The Duke of Sussex

The Duke of Sussex is fifth in line to the throne and the younger son of The King and Diana, Princess of Wales. He spent ten years working in the Armed Forces, ending operational duties in 2015. During his service, he conducted two tours of duty to Afghanistan with the British Army. As announced in January 2020, The Duke and Duchess have stepped back as senior members of The Royal Family. They are balancing their time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour their duty to The King, the Commonwealth, and their patronages.

About The Duke of Sussex

Supporting the welfare of servicemen and women

Having served in the British Army for ten years, The Duke of Sussex is passionate about promoting the welfare of those who are serving or who have served their country in the Armed Forces.

He has campaigned to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges facing service personnel making the transition to civilian life. In particular, he has worked to bring wider public attention to the support that wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women need through their entire rehabilitation process. That includes long-term support for each person and their family for both physical and mental injuries.

His work in this area has seen The Duke take part in a number of projects and initiatives, including volunteering with the Army's Personnel Recovery Unit in London, trekking with wounded servicemen and women to the South Pole and in the Arctic, supporting a number of adventure challenges through his Endeavour Fund, and organising the Invictus Games.

The Invictus Games

The Invictus Games is an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veteran.

The Games use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country. The first Invictus Games were held in London in 2014 followed by Orlando, Florida in May 2016, Toronto, Canada in September 2017 and Sydney Australia in October 2018. The next games are scheduled to be held in The Hague in 2021, followed by Dusseldorf, Germany in 2022.

Sport for social development

The Duke believes that every child should be given the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background or situation. Through a programme of public and private visits, he regularly supports projects that enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds to build their skills and confidence.

The Duke of Sussex is a keen sportsman and sees the potential to use sport in the engagement and education of children and young people. Alongside his brother, The Duke of Cambridge and sister-in-law, The Duchess of Cambridge, he has worked with The Royal Foundation to build a model that improves the availability and quality of sports coaching in schools and communities. The "Coach Core" programme helps train young people as professional sports coaches while they are still in education. It also aims to improve the quality and availability of sports coaching and mentoring in inner city schools whilst creating employment at a time when many young people are facing long term unemployment.

Mentoring schemes

Through his work with younger people, many of whom fall out of mainstream education, The Duke believes in the importance of mentoring schemes. He has visited many projects around the world that highlight the positive impact of children's mentoring opportunities. In the UK, he is closely involved with a programme based in Nottingham that works with young people to deter them from becoming involved in youth violence and gang-related activities. The programme trains a group of young people as youth leaders, providing them with formal qualifications and apprenticeships in mentoring and leadership, while at the same time supporting primary school children, who are at most risk of becoming involved in youth violence, by working with their schools and families.

Supporting children living with HIV /AIDS

In 2006, The Duke of Sussex jointly founded Sentebale, a charity to help orphans in Lesotho, southern Africa. Having visited the small African nation after completing his school education, he was moved by the plight of children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic which has devastated the country. Together with his great friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, he set up Sentebale to offer long-term support to community organisations working with children and young people, and in particular to those working with orphans.

Sentebale is a word that people in Lesotho use when they say goodbye to each other: it means 'forget me not'. It was chosen as the name of the new charity because the two Princes see its work as a memorial to the charity work of their own mothers, and because its aim as an organisation is to ensure that Lesotho, and the current plight of its children, is not forgotten.

In 2016, The Duke underwent a public HIV test at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital to raise awareness and promote how easy it is to get tested, as part of his on-going efforts to eradicate stigmas associated with HIV/AIDS.

The Duke of Sussex attended the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, where he spoke of how "HIV remains among the most pressing and urgent of global challenges" and the importance of educating and empowering young people in the fight against the virus.

African conservation

Having visited southern Africa a number of times, The Duke has taken a deep personal interest in frontline conservation projects that work to protect Africa's natural heritage and support both wildlife and local communities. On leaving the Army in 2015, he spent three months working on number of such projects in Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Botswana.

During that time he worked closely with conservation experts to learn about environmental education programmes and also spent time with a team of rangers in Kruger National Park, South

Africa, who are the first to respond to reports of poaching attacks on Elephant and Rhino. The Duke is President of African Parks and Patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana.

Heads Together

In 2017 The Duke of Sussex spearheaded the Heads Together mental health campaign with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, leading a coalition of eight mental health charity partners to change the national conversation on mental health. The campaign aimed to build on existing progress nationwide in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health problems.

The team of charities covered a wide range of mental health issues that are close to their passions. They were: Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families; Best Beginnings; CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably; Contact (a military mental health coalition); Mind; Place2Be; The Mix; YoungMinds. Heads Together was privileged to be the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year giving the campaign a positive platform to raise funds for the charity partners and to start millions of conversations about mental wellbeing.

Biography

Biography

The Duke of Sussex is the younger son of The King and Diana, Princess of Wales.

He was given the title The Duke of Sussex by the late Queen Elizabeth II on the day he married Ms. Meghan Markle in May 2018. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have two children, Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex. Their official residence is Frogmore Cottage but as announced in January 2020, The Duke and Duchess will spend the majority of time in North America following their decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family.

Early Life

He was born at 4.20pm on 15 September 1984 at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington in central London, weighing 6lb 14oz. He is the younger brother to Prince William. On 21 December 1984, Prince Henry Charles Albert David was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Education

The Duke began his education at Mrs Mynors Nursery School in west London aged 3. In September 1989, he joined his brother Prince William at the pre-prep Wetherby School, also in west London, until he joined Ludgrove School in Berkshire in 1992. He went on to Eton College from September 1998 where he took his GCSEs and A Levels. During his time at Eton, The Duke was House Captain of Games and represented the school at rugby, cricket and polo, and was a member of the Combined Cadet Force. He left Eton in 2003 with A Level results that qualified him to fulfil his ambition to join the Army. But before doing so, The Duke spent a year travelling to Australia, Argentina and Africa, where he made a documentary about the plight of orphans in Lesotho.

