Prince Harry

I’m generally indifferent to the Royal Family, and wouldn’t describe myself as a royalist or a republican. Sure, there are times I wonder about how much money is spent on them and think it could probably be put to better use elsewhere, but at the same time I appreciate that they do a lot of good work in terms of tourism and charity. I also have a certain respect for the Queen, as in her 60 year reign has had to deal with a lot of stuff and has come through it with dignity.

But there are two royals I’m not indifferent to- Princess Beatrice, who I have a crush on and Prince Harry, who I have to admit I think seems quite cool.

OK, so he doesn’t look cool here, but anyone willing to embarrass themselves by wearing an Angry Birds hat is alright in my book.

Here’s the thing about Harry. His older brother, William is in line for the throne, meaning that he has to behave in certain ways- you can’t have the man who would be king goofing around, it just wouldn’t do, old chap. But, as a senior royal with no real responsibilities, providing William and Kate drop a sprog, Prince Harry gets the best of both worlds and doesn’t have to worry as much.

And that’s what I think makes Harry the most likable royal, this is a guy you can kind of relate to. Underneath all the riches and tradition he comes across as a nice enough bloke who likes to have a laugh.

In recent years he’s been given more to do, serving as an ambassador and traveling the world to represent the family, and he’s done a fine job. He visited Jamaica, where he launched a full scale charm offensive and hugged the prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, who wants to remove the Queen as head of state. Exuding an easy going charm he won people over, joking and goofing around with Olympian Usain Bolt in a way that suggested a genuine sense of fun.

Harry and Bolt

During the Jubilee celebrations he gave touching interviews discussing his gran’s years of service, describing her as an “inspiration”.

Even in scandals he’s been unshakable, with most springing from stupid mistakes rather than malice, even the ill-advised Nazi costume a few years ago. It was a stupid thing to do, but I remember doing and saying some pretty idiotic things as a 19 year old myself, and I’ll give him some slack, in fact, to me its more unacceptable that someone would organize a “Colonial and native” theme party, I mean with that as your theme, offensiveness is bound to occur.

The latest scandal to rock the Prince is the appearance of nude photographs taken during a trip to Las Vegas. Photos emerged of HRH partying in a pool, generally messing about and also the nude photos, which show him larking about with a blonde woman.

I’m a little surprised by quite how much of a reaction has been caused by these pictures. I mean, I understand that nude photos of a member of the royal family are going to cause a stir, and questions will be asked about how (a) these photos were allowed to get out and (b) where his security team were, but come on these are fairly tame.

I mean, its not like you can see his sceptre and orbs (one for regal euphemism fans) and while clearly in “high spirits” he’s not even doing anything bad.

This is a 27 year old man just kicking back and having fun on his holidays, he’s allowed to have a drink and mess around, and quite a few people’s holiday hijinks involve getting naked (not mine, even in sweltering Sri Lankan heat it was over a week before I mustered the courage to go topless in public, and when I did, I made damn sure there were no cameras around to capture my mannaries), skinny dipping, strip poker, streaking- its 2012 surely by this point none of these can be regarded as that shocking.

So the pictures emerged showing a naked Harry covering himself with his hands and the girl hiding behind him, and another of them messing about. Big whoop, in fact everyone calling them “nude photos” was in fact traditional tabloid hyperbole- who among us can say that they clicked through on seeing that headline hoping to see a lot more than was revealed? Whether out of curiousity, attraction or a combination of the two.

Its like in Zack and Miri Make a Porno where Zack (Seth Rogen) sums up why their porn will sell saying “EVERYBODY wants to watch ANYBODY f**k!”, human curiosity is too much to resist. If you sat someone down in a room where there was a face down picture on the desk and before you left them alone you told them that it was a naked picture of a celebrity or someone they knew (obviously an adult person unrelated to them) they’d look.

Well, I’d look and that’s how we view the world, right? What we’d do is what we see as the norm.

Anyway, back to the Prince and the photographs, I don’t think it’s gonna damage Harry’s reputation. I mean, some people will whinge and complain, but this is probably the Daily Mail crowd and quite frankly, they’ll complain about anything.

There’s talk of Harry having to come back to the UK to “face the music” but I doubt that the Queen cares all that much- in her time she’s seen far worse scandals break and he hasn’t done anything wrong, I mean she probably thinks he’s been silly but in the long run Harry’ll be able to laugh these off and it’ll have no effect on how he’s viewed by the public.

It just seems to be a traditional “silly season” story where the tabloids have worked themselves up over something that really isn’t worth it. But the “storm in a teacup” has highlighted something about the British press- The Sun didn’t run the pictures yesterday, instead using a reporter and an intern to mock up the pics, which raises questions about how rubbish work experience at the paper must be.

They ran the pictures today, with a statement about it being a “test of Britain’s free press” but quite frankly they’d dropped the ball. Either they should’ve stuck to their word and respected the request not to publish the pictures, or they should’ve ran them yesterday. Here they’re just shown to be a little bit spineless and also slow off the mark. The Sun wants to publish them and grab the “exclusive” but will they see a massive spike in sales? I can’t see why they would, I mean, by now most people are aware of what the pictures will be like or they’ll have actually seen them online anyway.

Far more than it says anything about Harry or the royal family the story serves to highlight how print media is falling behind in the internet age.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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