2a, after a night of drinking vodka, whisky and beer in a local bar.
It was reported that Harry continued to order drinks despite running out of money, before his protection officers settled the bar tab – with staff not initially realising they were serving a royal.
However despite being photographed enjoying himself on the dancefloor, Harry’s boozy Croatia holiday was relatively free of controversy.
But the following year, his lads trip to Las Vegas saw him once again making headlines, when leaked naked photo began to circulate online after a game of ‘strip billiards’.
The game took place during a party at the Wynn’s Encore hotel in the Nevada party city, where there were around 25 people in attendance including 15 ‘party girls’.
After he and several others stripped naked during the game, grainy photos of the Prince emerged after being published by TMZ – which led to Harry being quizzed on the incident by his father and personal protection officers.
A decade on from the controversy, Harry addressed it in a podcast with Hollywood actor Dax Shepherd.
Speaking on Armchair Expert, he said, ‘At least I wasn’t running down the strip, stripping or naked’ as he laughed off the incident when Shepherd said he was ‘a party’.
Addressing the incident once more in his memoir, Harry reveals his father was soft on him when he arrived at Clarence House to face the music, and had been much more understanding than he expected.
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