January 2005. British tabloids open in full color with photographs of Prince Henry of England, 20, disguised as a Nazi. With a swastika on his arm, the youngest son of Charles of England, heir to the country’s throne, would go to a costume party. The scandal was served. Enrique had to make a public apology through a statement. Those photos still haunt him and, for some, define him as a headless party animal.
January 2020. 15 years have passed. Enrique is a man of 35, married, with a son, and is no longer third in the line of succession, but sixth, with the birth of his three nephews, the children of his brother William of England. He has certain functions in the royal house, but away from the main focus, he leads a relatively quiet life. However, the scandal jumps again. The youngest of Lady Di’s children decides to make a drastic decision and break with her past, her present and her future, to leave the country and leave the Windsors. Those old photographs of the Nazi Henry went from scandal to little more than anecdote.
Probably not even Henry of England himself foresaw that his 2020 would be like this. This September 15, when he turns 36, the celebrations will not take place in today’s surprisingly hot London, but in even sunnier California. He has moved there with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their son Archie. There he has decided to start a new stage as a family.
When he turns 36, Enrique’s life is very different from that of 35. No speeches or institutional events in the shadow of his grandmother and company. The prince – even if he has left, he will always retain that title, by birth, as well as that of Duke of Sussex, a gift from his grandmother for his wedding, but not that of Royal Highness – lives his days in a large Californian mansion, yes, as scrutinized as the previous ones in which she has lived. Only this time he has stood up and has decided to sue the photographers who chase and monitor him day and night.
Furthermore, at 36, Enrique has finally signed a contract. And nothing less than with Netflix. At the beginning of September it became known that the content platform has offered him and Markle a hefty contract to create content, be it shows or documentaries, that can even put them in front of the cameras. “Our intention is to create content that informs but also gives hope. As first-time parents, doing aspirational family programs is very important to us, ”they said in a statement. For their part, on Netflix they were “proud and excited,” they said.
That contract with Netflix gives the couple a goal, to have something to do beyond their charitable acts, but it also gives them the power to manage their own money, which will also be very necessary at this stage. Throughout his previous life, Enrique has been supported by his grandmother, Elizabeth II, by his father, Carlos, and by British taxpayers. Now, for better or for worse, he will have to take the chestnuts out of the fire, learn to earn and spend.
Meanwhile, help will not be lacking. The young man reached a pact with his father by which the heir to the throne would cover certain expenses, such as his very expensive security, in exchange for him complying with the reform of Frogmore House, the house of Windsor (located an hour from London on the grounds of that castle, the queen’s favorite) that the couple have hardly used. Like his father, Enrique has complied and has already paid off his debt.
Nor did Enrique imagine that this birthday would be celebrated so far from his family, physically and emotionally. He has gone from being his brother’s confidant and best friend, “the only person in the world with whom he could really talk about anything”, as he himself has said, to spending time without talking. They have been fixed, after the little boy called Guillermo after months of silence, as revealed in his biography, published a few weeks ago. Today, the royal family corresponds. The official accounts of the Queen, Prince Charles and William and Kate congratulate him. Institutional and somewhat cold messages, similar to those used in August to congratulate Markle on her day. And all of them with old photographs.