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Harry gets his coat of arms

London, Sept. 14 (Reuters): Britain’s Prince Harry received an offbeat 18th birthday present today — his own coat of arms — and one of the world’s top celebrity photographers transformed the young redhead into a right royal sex symbol.

Mario Testino certainly knows all about image — he was the favourite photographer of Harry’s mother Princess Diana, turning the tortured divorcee into a carefree model in a famed Vanity Fair spread just before she died.

Harry, whose mother was killed in a Paris car crash just three weeks before his 13th birthday, took a leaf out of her book for his latest birthday celebrations. Eager to focus on her legacy as a charity worker, he asked that all proceeds from the photos should go to Merlin, a little known British charity dedicated to saving lives in the Third World.

Harry was involved in designing his coat of arms, and showed his determination to cherish his mother's memory by incorporating in it an emblem from her Spencer family coat of arms.

The crest — a shield with a lion on one side, a unicorn on the other and above it a coronet and another lion — also features a small, red escallop from the Spencer coat of arms.

Harry, who turns 18 tomorrow, is keen to shed his “wild child” image after revelations earlier this year of his dabbling in marijuana and under-age drinking. Buckingham Palace, masters of media management, carefully choreographed the birthday celebrations, during which Harry visited a children's hospital and also met young offenders.

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