Today, on his 36th birthday, Prince Harry is likely reflecting on his mother’s life and legacy even more than usual. He is now the same age Princess Diana was when she died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, when Harry was just 12 years old. When he turned 18, Harry vowed to continue Diana’s charity work, making a public pledge “to carry on the things that she didn’t quite finish.” Now living in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Meghan and one-year-old son Archie, Harry’s royal life is very different, but that pledge remains as important to him now as it was 18 years ago.
“I would call it destiny,” said Omid Scobie, coauthor of the recent Finding Freedom. “This is a man who said he wanted to continue his mother’s work. We’ve long mourned Diana’s place on the humanitarian landscape, and here we have Harry, who embodies her values and is willing to dedicate his life to them. He’s at an age now where he’s taken that baton and is able to run with it in a way that he would never have been able to do within the House of Windsor. That’s very powerful and exciting.”
Having found their “forever home” in California and signed a lucrative deal with Netflix, Harry and Meghan have paid off the renovation costs of their Windsor home and are looking with excitement toward building their new production company and charitable organization, Archewell. Even as the pandemic stalls some of their new ventures, and devastating forest fires cast clouds of ash over the skies of Santa Barbara, Harry is said to be “happier than ever.”
“Here is a man who’s very content and happy with his marriage, his family life, and thriving within his professional life,” Scobie said. “This is the moment he can sit back and think, ‘I made it.’ He has found his happiness.”