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Prince Harry the 'feminist' father: The royal's sweetest dad moments as he turns 36

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent

Watch: The Duke of Sussex celebrates his 36th birthday following an eventful year that has transformed his life

As Prince Harry turns 36, he can reflect on a turbulent year but also look forward to an exciting time ahead.

In the last 12 months he has completely changed his path – moving from life as a senior royal to a documentary producer and signing a huge deal with Netflix.

But one job that’s clearly important to the Duke of Sussex is that of being a father, and it is one his wife Meghan Markle praises him for.

She recently praised the “beautiful feminist example” Harry is setting to their son Archie.

As he marks his birthday, Yahoo UK looks back at the sweetest moments this nurturing dad has had so far.

When he announced Archie’s arrival

A delighted Harry announcing the birth of his son on 6 May 2019. (AFP)
A delighted Harry announcing the birth of his son on 6 May 2019. (AFP)

Harry beamed as he announced the arrival of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on 6 May 2019.

He said: “I haven't been at many births. This is definitely my first birth. It was amazing, absolutely incredible, and, as I said, I'm so incredibly proud of my wife.

"As every father and parent will ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to-die-for, so I'm just over the moon.

He added: “It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.

"How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension.”

Archie’s first photocall

Harry holding Archie as he and wife Meghan attend a photocall in May 2019. (AFP)
Harry holding Archie as he and wife Meghan attend a photocall in May 2019. (AFP)

Harry and Meghan chose to have a small photo opportunity with their new baby a few days after he was born, instead of the hospital steps media scrum William and Kate usually have to contend with.

Often during the first appearance of a royal baby it is the new mother who is seen holding the newborn - and Kate held George, Charlotte and Louis on the Lindo Wing steps (though William also held George and has taken all of his babies to the car in their seats).

But Harry held Archie as the waiting journalists asked the new parents how they were getting on.

He said: “It's only been two and a half days, three days, but we're just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy.”

All eyes on Archie in South Africa

Harry proved himself a doting dad in an engagement with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa. (WireImage)
Harry proved himself a doting dad in an engagement with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa. (WireImage)

Read more: Was Archie's birth the clearest signal Harry and Meghan would quit as senior royals?

Harry and Meghan took Archie on their royal tour of South Africa, in September and October 2019, but their baby boy was mostly kept out of sight as they carried out engagements.

However they did take him to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu, where Harry was enraptured by his son.

Meghan kept hold of Archie but dad Harry couldn’t help but play with the little one’s feet.

Any time he looked at baby clothes

Prince Harry was presented with an Invictus Games baby grow for his newborn son Archie at the launch on 9 May 2019. (WireImage)
Prince Harry was presented with an Invictus Games baby grow for his newborn son Archie at the launch on 9 May 2019. (WireImage)
Harry and Meghan were given a gift for their son Archie at the annual WellChild Awards in London in October 2019. (AFP)
Harry and Meghan were given a gift for their son Archie at the annual WellChild Awards in London in October 2019. (AFP)

Just days after Archie was born, Harry was back to work as he went to The Hague, Netherlands, to launch the Invictus Games.

He was given a babygrow with the Invictus Games logo and was clearly thrilled by the thoughtful gift.

A few months later, he could be seen picking up a babygro as he and Meghan attended the WellChild awards in London, a charity he has been passionate about for years.

Harry choked up at that event, as he gave a speech about attending the year before – and knowing Meghan was pregnant.

Watch: Who is Prince Harry?

He said: “I remember squeezing Meghan’s hand so tight during the awards, both of us thinking what it would be like to be parents one day.

“And more so, what it would be like to do everything we could to protect and help our child should they be born with immediate challenges or become unwell over time.”

“And now, as parents, being here and speaking to all of you pulls at my heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own.’

Checking in after a polo match

Harry checks in on Meghan and Archie after the polo match in Wokingham, in July 2019. (Getty Images)
Harry checks in on Meghan and Archie after the polo match in Wokingham, in July 2019. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry was spotted checking newborn Archie was OK after playing a polo match in July last year.

He and his brother William often play in the annual King Power Royal Charity polo match, and it’s a family affair, with Kate bringing all the Cambridge children too.

Meghan brought Archie along to watch the match and a slightly sweaty Harry made sure to check in with both of them at the end of the polo.

When he marked Father’s Day

Read more: How Archie's LA life with Harry and Meghan will be different to his other royal cousins

His first Father’s Day was a special day for Prince Harry and he marked it with a beautiful post on Instagram.

In a sepia-toned picture, baby Archie clung on to dad Harry’s finger.

It showed he was comfortable being a hands-on dad and judging by what Meghan has revealed since, he still feels the same.

When he shared a chilly Christmas walk

With the Sussexes over in Vancouver Island for Thanksgiving and Christmas, there were not so many opportunities to see father and son.

But the couple delighted royal fans when they included a sweet picture of Harry and Archie wrapped up in their hats and coats, on a walk around the island.

When he filmed Meghan reading to Archie

To mark Archie’s birthday, the couple released a video of Meghan reading one of her son’s favourite books, Duck! Rabbit! to the little one.

While Archie’s antics were much-loved by royal fans, people also loved hearing Harry behind the camera as he joined in with quacking noises and cheered when they finished the book.

It also sounded like Archie was getting close to saying ‘Dada’.