Royal Baby Will Join Prince Harry As the 'Spare' to the Heir

The royal baby will move Harry to fifth-in-line to the British throne.

ByABC News
April 22, 2015, 9:47 AM
Prince Harry stands outside Duntroon House after arriving at the Royal Military College,  Duntroon, April 6, 2015, in Canberra, Australia.
Prince Harry stands outside Duntroon House after arriving at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, April 6, 2015, in Canberra, Australia.
Peter Parks/Getty Images

— -- When Britain’s Prince Harry found out earlier this year that his older brother, Prince William, would be having a second child, he had just one word: “Great.”

The baby, due to be born this month, will move Harry, 30, one step further from the British throne –- to fifth-in-line -- and will put the two in a unique category together, as the royal “spares” to the heir of the throne.

“I think being a spare is a lot easier than being the heir,” Robert Jobson, royal editor for the London Evening Standard, told ABC News. "Ultimately you don't have to have that ominous feeling that one day you are going to be be king, one day you've got that ultimate responsibility and all that goes with it, the tradition, the thousand years of royal history.”

The role of heir to the British throne has already fallen to the baby’s older brother – nearly 2-year-old Prince George – and his father, Prince William, the older brother of Prince Harry.

William, 32, graduated from Eton College, served in the military and married a glamorous woman, Duchess Kate, with whom he has settled into family life and a new role as an ambulance pilot, on top of his royal duties.

“Prince William, when he was a teenager and in his early 20s, I think, found it quite difficult to deal with,” Jobson said. “Although he's grown into the position that he's got very well, I think.”

Harry, as the heir to the spare, initially earned a reputation as a party prince in his younger years and now is one of the most highly regarded and popular members of Britain's royal family. He settled into his role as Captain Wales in the military, serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan and earning the respect of his peers and the admiration of the nation.

The prince announced earlier this year that he will leave the British Armed Forces in June. Harry has carved out a post-military path supporting wounded warriors which will include continuing his highly successful Invictus Games.

Harry also plans to spend significant time in Africa following in the charitable footsteps of his mother, the late Princess Diana, supporting her land mine charity, The Halo Trust, and raising the profile of his own charity, Sentebale, which he formed to honor his mother's memory. The charity, co-founded by Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, provides aid to vulnerable children affected by the AIDs crisis in LeSotho.

“I'm not surprised he's got the same wow factor as Diana because they're very similar characters,” Jobson said of Harry. "They're slightly off-the-wall, they're slightly eccentric, and they're quite happy to do things the norm.”

“The funny thing about William and Harry is that Diana always used to think that Harry might make a better king,” Jobson added. "And she used to call him GKH, Good King Harry. That was his nickname.”

Jobson believes that Harry might just be carving out a new future path for his soon-to-be-born niece or nephew.

“I think what we're going see about him, he's going in blocks to places, not just being a ribbon cutter,” Jobson said. “Going in there and doing things, actually spending time -- quality time -- with the projects he's involved in which I think is a new departure for the palace and a new departure for members of the royal family."