Harry - from wild child to popular prince

The world has watched Prince Harry through highs and lows, including the death of his mother Diana

The world has got to know Britain's Prince Harry through decades of media scrutiny that started with his mother's death when he was still a child, through his wild partying years, and more recently through his charity work and his high-profile engagement to US actress Meghan Markle.

Many British people see Harry, 33, who is sixth in line to the throne, as a down-to-earth royal and admire him for the causes he champions.

He was born on September 15, 1984, to Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and Princess Diana.

He was just 12 years old when Diana died in a car accident in 1997 in Paris. He revealed in 2016 that he struggled to come to terms with her death, finally seeking counselling after a long period of turmoil.

Designing Markle's engagement ring with two diamonds from Diana was "to make sure she is with us on this crazy journey together," Harry told the BBC in November.

Diana would have been "over the moon, jumping up and down" at news of his engagement to Markle, Harry said.

Harry and Markle have already joined his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate in spearheading a campaign to break the taboo over discussing mental health.

In 2014, Harry created the first Invictus Games in London, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

He campaigns for veterans' welfare, mentors youth, co-founded the charity Sentebale ("Forget Me Not") for orphans in Lesotho, and has worked on wildlife conservation projects.

Harry began his own military career as an officer cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005. He spent 10 years in the armed forces, conducting two tours of duty to Afghanistan and training to be an Apache helicopter pilot.

His 2008 Afghan assignment abruptly ended when news of his secret deployment was leaked. Since he ended his active military service in 2015, he has focused on charity work and royal engagements.

During his long bachelorhood, there were times when Harry - whose official title is His Royal Highness, Prince Henry of Wales - acted anything but royal.

In 2012, nude photographs of him frolicking with girls in a Las Vegas hotel splashed across the popular tabloid The Sun.

Harry was also embarrassed by a story about him wearing a Nazi outfit to a costume ball, and by many tabloid accounts of alleged drinking binges and womanising.

After a string of reported romances, Harry finally announced his engagement to Markle in November.

The couple said they were "set up" by a mutual friend in their first meeting in July 2016.

Harry told the BBC he had not heard of Markle or seen her cable television drama, "Suits," before they met.

"I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her," he said.