Royal plea over Prince Harry nude photos

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 August, 2012, 3:49am


British newspapers have shied away from publishing nude photos of Prince Harry cavorting with friends in Las Vegas, after a warning was issued to editors by the royal family.

The photographs, published this week by US-based celebrity news website showed the third-in-line to the throne naked in a hotel suite.

In one of the two photos, the naked 27-year-old is pictured covering his genitals with his hands while another person, apparently a nude woman, stands close behind him.

In the other, he is bent over bear-hugging a second person, who also appears to be naked. It is not clear if the person is a man or a woman.

Clarence House, which represents Harry's father, Prince Charles, confirmed on Wednesday the images were genuine.

"At this time we don't have a comment," a spokesman said. A royal spokesman later confirmed the family had contacted the Press Complaints Commission to ask British newspapers not to print the images, arguing it would be a breach of privacy.

The two photos were taken at a private suite in the Wynn Resort after a game of strip billiards last weekend, according to TMZ.

British newspapers adhered to the palace's request, with The Sun's front page instead carrying a re-enactment of the photograph with a journalist taking Harry's role, next to the headline: "Harry grabs the crown jewels".

The Daily Mirror had "Harry naked romp" splashed across its front page while the Daily Mail ran with "Palace fury at Harry naked photos".

The only British outlet to publish the images was the prominent "Guido Fawkes" political blog.

"This is the third in line to the throne, the son of Prince Charles and one of the biggest names in British public life. Yet not one British newspaper is reporting the story with pictures," wrote the blog's author, Paul Staines.

"Nevertheless, everyone in Britain will be searching online for these pictures and will find them immediately."

He said the omission was evidence that the "old media" had been "scared into submission" by the ongoing Leveson inquiry into media ethics in Britain.