Military career

The Duke of Sussex began his military career as an Officer Cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005 and after successfully completing his training course, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals).

He went on to serve with the British Armed Forces for ten years, where he undertook two operational tours of Afghanistan, the first between 2007 and 2008 as a Forward Air Controller. Shortly after returning to the UK The Duke was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry.

The Duke of Sussex began training as an Army Air Corps Pilot in 2009. Following the completion of his Army Pilot's Course he was selected to train as an Apache Pilot and began the 18-month Apache training course, during which he was awarded the prize for best Co-Pilot Gunner. He became a fully operational Apache Attack Helicopter Pilot in February 2012. At the end of 2012, he undertook his second tour of duty to Afghanistan, this time as an Apache Pilot, returning at the beginning of 2013. In July 2013, he qualified as Apache Aircraft Commander.

In early 2014 The Duke completed his attachment to the Army Air Corps and transferred to a Staff Officer role in HQ London District, where he helped organise the inaugural Invictus Games in London – an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

In March 2015, Kensington Palace announced that after a fulfilling military career, The Duke would leave the Armed Forces holding the rank of Captain. During his final weeks, he spent time seconded to the Australian Defence Force attached to various units in Darwin, Perth and Sydney to gain an appreciation of the Australian Army's domestic operating environment and capabilities.

As he left operational service in June 2015, The Duke of Sussex said: 'The experiences I have had over the last 10 years will stay with me for the rest of my life. For that I will always be hugely grateful.'

The Duke remains closely connected with the Armed Forces through his role as Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation. He is passionate about promoting the welfare of those who are serving or who have served their country in the Armed Forces.

Duties

The Duke is Patron of a number of organisations and spends the majority of his charitable work focusing on the welfare of servicemen and women, championing developmental opportunities for hard to reach children and African conservation. 

He co-founded the charity Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in memory of their mothers (Sentebale means ‘Forget me not’) to support orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho.

In 2014, The Duke of Sussex created and helped organise the first Invictus Games in London. The Games are an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. They use the power of sport to inspire recover, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country. The inaugural Invictus Games held in London saw over 400 competitors from 13 nations compete in nine adaptive sports, and has since been hosted in the US, Canada and Australia. The Netherlands and Germany will host the next two Invictus Games. The Duke is Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation.

Titles

The Duke of Sussex's official titles are The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. He was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) by the late Queen Elizabeth II  in June 2015.

Supporting the Monarch

Following the announcement that The Duke and Duchess will be stepping back as senior members of The Royal Family, their roles will continue to reflect their sense of duty and allegiance to the Monarch, as they transition into the new working model. The Duke attaches great importance to his role in the Royal Family's public service to the UK and around the Commonwealth. He has been inspired by the example of duty and leadership of his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II and his father, The King.

He worked in support of Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family through his programme of charitable work, and public duties, including carrying out engagements in the UK and official tours overseas. Throughout his career, The Duke has combined his Royal and charitable duties alongside his public service work, formerly serving in the Armed Forces for 10 years.

The Duke undertook a number of Royal duties in support of, and at times on behalf of, Queen Elizabeth II. He represented Her Majesty at events in the UK and abroad, as well as attending state and ceremonial occasions alongside other members of the Royal Family. These include helping welcome a visiting Head of State to the UK, celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday at Trooping the Colour and joining other Members of The Royal Family at Remembrance events. The Duke has played a lead role in moments of national Remembrance, by laying a wreath at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in Central London, and also attending significant services across the UK, Europe, Realms and the Commonwealth. In the summer of 2016, The Duke joined other members of the Royal Family at commemorative events in France to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Overseas tours

The Duke carried out a number of overseas visits, including to Realm and Commonwealth nations on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. He also represented the UK's interests overseas at the request of the Government.

His official duties have seen him visit all seven continents.

Queen's Young Leaders

The Duke has a particular interest in supporting young people throughout the Commonwealth in achieving their full potential. He has worked in support of The Queen's Young Leaders, meeting some of the future leaders from across the globe to draw attention to their work in the UK and overseas. He has said that young people hold the answers to some of the most pressing issues facing the world today, and only by encouraging, supporting, and listening to them will we succeed.

In 2016 and again in 2017, he attended the gathering of The Queen's Young Leaders at Buckingham Palace with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. The Duke is also President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

National sporting events

A keen sportsman, The Duke regularly represented the Royal Family at major national sporting events, to reflect the nation's support.

Alongside The Prince and Princess of Wales (then The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), Prince Harry, was an Official Ambassadors for Team GB and Paralympic GB in the lead up to, and during, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. 

Their Royal Highnesses joined forces again in 2014 to showcase their support at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire. And due to his involvement with the Rugby Football Union, he was asked to be President of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

At the end of Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday year, in 2016, Her Majesty stepped down as Patron from a number of national organisations – The Duke was pleased to take on patronage of the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League, having been Vice Patron of the Union since 2010. The Duke regularly attended England matches at Twickenham and supports the work of the RFU and its charities. 

Special military relationships

The Duke was affiliated to military regiments from all three branches of the British Armed Forces. He served with the British Army for ten years, before leaving operational service holding the rank of Captain.

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