Royals embarrassed by naked Prince Harry shots

Prince Harry races sprinter Usain Bolt during a recent trip to Jamaica © Getty Images

Nude photographs of royal wild child Prince Harry appeared online this week. The Queen is reportedly furious – but should the prince be ashamed of his behaviour?

Las Vegas is one of America's most luxurious and outlandish cities. And last weekend, a group of young men decided to enjoy all it had to offer. After a day swimming, sunbathing and partying, they headed to the bar of their luxury hotel. Drinks were poured and poured again; the boys started chatting to some girls.

As time went on, things got messier. The party headed up to one of the hotel’s luxury suites. Someone suggested a game of strip billiards. Soon, and with wanton abandon, the new friends had tossed their clothes to the marble floor and were merrily cavorting in the nude.

In some cases, the night’s naughtiness might have been forgotten: what happens in Vegas, after all, is meant to stay in Vegas. But this was no ordinary group of young men. Among them was Prince Harry of Wales: third in line to the British throne, and one of the world’s best-known royals.

The fact had not been lost on his new companions. During the party, one of them snapped some photos. Within days, the pictures had found their way to an American gossip website – and Prince Harry’s bottom was plastered across the internet for all to see.

His family are not happy about the exposure. Harry was ‘letting off steam’ before returning to ‘his military duties,’ a source explained. Meanwhile, the royals warned off the media, explaining that the prince had a right to privacy. Editors listened; on Friday morning, the pictures were absent from Britain's papers.

This is not the first time Harry has caused a royal headache. He was first branded a wild child while at Eton, his elite boarding school. Pictures of him smoking marijuana and drinking under age were quickly followed by scandalous stories of nightclub brawls.

When the young prince was 20, he displayed questionable judgement in not only attending a ‘Colonial and Native’ themed party, but dressing up as a Nazi for the occasion. And in 2009, leaked films from his time in military training showed Harry cheerfully using unacceptable, racist language. He has since apologised for both incidents.

Turn the other cheek?

Should Harry’s behaviour be condemned? Absolutely, some say. The young prince is in a position of immense responsibility. As a face of his country, he must provide a dignified, moral example. By using his privilege for extravagant hedonism, Harry exposes himself as spoilt, vulgar and totally ignorant of his duty.

Others disagree. Prince Harry enjoys a good time, and, like anyone else, makes the occasional embarrassing mistake. So what? He might not embrace his family’s reserved dignity, but he is likeable, cheeky and always entertaining. If anything, that makes him a greater public figure than his more upstanding relatives.

You Decide

  1. Would you prefer to be dignified and upstanding, or cheeky, fun and occasionally embarrassing?
  2. Is the royal family good for Great Britain?

Activities

  1. This weekend, Harry will return to Buckingham palace, where he will speak to his grandmother and dad – the Queen and Prince Charles – about his behaviour. Act out the conversation between them.
  2. If you could vote anyone into a royal family for your country, who would you pick?

Some People Say...

“The royal family has no right to a private life”

What do you think?

Q & A

Is Prince Harry actually important?
It is unlikely that Harry will have to carry much responsibility – it is his brother, William, who is set to take the throne. But as a senior royal, he does bear some responsibility. Recently, for example, Harry travelled the world, promoting Britain’s interests – and he will spend much of his life appearing as a ‘face’ for his country. When he makes racist comments, or appears in a Nazi uniform, it affects Britain’s reputation as well as his own.
Sounds like a tough job.
It is. But it’s not without perks. The royals benefit from funding from the British taxpayer, and enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. When Harry was snapped naked he was staying in a £4,750 a night suite – one of the best rooms in a leading five-star Las Vegas hotel.

Word Watch

Billiards
This popular game is played on a twelve-by-six feet table, and involves knocking balls into pockets using long cues. It is very similar to snooker. In most variations of the game, players are not required to remove their clothes.
American gossip website
The pictures of Harry were leaked to TMZ – a leading celebrity news website in the US. The site is famous for a wide range of scandalous celebrity revelations: it was the first site to report the death of Michael Jackson and the divorce of Britney Spears, and to publish photos of Rihanna after she was beaten up by boyfriend Chris Brown.
Military duties
Prince Harry is an Apache helicopter pilot in the Royal Air Force. He also served with British troops on the frontline in Afghanistan – before an Australian newspaper leaked pictures of him, forcing him to return home for the safety of himself and other soldiers.
Warned off the media
The Royal Family contacted the Press Complaints Commission - Britain's media regulator - for support in the bid to suppress the photos. Many editors have complained that in the past they would have ignored the plea; but since the phone hacking scandal revealed unscrupulous media practices, they have been reluctant to take risks with the law.

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