Once again, the roguish red-head of the Windsor clan finds himself without a long-term love interest in his life, and, to rub salt in the wounds, his lonesome existence has been drawn to the world’s attention afresh just as his brother celebrates the arrival of his second child.
This week, in a rare and unguarded insight into his personal life, Harry admitted that he wishes he had a wife and kids himself.
Speaking to Sky News royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills in New Zealand, where he is on a short tour after completing a military attachment in Australia, the young royal touchingly said: “There come times when you think now is the time to settle down, or now is not, whatever way it is but I don’t think you can force these things, it will happen when it’s going to happen.
“Of course I would love to have kids right now but there’s a process that one has to go through and tours like this are great fun, hopefully I’m doing all right by myself, it would be great to have someone else next to me to share the pressure, but you know, time will come and whatever happens, happens.”
Poor Harry, right?
Well, up to a point. A member of Harry’s set tells the Royalist that to those who know the young Prince, the dilemma doesn’t seem quite so simple.
There is, to put it bluntly, a certain amount of confusion about what exactly it is that Harry wants from a relationship, and what he is prepared to give up to get it.
“Harry’s always been pretty wild, and that wildness is still there,” says one. “He says he’s looking for a wife and to settle down, but you don’t get that impression when you see him out and about.”
The source added: “He seems to have this quite naive idea that he is just going to meet someone and settle down and that will be it.”
The trouble is, as some of these skeptics point out, there seems to be a rather dramatic gulf between what Harry says on the subject of “settling down” and what he does.
While there is undoubtedly some truth to the fact that, as Harry observes, “you can’t force these things,” he equally does not appear to be laying any serious groundwork for a life of stability that would encourage his apparently longed-for 2.4 children scenario to actually happen.
For example, he quit a stable desk job in London with the army – the gig that enabled him to organize a Paralympic-style event for wounded soldiers—and is now without a strong work focus.
He continues to campaign on issues close to his heart – such as veteran care and wildlife – but he lacks the stability of a full time job.
Ironically enough, in his interview with Sky, he said how important he thought it was that he did have a job.
“I and William—both of us—feel as though we need to have a wage as well; to work with normal people, to keep us sane, to keep us ticking along,” he said.
“In the future, from our point of view, if we want to make a big contribution, or a valid contribution and be taken seriously, then we need to work alongside other people.”
The palace told the Daily Beast that Harry is “actively considering other longer term employment opportunities.”
Despite that reassurance, not for the first time, Harry seems to be saying one thing and doing another.
There is an old adage that there are three really important things to a young person’s sanity: your job, your relationship, your house. If two out of the three are stable then you’re probably doing OK.
Harry’s never going to be stuck for digs, but right now Kensington Palace is probably the only stability that Harry has – and even that is becoming less grounding as William and Kate slowly but surely move to the country.
His work life and personal life are most definitely lacking structure.
It’s not exactly been an entirely lonely year for Harry on the romantic front—even without the unwelcome attentions of overly-amorous stalkers—since he split up with his most recent girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, just days after their first public appearance together.
He spent most weekends of last summer at various festivals and parties, apparently calling it his “last summer of mischief.”
To hear Harry’s public protestations, you’d think he’d have been living a life of monkish celibacy in preparation for settling down in a homestead any day now.
And certainly, Harry has calmed down a bit in recent years, but, more importantly, after the Vegas incident, he wised up. The unwritten rules for those wanting to hang with Harry have been tightened up.
First and foremost is a “no phones” rule which has gone a long way to re-establishing the privacy of the not-so-young royal.
Harry certainly has a reputation for falling head over heels in love when he does meet someone he likes, but it was the fact that he was too ‘full-on’ which put off Cressida.
She went from living a quiet life of Sloaney anonymity, sharing a flat with a group of girlfriends in west London, to literally having cameras thrust in her face as she took the tube to work.
Then, in her position as Harry’s girlfriend, it was made clear to her that it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to pursue a career on the stage. So she took a job working behind a desk in a Soho art gallery, and she and Harry went public with their relationship.
Just a few weeks later it was over.
Meanwhile, many of Harry’s peer group are getting married, settling down and having kids.
Harry’s pal Thomas van Straubenzee has married Lady Melissa Percy. Rousterer–in-chief Guy Pelly is blissfully happy following his marriage to American heiress Lizzy Wilson.
One of the few single men left is his stockbroker chum, Adam Bidwell – part of the notorious trip to Vegas when Harry was photographed naked.
Since he split with Cressida last summer, Harry has avoided any serious relationship, friends say, and thus it was all the more surprising that he came out with his declaration he was ready to settle down and have kids in a TV interview.
Many of the girls once cited as potential marrying fodder for Harry have since moved on, building their own lives with new loves.
And while some speculate that he still holds a candle for Cressida and would like to get back together with her, that is probably not going to happen.
Cressida is now more than happy in her new life as an actress and model—which was what she wanted to do all along anyway. Indeed, in an interview with the Times of London she explicitly stated, “I hope the focus is becoming more about the skills I have.”
The reality is that Harry’s going to find it hard to find a woman to share his life until he settles down himself.