Prince Harry will be on a "rollercoaster of emotions" today following the recent death anniversaries of Princess Diana and the Queen, says a royal expert.
The Duke of Sussex is celebrating his 39th birthday today (Friday, September 15) and will spend the day at the Invictus Games in Germany with wife Meghan Markle by his side.
But Harry's birthday is rarely a simple time, says royal commentator Eric Schiffer, who observed the big day comes just over two weeks after the 26th anniversary of his mother's death, and a week after the first anniversary of the Queen's passing.
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And it's not just family tragedy that will give the Prince pause for thought today, says Schiffer – a difficult year in Harry's career will make him glad his brand has "survived", too.
"Prince Harry is deeply in touch with his feelings, and his birthday, which follows the anniversaries of Princess Diana and grandmother, the Queen, catapults Harry onto a rollercoaster of emotions from deep sadness to the joys of celebrating his birthday and surviving his near fatal brand catastrophe of the last year," Schiffer told the Daily Star.
The anniversary of the People's Princess' death fell on August 31, after she was tragically killed in a car crash in 1997.
Meanwhile, Her Majesty died peacefully at Balmoral, Scotland, last year at the age of 96, with King Charles and Queen Camilla – then the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall – and Princess Anne by her side.
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Harry has spoken out on numerous occasions about how the tragedies have impacted him, in particular the death of his mother, when he was just 12.
"I had that moment in my life where I didn’t know about it, but because of the trauma of losing my mum when I was 12, for all those years, I had no emotion," the Prince said in his new Netflix documentary, Heart of Invictus.
"I was unable to cry, I was unable to feel."
While the Duke of Sussex has had a year of highs, such as the release of his memoir, Spare, and his first two docuseries, it has also been a period of devastating career lows.
He and Meghan announced the end of their contract with streaming giant Spotify after their brand, Archewell, only managed to put out one podcast series in two and a half years.
The couple was also hounded by split rumours and evicted from their royal residence, Frogmore Cottage, after Harry's public lambasting of his estranged relatives proved unpopular with senior members of the Firm – including dad Charles.
And the couple's media offerings weren't always well-received by the public, either, as they saw their popularity ratings slump earlier in the year.
A poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton for Newsweek back in February 19 revealed Harry was disliked by 42% of Americans, compared to just 32% who said they liked him, giving him a 'net approval rating of -10.
It was a similar story for former suits star Meghan, who was liked by 27% of Americans but disliked by 44%, giving her a net rating -17.
The pair were even mocked on a brutal episode of South Park, The Worldwide Privacy Tour, which saw an eerily familiar-looking Prince and Princess of Canada travel the world publicly protesting their right to privacy.
And despite the couple's recent efforts to move away from royal-bashing in the public sphere, Schiffer reckons it may be too little, too late.
"Harry crushed his credibility and torched brand trust with his shameless, hypocritical campaign to unleash his chamber of secrets against the Royal Family, playing the professional victim for cold cash yet demanding public privacy for himself and Meghan," he added.
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