Naked Harry photos: Palace won't pursue complaint
Prince Harry pumps his fist after Britain's Chris Hoy wins the gold medal for the men's keirin at the Velodrome during the London Olympic Games on Aug. 7. A few weeks later, the prince was embroiled in controversy over naked photos taken in Las Vegas. (Reuters)
Prince Harry's only sin in Sin City, apparently, was getting caught.
That's the conclusion reached by Sir Mike Jackson, the former head of the British Army and someone quite familiar with some of the over-the-top antics of military officers. His comments come on the heels of the Palace announcing their own conclusion to the 'naked Harry' episode in Las Vegas: They will not be making a complaint against London newspaper for publishing the offending photos.
Harry's naked Las Vegas romp in a game of strip billiards last month caused a sensation and plenty of controversy in the UK, and only calmed down when the prince took up his duties as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan and his sister-in-law Kate took over top spot in the headlines after taking off her top at a French chateau.
Jackson, speaking after a dinner in Cambridge this week, gave Prince Harry a wide berth when judging the actions of the 28-year-old army captain in Vegas, which turned into one wild blowout before being shipped to the war zone. The mistake was letting some of the party get caught on camera.
"All young officers are probably saying 'there but for the grace of God go I' and even some older officers are remembering perhaps the odd moment in their youth when they were being not as wise perhaps as they might have been," said Jackson, 68, who was appointed Chief of General Staff in 2003.
"No. I have no difficulty with it. One does remember the 11th commandment: Thou shalt not get caught."
While photos of naked Harry circulated widely on the web immediately after popped up on TMZ, the British press keep a hands-off policy as the Palace warned that it was an invasion of privacy. That turned into a freedom-of-the-press debate, in turn leading to the Sun tabloid in London thumbing their nose at the warnings and printing the photos.
The paper's action drew plenty of criticism, but the Palace has now decided it will not be making a making a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.
''Having considered the matter now for a number of weeks, we have decided not to pursue a complaint with the PCC on behalf of Prince Harry in respect of the photos of the Prince taken in Las Vegas," said a St. James's Palace spokesman.
''We remain of the opinion that a hotel room is a private space where its occupants would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
''Prince Harry is currently focused entirely on his deployment in Afghanistan, so to pursue a complaint relating to his private life would not be appropriate at this time and would prove to be a distraction"The Sun claimed that it was "a clear public interest" to publish the photos " in order for the debate around them to be fully informed."