When British Royal Family member Prince Harry had a wild weekend in Las Vegas in 2012, eyebrows were raised. Certainly, his family hoped that what happened in Vegas would stay in Vegas. But nothing about the Royal Family seems to stay secret for long. And not only did the details leak, but so did the photos of his shenanigans.
Although Harry’s younger years were colorful, these days he’s known as a family man who’s put his fame to good use. Yes, having turned down a desk job with the army in 2015, he devoted himself to his work as a royal. And furthermore, it wouldn’t be long before he met Meghan Markle.
For you see, Harry met Meghan in 2016 thanks to a mutual friend who set them up on a blind date. And the pair tied the knot in May 2018 at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel. Nowadays, they work together on promoting causes close to their hearts, including the Invictus Games, which is a competition for veterans who’ve been wounded.
Of course, Harry’s own royal family has not stopped at two. No, in May 2019 he became a father for the first time. And he and Meghan were delighted to welcome son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor into the fold. But it’s true to say that Harry has not always been the responsible father that he is perhaps seen as today.
Indeed, Harry would occasionally find his younger self in the newspapers for all the wrong reasons. And his 2012 excursion to Las Vegas was one occasion when he did. As he said after he’d gone back to Afghanistan with the army, “It’s a classic example of me being too much Army, not enough Prince.” But that wasn’t the first time the prince had courted controversy – far from it.
For Harry’s wild side had got him into trouble in his teens. Allegedly, according to Marie Claire, his father Prince Charles packed him off to rehab to resolve issues with alcohol and marijuana. However, the 16-year-old had only to spend a single day at Featherstone Lodge Rehabilitation Center, which is in Peckham, south London.
Then there was a scuffle with a photographer as he left a London nightclub in 2004. Now, Harry’s people said he’d just shoved away a camera that had hit him in the face. But, as reported by ABC News, the photographer claimed that the prince had come at him aggressively and lashed out. In any case, both sides agreed that the lensman came away with a cut lip.
Three years later, Harry was in trouble with a photographer again, but this time it ended in laughs. Coming out of a nightclub, the prince tripped on the curb and tumbled into a snapper. And being unsteady on his feet was a theme for 2007. For instance, in another incident Harry got his freak on so hard to some music that he stumbled into a pool.
But less amusing had been an incident in 2005, when a photo appeared on the front of newspaper The Sun. Unbelievably, Harry had been at a fancy-dress party dressed as a Nazi. And as you can expect, the prince ended up having to make a groveling apology. He said, “I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume, and I apologize.”
But Harry’s love of booze got him into the news again in 2007. Yes, pictures appeared in U.K. tabloid the News of the World allegedly showing the prince doing something potentially dangerous while in Namibia. For you see, he appeared to be snorting vodka, something that one expert claimed was more perilous than just drinking it.
Then there was a “racist comment” incident in 2009 when Harry was caught saying something about a soldier colleague in a vlog. Yes, he was filming when he described a platoon member as “our little Paki friend,” an offensive term in the U.K. And although he apologized, the prince’s representatives said he did not mean it as an insult.
Although that incident had raised some questions about the effect of the Army on the prince, it turned out that his military service had been positive overall. For Harry developed a passion for helping people who had been wounded while serving in the military. And one of the ways he applied this was when he later launched the Invictus Games in 2014. For you see, this would allow the injured veterans to compete internationally.
At the Games’ Toronto launch in 2017, Harry said, “I knew that it was my responsibility to use the great platform that I have, to help the world understand and be inspired by the spirit of those who wear the uniform.” And the Games were enormously successful, perhaps even changing public perceptions of the playboy prince a little.
But before all that, Harry and some chums arrived in Las Vegas in 2012, ready to party. According to the Daily Mail, on August 17 he checked into a $7,000 suite at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas hotel. In fact, he reportedly told a friend there that he was prepared for some “full-on partying.”
So Harry and his buddies apparently settled into some hardcore drinking, accompanied by a group women, according to the Daily Mail. And Harry’s evening had a minor mishap when he broke a glass and spilled booze on one of the hotel’s gaming tables. But much naughtier goings-on were in store, as we’ll discover a little later.
Now, the high jinks and drinking didn’t just happen on the Friday night. You see, on Saturday afternoon, Harry and his entourage headed to a pool party at MGM’s Wet Republic. And the royal posse got set for some frivolities by drinking several vodka and cranberries in the bungalow that they had rented for the occasion ensite.
Now you see, Wet Republic pool bashes are renowned as out-of-control bacchanals. A heap of youngsters aim for extreme drunkenness as they attempt to find partners for hookups, sometimes in the open air. And the pools themselves reportedly suffer from the experience, ending the evening filled less with water than with urine, according to the Daily Mail.
But Harry and company enjoyed watching the party from his bungalow, which became a party in all itself. Indeed, the building came with luxurious chaise longues, and guests could be misted with cooled water. Furthermore, outside was a Jacuzzi where the prince relaxed and chatted with a bachelorette party that was celebrating next door.
According to the Daily Mail, Harry cut a dashing figure in flowery shorts and a white Panama. Also, he apparently goofed around with the nextdoor ladies, asking which of them was single. Later, photos on Twitter would show the prince having the time of his life with the bachelorette crew. But that wasn’t the end of the trip by any means.
For the next day, Harry got poolside again, this time back at his hotel. There, he tossed back cocktails and again flirted with women who had come for the XS nightclub pool party. And when Harry spotted American swimming sensation Ryan Lochte, he didn’t hesitate. Indeed, he jumped into the pool – jeans and all – and challenged the Olympic swimmer to race him, claimed the Daily Mail.
