23 Aug 2012

What Happened in Las Vegas

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That sound chap James Delingpole sticks up for Prince Harry’s right to do the sorts of things high-spirited and unmarried young men are wont to do on weekends of leisure at resort locations with like-minded young ladies. The prince will be old and respectable one day.

Anyway, the nude photos of Prince Harry in Vegas cannot be allowed to pass without comment. They have, I note, prompted an outbreak of massive prudery among some of my Telegraph colleagues. And perhaps you feel the same way: that the third in line to the British throne should not be seen cavorting naked with young women in American gambling resorts.

To which I’d reply: are Harry’s critics remotely familiar with British history? This is what young royals do. It’s what they’re supposed to do. Look at the roistering buck that Henry VIII was (before he grew fat and syphilitic); look at the very type of the Regency buck – the Prince Regent (later George IV); look at the playboy Edward VIII (and indeed his grandfather Edward VII); look at Harry’s namesake – Prince Hal – who, if we are to believe Shakespeare, deliberately cultivated an image of debauchery and irresponsibility the better “like bright metal on a sullen ground” to set off the magnitude of his reformation on assuming kingship …

Harry also acts as a very entertaining foil to his more staid elder brother William. I find their evident love for one another one of the most delightful things of all the Royal Family. One of Harry’s functions, I suspect, is to do all the things that William would like to do but can’t being heir to the throne. So Harry acts as his pressure valve, his fantasy alter ego …

Plus, of course, Harry has served his country, on the front line in Afghanistan, so I think deserves to be cut a bit of slack.

Scandalous photos.


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