What happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas, as a no doubt red-faced Prince Harry found out recently. What should have been a private party soon became public knowledge after one of the guests leaked pictures of Prince Harry naked. We live in the age of the Internet and social media and it wasn’t long before the pictures became available on the Internet for everyone to see.
Perhaps bearing the Leveson Inquiry in mind, or maybe taking privacy laws into consideration, or heeding the calls by Buckingham Palace to not publish the pictures, the UK Media has been rather restrained and most have not published the pictures.
UK tabloid The Sun was the one paper to break rank. It didn’t spare the young Prince’s blushes and arguing public interest and freedom of the press, published the pictures – to the complaints of some. The freedom of the press argument does have merit. After all why shouldn’t The Sun make available pictures that are readily available everywhere else? And I’d hate to live in a country which doesn’t have a free press. However, I personally don’t see the public interest in a young man enjoying himself and letting his hair down – even if he is third in line to the throne.
These are different times and when the Prince is off duty, he’s off duty. Prince Harry should be afforded some freedom without it making front page news. Unless something that he does in his private life is of genuine public interest, then his private life should remain private.
Prince Harry wasn’t falling out of a club drunk, he didn’t get into a brawl; he didn’t hurt anybody. He simply played a game of strip billiards – a game which he obviously didn’t win. His actions show a lack of judgement, but that isn’t a crime either. It shows he’s got his flaws, and he shows he is fallible just like the rest of us.
On Monday, ITV will screen a well-timed documentary featuring Prince Harry and detailing his work with soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Work like this shows the other side – and the most important side – to the ‘Party Prince’, as he was once called.
Earlier this year Prince Harry was invited to Washington to receive an award for his charitable work with the Foundation of Prince William and Harry. The award was given by The Atlantic Society and was presented by General Colin Powell for his work with injured service men. Prince Harry also did an excellent job representing the Royal Family and the UK when he toured the Caribbean on an official Royal visit as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour. These are the things that matter.
The majority of the public do not seem even remotely bothered about the young Prince’s Vegas antics and nor should they be; his public image seems to have remained largely untarnished. I don’t imagine for one moment that Prince Harry is proud about that what occurred at a private party became so public, but he shouldn’t be ashamed either.
The young royals have always seemed approachable and down to earth and this week’s events show Prince Harry as a normal young man, despite his privilege and upbringing – something which will not go unnoticed by a public that once found the Royal family so out of touch and out of reach.