What Prince Louis and Harry Have in Common and What it Means for the Future

Prince Louis made headlines as the show-stealing toddler tearaway whose "cheeky" antics during the Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations won over the press and social media.

Though currently the spotlight may be firmly fixed on the little prince, his light-hearted naughtiness and overall position within the royal family bear striking resemblance to another member—the prince's Uncle Harry.

Here, Newsweek looks at the similarities shared between the two royal princes, and just how these parallels might affect the future of the younger.

Prince Louis Prince Harry Naughty Royals
Prince Louis and Prince Harry share many similarities from being the wild child of their families to sharing a fate of moving further away from the crown as time goes on. Louis (L) photographed June 5, 2022. Harry (R) photographed Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/ Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Younger Son of the Heir to the Throne

When Prince Harry was born he was third in line to the British throne, the closest he would ever be and placing him in a position of seniority within the royal family which would see him featured and celebrated on large state occasions accordingly.

Much like his uncle, Prince Louis was born the younger son of an heir to the throne, and while he may only have been born fifth in line, he finds himself included with his siblings Prince George, 8, and Princess Charlotte, 7, at the center of royal attention.

At the jubilee national service of thanksgiving, their first public event in Britain since stepping-down as full-time working members of the royal family in 2020 (and also since the broadcast of their interview with Oprah Winfrey), much was written in the press and online about the demotion of Harry and Meghan in terms of their allocated seats at St Paul's Cathedral.

Whereas in 2020 for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, Harry and Meghan were seated in a row behind the queen, Charles, and William and Kate, the Sussexes found themselves in the second row of the congregation for the thanksgiving service, separated from the senior royals by an aisle.

This has been reported and speculated upon as a punishment, or a direct result of the Sussexes breakdown in relations with the royal family.

Though this may in some ways have hastened the transition from senior role to minor royal, Harry has been on a path to this position since birth.

Prince Harry Prince Louis Line of Succession
Both Prince Harry and Prince Louis were born the younger sons of future kings. Harry and Prince Charles (L) photographed April 4, 2019. And William and Louis (R) photographed June 5, 2022. John Phillips/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

He remained third in line to the throne until the birth of George, a future king, then he was moved down to fourth with the birth of Charlotte and eventually just before his marriage to Meghan, Harry saw his position in the line of succession reduce to sixth place upon the birth of Louis.

Harry's position is not unique—it has also been the fate of the queen's children, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward who, though born in the senior ranks, have seen their positions reduced with the birth of new royal heirs.

This too will be the ultimate fate of Louis, who though enjoys the spotlight today will see his seniority within the royal family diminish with the births of the children of siblings George and Charlotte.

Cheeky vs. Naughty

Aside from their mirrored positions within the line of succession, Louis and Harry share another special similarity—they are deemed the "wild child" of their family. However, as has proven to be the case with Harry, his loveable naughtiness has worn thin at times with the public.

Harry in the 1980s was often photographed sticking his tongue out at photographers and causing general mischief at royal events, much like Louis' raucous behavior in the royal box at the Platinum Jubilee pageant.

For Harry he had a number one champion in his mother, Princess Diana, who was said to be encouraging of his antics so long as he was discreet.

In the documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy commemorating the 20th anniversary of her death in a Paris car crash in 1997, Harry told viewers: "Our mother was a total kid, through and through...One of her mottos to me was 'you can be as naughty as you want, just don't get caught.'"

In his book William at 40: The Making of a Modern Monarch, Robert Jobson recounts a story told to him by royal protection officer Ken Wharfe who worked closely with Diana, William and Harry in the 1980s and 1990s.

Jobson writes: "The brothers, still just eight and six, were having an argument on the back seat when Harry suddenly burst out: 'You'll be King. I won't—so I can do what I want!'"

Wharf later recalled, "The princess and I just looked at each other, a little shocked by what he had said."

Prince Harry Prince Louis Naughtiness
Both Prince Harry and Prince Louis have become known for their light-hearted naughtiness on royal events. Harry and Princess Diana (L) photographed August 8, 1987. And Louis with Kate Middleton, June 5, 2022. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

"Trapped"

Despite the happy go lucky attitude that Harry presented throughout the early 2000s to late 2010s, he has since spoken about the downsides to his royal life and his position within the wider royal family.

In a March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey given after he stepped away from royal life with wife Meghan citing an intention to pursue financial independence, Harry describe himself as the son of the future king as "trapped."

"I myself was trapped," he said, "I didn't see a way out."

Later adding that he felt: "Trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are. My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don't get to leave."

Though no royal has quite voiced their position in so strong a terms, the position can be interpreted as applying to royal siblings throughout the ages, cast in the shadow of the future monarch. Princess Margaret experienced this in the 1950s when she was unable to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend because he was divorced, and she was sister to the head of the church of England.

The queen's sons Andrew and Edward too have at times paid a price for their close proximity but ultimate distance from the crown.

So where does this leave Prince Louis?

Given the rise of social media and in many ways the boundaries broken by Harry, it is possible he will be able to learn from the mistakes of those that came before to avoid similar public retribution.

As the queen approaches her 100th year and is noticeably reducing her workload it is possible that there may be a position for Louis that was not open to Margaret, Andrew, Edward and Harry. A dedicated working role in a slimmed down modern monarchy.

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