Prince Harry’s childhood heartbreak as he was mocked at school for habit he learned from Prince Charles

Prince Harry’s habit is something his nephew Prince George has carried on in recent months

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the "Our Planet" global premiere the at the Natural History Museum
(Image credit: Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Prince Harry was mocked during his time at school for a habit he picked up from Prince Charles—and he’s not the only royal to do it. 


Prince Harry's relationship with Prince Charles has been under intense scrutiny ever since the Sussexes’ shocking Oprah Winfrey interview. It was here that Prince Harry, who is sixth in the royal line of succession, claimed his father stopped answering his calls after he and Meghan Markle chose to “step back” as senior royals. In a subsequent podcast interview, he also spoke about “genetic pain and suffering” and Prince Charles was questioned over Prince Harry’s comments

However, despite the “rift” rumors, it seems the Prince of Wales taught Harry valuable life habits in childhood and continues to inspire him to this day. As reported by The Mirror, Prince Harry told the documentary, Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, about how Charles impressed upon him the importance of looking after the environment.  

Both Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William are prominent advocates for sustainability and it seems Harry picked up one simple habit from his father that led to him being mocked at school. 

Prince Charles With Prince Harry At Polvier, By The River Dee, Balmoral Castle Estate

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Duke of Sussex explained to viewers, "I used to get taken the mickey out of at school for just picking up rubbish. I don't go consciously looking for it. When you go for walks anywhere, if you see something, it stands out, you pick it up." 

He added, "It's like I've literally done this because I'm programmed to do it, because my father did it. Actually, we should all be doing it."

The idea of a young Prince Harry’s selfless attempts to look after the environment being made fun of at school is heartbreaking. Though whilst it might’ve been mocked by his classmates, it seems this habit has also been picked up by Harry’s nephew.

Prince William has recently said Prince George is “annoyed” when people litter, sharing that his son is learning more about the environment as he grows up, just like he and Harry did. 

The Duke of Cambridge told BBC Newscast, “So George at school recently has been doing litter picking and I didn't realize but talking to him the other day he was already showing that he was getting a bit confused and a bit sort of annoyed by the fact they went out litter picking one day and then the very next day they did the same route, same time and pretty much all the same litter they picked up back again.

"And I think that for him he was trying to understand how and where it all came from. He couldn't understand, he's like, 'well, we cleaned this. Why has it not gone away?’” 

Given Prince Harry’s past remarks, he likely continues his childhood habit if he sees litter near his Santa Barbara mansion, just like George has been doing in the UK.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend Global Citizen Live, New York on September 25, 2021

(Image credit: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Meghan and Prince Harry were named as environmental role models for only having two children and the couple continues to urge people to be more sustainable wherever possible.  

As a result, it could be seen that despite the speculation about distance between father and son Prince Charles continues to inspire Prince Harry’s environmental efforts to this day.  

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!