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Why Prince Charles once sent Prince Harry to rehab

The Duke of Sussex was a teenager at the time


prince charles and prince harry
19 February 2019
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He's come a long way since his wild partying days, preparing to welcome his first child with wife Meghan Markle this spring. But back in his teenage years, Prince Harry had a brush with the law. He experimented with illegal drug cannabis on several occasions and also took part in under-age drinking, prompting his father Prince Charles to organise a rehab visit for him.

Harry admitted to his father that he had taken cannabis at a party at Highgrove, Prince Charles' Gloucestershire home, when he was 17 and on other occasions when he was 16. Harry and his school friends were also said to have drunk at the Rattlebone Inn in Sherston, Wiltshire, near Highgrove. At the time, Charles was made aware of his son's habits.

young prince harry© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry admitted to taking cannabis as a teenager

The Prince of Wales organised for Harry to visit Featherstone Lodge rehabilitation centre in Peckham, south London for the day in 2002. The royal teen was chaperoned by a "buddy", a former heroin addict, and a family friend, Mark Dyer.

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A senior official said at the time: "We acknowledge that on several occasions last summer, Prince Harry experimented with cannabis. It is not that he had or has a serious problem, but he did take the drug. Prince Harry did attend to Featherstone Lodge for a day to learn about the possible consequences of starting to take cannabis. The Prince of Wales thought it would be educational and shocking for him to attend. A large number of heroin users have, over the years and in the course of his work, told the Prince of Wales that they started on cannabis."

young prince harry and prince charles© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Charles arranged for him to visit a rehab centre in Peckham

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A spokesman for Featherstone Lodge also confirmed that Harry attended the centre. "We were pleased that Prince Harry came," he said. "We explained the programme that people go through to get over the addiction of heroin, cocaine and other drugs."

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