Prince Harry is never seen without his characteristic beaded bracelets — and there’s a good reason why

Prince Harry even wore a bracelet to his engagement announcement photo opp. Getty/Chris Jackson
  • Prince Harry of Wales announced his engagement to Meghan Markle Monday.
  • In photos from the couple’s first appearance post-engagement, he was sporting his characteristic beaded bracelets.
  • He seems to have started wearing one after his first trip to Africa following Princess Diana’s death.

Prince Harry is rarely seen without his beaded bracelets.

He even wore one during his first public appearance with Meghan Markle after the announcement of their engagement. A gold-coloured bracelet was clearly visible on his right wrist, worn in lieu of a watch.

Prince Harry has been photographed with bracelets of different shapes and sizes in public appearances, and he sometimes wears multiple bracelets at a time.

The young prince was first photographed wearing a bracelet in the time following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. It’s likely he bought his first in Africa, where his father took him and his brother, Prince William, to escape all of the attention.

“I first came [to Africa] in 1997, straight after my mum died. My dad told my brother and me to pack our bags – we were going to Africa to get away from it all,” he told Town & Country in an interview earlier this year.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry in a 2003 royal portrait, wearing a similar bracelet. Getty

The trip ended up being a rather spiritual journey for the young prince.

“This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world. I wish I could spend more time in Africa. I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normality here,” he said.

Prince Harry goes to Africa often. He spent some time in the continent in the summer of 2016, working with the African Parks charity to relocate elephants.

It’s possible he bought a few more bracelets on that trip. Prince Harry’s relationship with Markle was confirmed, in some fans’ eyes, when Markle posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing a bracelet identical to the one Harry’s wearing on the cover of the February 2017 issue of Town & Country.

If the bracelets are simple reminders to Prince Harry of his mother and that tumultuous time in his life, then a gift of one to his then-girlfriend speaks volumes.