How Long Has Prince Harry Wanted to Be a Father?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are about to embark on their journey into parenthood with the birth of their first child, but it seems Prince Harry has been wanting children for a long time — before he ever met Markle.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk along a wharf in Kingfisher bay in 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry once noted he ‘longed for kids’

In what now seems like forever ago, Prince Harry was asked his thoughts on starting a family after his brother, Prince William, married Kate Middleton.

He said at the time, in a 2012 interview with Katie Couric for ABC News: “I’ve longed for kids since I was very, very young. I’m waiting to find the right person and someone who’s willing to take on the job.”

He was looking for the right person

In 2015, during an interview for Sky News, Prince Harry talked again about children, sharing, “I don’t think you can force these things, you know, it will happen when it’s gonna happen. Of course I would love to have kids right now but, there’s a process that one has to go through. And you know, tours like this is great fun.”

He added: “Hopefully I’m doing alright by myself, it would be great to have someone else next to me to sort of share the pressure but, you know, the time will come. Whatever happens happens, I guess.

Harry explained, ‘I can’t wait’ to have kids

In March 2016, when Prince Harry talked with Robin Roberts for ABC News, he noted how much he looked forward to being a father, explaining, “I can’t wait for the day. So, you know, it will be fantastic. I’ve got a kid inside of me. I want to keep that. I adore kids. I enjoy everything that they bring to the party. They just say what they think.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s perspective on parenthood

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down for their first interview together after getting engaged in 2017, it was no surprise that they were asked about when they would start a family. Harry’s answer? “I think eventually, one step at a time, and we’ll start a family in the near future.”

Harry’s sweet connection with children proves he’ll be a great father

Harry has always had an ease with children — he adores them and the feeling is mutual. He’s been seen chatting up his young fans during various visits and appearances, always taking the time to get down to their level. A visit to a West London YMCA in April 2018 had Prince Harry playing along with young children in a ballet class and visiting with the mother of a baby, giving the child a coo and asking the mom if the child had been sleeping.

Despite his playful demeanor with kids, Prince Harry also takes his role as a new dad seriously. While speaking at the Commonwealth Roundtable in January 2019, Prince Harry explained: “As someone who is about to become a father, I am acutely aware of our shared responsibility to make this world more resilient and its inhabitants more accountable for the next generation. The only way to see real progress is not by chance, it’s by change.”