So the pair plowed past a group of women in bikinis to swim it out. Unsurprisingly, despite Harry’s enthusiastic thrashing in the water, Lochte emerged triumphant. But the prince’s ardor was apparently not dampened, and at 3:00 a.m. he took the gold medalist on again. Funnily enough, this time Harry’s buddies anchored Lochte so that the prince could ease to victory.
As one excited participant at the party wrote on Twitter, “Just spent my night with Prince Harry and Ryan Lochte… Life doesn’t get any better!” And social media was apparently on Harry’s mind, too. For you see, he was overheard telling his bodyguard that he feared appearing “on Twitter or Facebook or YouTube thanks to somebody’s mobile phone camera,” according to the Chicago Sun Times.
In fact, Harry had already been caught on camera the night before. After some hard drinking poolside, he and his buddies had gone back to their room for a party along with several ladies. And the festivities had Harry as its centerpiece as he indulged in air guitar and shared out “random naked hugs,” reported E!Online.
Interestingly, it seems that the bash came to a head with a game of strip billiards – and Harry did not win. You see, he ended up as naked as Adam in the Garden of Eden. But no harm would have come of it had someone at the party not snapped Harry on a cell phone.
Indeed, one photo showed Harry giving out one of the aforementioned “naked hugs.” And his nude backside faces the phone as he cuddles a bare breasted woman. Another photo captures Harry covering his “crown jewels” as the same woman hides behind his naked form. But the prince doesn’t go anywhere without security, so surely they stepped in when the phone came out?
Well, an insider claimed to U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail that one of the royal’s protection officers had been “enjoying the party more than protecting the Prince from himself.” Reportedly, the officer had words with the women who’d stayed for the festivities but had let them leave without checking their phones.
As Harry nursed his hangover after Los Angeles, he could not have imagined what had been caught on camera. But he soon found out. For you see, the following Tuesday gossip site TMZ.com posted the pictures, and a scandal began to break. However, Harry remained silent on the issue.
Meanwhile, the royal family learnt that the photographs existed. And they didn’t hang around. Crucially, and somewhat naively, Prince Charles threatened legal action against any newspaper or broadcaster in the U.K. that dared to publish them. For his legal team considered it a breach of Harry’s privacy to share the snaps. But the royals were attempting to put a lid on a pot that was already boiling.
After all, TMZ is one of the most popular sites in the entertainment business. And once it had featured Harry’s backside, almost anyone in the world could see it if they wanted to. Indeed, a few hours after TMZ had published the pics, they had gone viral.
Unsurprisingly, the photographs quickly made their way into the mainstream news, with American broadcasters NBC, CNN and CBS reporting on them. Furthermore, magazines and newspapers from Toronto to Delhi shared the story. Weirdly, the only ones that couldn’t were members of the British media as Prince Charles’ warning applied under U.K. law.
Nonetheless, the royals failed to appreciate that many of the sites showing the pictures already had a significant U.K. audience. For instance, sites such as the HuffPost, Jezebel and TMZ itself could be reached within a couple of clicks. And a Google search for “Prince Harry naked” would have very quickly led to the snaps for anyone not a fan of such sites. According to the Daily Mail, such a search was returning over 68 million results before the end of the week.
Eventually, though, the photographs did appear in a U.K. newspaper. For you see, The Sun plastered a nude Harry on its front page with the humorous headline “Heir it is!” And although the press watchdog received thousands of complaints over the story, Buckingham Palace itself did not complain. Indeed, it appeared it had been forced to eat humble pie despite its threats.
As David Dinsmore, then managing editor of The Sun went on to explain in a statement, “For us this is about the freedom of the press. This is about the ludicrous situation where a picture can be seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world on the internet but can’t be seen in the nation’s favourite paper read by 8 million people every day.”
What’s more, the response to the pictures was largely gleeful, with some indicating they wished they’d been at the party. But that view apparently didn’t extend to the British Royal Family. For the royals were reportedly mortified, and Harry had to go home to some angry and embarrassed relatives – one in particular.
Yes, a source told E!Online that Harry’s grandma, the Queen, had been left fuming. They said, “The person who took the dimmest view of all was The Queen. She made it abundantly clear that nothing like that would ever happen again. When you get a direct chastising from granny you know it’s serious. It was undoubtedly a turning point.”
Indeed, the incident appeared to herald a change for Harry. For a couple of weeks later, he was back in Afghanistan flying helicopters. Furthermore, he got rid of his Facebook page. And while serving, he was able to reflect on his role as a public and private prince, too, E!Online reported. After all, his brother William was about to become a father. So perhaps it was time for him to leave behind his playboy past.
Now, in 2014 Harry made his return to the United States. And while he may have expected a rough ride, with some onlookers having a laugh at his expense, the visit went well. Yes, he won over Americans with his charm and personality, and there were no scandals this time around, thank God.
Then in 2017, Harry told The Telegraph podcast Mad World that he’d perhaps struggled at times in his personal life due to the early loss of his mother, Diana.
He said, “Losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well. I sort of buried my head in the sand for many, many years.”
However, once he reached his late 20s it was time for the prince to look for help from professionals. And he was lucky, as he recalled to Australian broadcaster ABC, that he had a supportive big brother. He said, “My brother, you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me and kept saying, this is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk about stuff.”
And Harry has not just worked on his own mental health. Alongside his brother and wife Kate Middleton, Harry has started Heads Together. This campaign looks to improve the public’s mental health and tackle the stigma through conversation. Furthermore, it’s just one of the things that has seen William, Kate, Harry and Meghan labeled the “Fab Four.”