“Disgraceful,” said Peter Oborne in The Daily Telegraph. Photos are all over the Internet of Prince Harry in a Las Vegas hotel room, naked and cupping his royal jewels while spooning a half-naked girl “he’d apparently met a few minutes earlier.” What was he thinking? The prince is no teenager. “He’s a grown-up man, a 27-year-old army officer who also happens to be third in line to the throne.” The royal family has only one function in our modern age: to set an example of duty. If Harry were to head “down the same hedonistic path” as some other royals, such as Princess Margaret, he could help undermine the entire monarchy.
Good grief, lighten up, said Martin Townsend in theSunday Express. Doesn’t even a prince deserve a bit of fun? Despite all his privilege and wealth, Harry has had more than his share of sadness: He lost his mother at a young age and “saw her reputation slandered and vilified.” More recently, he has seen friends die in Afghanistan. Harry will surely learn a lesson from this experience. In the meantime, “he is what he is: brave, compassionate, but also a bit silly at times. Just like the rest of us.”
The truly shocking element in this story, said Patrick Kielty in the Daily Mirror, is that our prince is apparently a rotten pool player. He and his friends in the Vegas hotel room were playing strip pool, and Harry ended up naked. For that, and only that, he should hang his head in shame. But baring his bottom? Small beer. It’s not as if he’s the first royal to appear to do so: After an actor playing the queen showed the world her Union Jack undies as she parachuted into the Olympic Stadium, “it was only a matter of time until Harry ended up al fresco.”
“Good Lord, does anyone ever expect anything more from the spare?” said Hadley Freeman in The Guardian. Harry is not the heir to the throne and needn’t behave as if he were—not that many royals do anyway. That near-deafening noise you’re hearing is “Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew, Diana, Prince Edward VII, and various other royals dead and alive sighing with relief that camera-phones did not exist in their day.” Which brings us to the one truly serious issue in all this, said Vicki Woods in The Daily Telegraph. “While brave Prince Hal was cavorting in the buff, where was his security detail?” American newscasters were shocked, not at Harry’s antics, but at the ability of his companions to wave their cellphones around and take pictures. Weren’t they searched? If the prince learns nothing else, he should learn this: For your next romp, “along with their clothes, everyone in the room should leave their iPhones” with the bodyguards.