5 things we learned from Prince Harry's Today stint

Prince Harry has had a great year and he finished in style. The prince was guest editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme on December 27th 2017 and provided presenters Justin Webb and Sarah Montague with a running order filled with topics close to his heart. The programme has handed over the agenda to big names for the past fourteen years but getting the fifth in line to the throne to guest edit is a bit of a win all round. We got some great radio, Harry produced some big stories and we still got to talk about Meghan and the wedding. Even if the big ''aah' factor was saved for his dad at the end. Here are five things we learned from the day that Prince Harry edited the Today programme.

1. This prince is serious....

Harry took his one off stint as guest editor seriously as presenter Justin Webb let us know at the start, describing his boss for the day as ''very hands on''. OK, when you are a prince you can bring in the big name interviews with ease (more on those chats with dad and Barack Obama shortly) but Harry was keen to put his agenda right across Today. He included pieces on mental health, youth violence, the environment, conservation and the future of the Commonwealth. Even the business news looked at the link between mental health and productivity. Speaking at the start of the show, Prince Harry said ''I am incredibly fortunate to have a platform like this'' adding ''these are all issues that need to be discussed''.

2. Just call him Prince Scoop...

Ah yes, that interview with Barack Obama. The lead at 8 is the prime spot on Today so Harry made everyone happy when he brought in the former president's first big broadcast interview since leaving office. And this wasn't just a jolly chat between mates (although getting Barack to pick his favourite prince can only be done if you're sure of your friendship), there was some hard hitting moments in a weighty piece. The headline moment came when President 44 warned against the dangers of  ''irresponsible use'' of social media, saying it led to the spread of misinformation. He went on ''all of us in leadership have to find ways in which we can recreate a common space on the internet''. No names named but we all know a certain President 45 who loves to tweet. The story dominated the news agenda through the morning and even by lunchtime on the day of broadcast it was the third headline on the BBC site. Oh and if you're wondering about the wedding, then Harry said the guest list hadn't been drawn up yet...but you so know Barack is headed for St. George's. Michelle might even have the hat already.

3. Kate was on hostess duty this Christmas

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Talking of weddings (and they did talk of weddings), Prince Harry revealed that Meghan Markle had a great time at her first royal Christmas. OK, it's not as hard hitting as some of the revelations in the show but exactly a month after they announced their engagement, this royal romance is where it's at. Harry told Today that they'd stayed with Kate and William but then we know how much the Duchess of Cambridge loves to cook so hosting will have been a breeze. Harry spoke about how he and his fiancee had a great time ''running round with the kids''. He added that his royal relatives loved having Meghan round for the holidays and she had enjoyed it just as much, finishing by saying it was the family ''she never had''.

4. Harry has a new job

One of the topics on the table for today's Today editor was conservation and during the show, it was announced that Harry has a new job in that field. The prince is taking on the role of President of African Parks which will see him focus on protecting Africa's national parks and work towards improving animal conservation in that continent and around the world. He's already been working with the organisation for several years.

5. Darling Boy and Pa....

How do you match an interview with a former president? How about one with a future king? With all the love?  Prince Harry got dad involved by sitting down with the Prince of Wales for a long chat with a focus on the environment and they ended up being really rather sweet with each other. Prince Charles talked of his frustration that climate change still wasn't taken as seriously by some people, adding that ''the future lies in working in far greater harmony with nature''. Harry then told him that ''I do end up picking your brains now more than I have ever done....and I feel optimistic about the future''. His dad's response?  ''Well, darling boy, it makes me very proud to think that you understand''. The prince who called his interviewee 'Pa' throughout their chat seemed rather happy with that while Charles sounded really very proud indeed of his darling boy. But then when he's done such a good job, why wouldn't he be? Hats off to Harry, this is the way to cap a golden year. The prince who wins hearts just did it all over again. Right now, he and Meghan are riding high. Harry expressed lots of hope for the year to come and, judging by the reaction to this adventure, 2018 is going to be a good year in his royal household. 

You can listen again to the whole Today show edited by Prince Harry here. Photo credit: BBC still.