Complaints rise over Prince Harry naked Vegas photos

 

PR consultant Max Clifford says two people at the party Prince Harry was photographed at approached him to represent them

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More than 850 people have complained about the Sun's decision to print photographs of Prince Harry naked, the Press Complaints Commission has said.

The PCC confirmed all complaints had come from members of the public, and none from St James's Palace.

On Friday, the Sun became the first UK newspaper to publish the images of the naked prince, taken in Las Vegas.

It said it was acting in the public interest as the images raised concerns about Prince Harry's security.

The paper also said the freedom of the press was being tested.

'Perverse'

St James's Palace had contacted the PCC on Wednesday because it said it had concerns about the 27-year-old prince's privacy being intruded upon, in breach of the editors' code of practice.

The PCC said nearly all the complaints it had received over the matter related to invasion of privacy, and would be investigated in due course.

Analysis

Prince Henry of Wales is three weeks short of his 28th birthday - a dedicated captain in the Army Air Corps with one brief tour of infantry duty in Afghanistan under his belt, and a declared wish to return with his Apache helicopter.

He has also become a considerable asset to the Royal Family. Harry's easy-going manner and sense of mischief have made him popular, and the royals seem more accessible.

But as they have discovered before: there's a fine line between being royal man of the people, and the clown whose judgement is suspect and whose behaviour is beyond the pale.

That is not to say that Harry is anywhere near that line: he's been forgiven for indiscretions in the past, but his advisers may well be trying to impress upon him that if you don't respect your position as the Queen's grandson, then why should others?

The pictures emerged from a private weekend the prince spent with friends. The two photos of the prince and a naked woman in a hotel room are believed to have been taken on a camera phone on 17 August.

They first appeared on US website TMZ earlier this week, which reported that he had been in a group playing "strip billiards".

In Friday's Sun, under the headline "Heir it is", the paper says: "Pic of naked Harry you've already seen on the internet."

Sun managing editor David Dinsmore said it would have been "perverse" not to publish the pictures, which "are now in the public domain in every country in the world".

Mr Dinsmore said the paper had thought "long and hard" about publication of the images.

He added: "Hundreds of millions of people have seen these pictures over the internet and it seems perverse that they shouldn't be shown in the pages of our newspaper.

"There is a public interest defence and part of that public interest defence is that if this thing has got so much publicity elsewhere that it would be perverse not to do it then that is acceptable and there is PCC case law on that basis."

But Paul Ashford, editorial director of the Daily Star and Daily Express newspapers, said "a very much stronger public interest ground" was needed to publish the pictures.

He said: "Once you know the story, once you know what good old Prince Harry has done, then - really - is there anything added in terms of public interest by actually seeing the pictures which everyone who wanted to see them had seen anyway?"

The Daily Mirror and the Independent said they had not published the photos because they considered that they breached the prince's privacy.

And Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee chairman John Whittingdale said of the Sun's decision to publish the pictures: "The fact that [the photos] happened is well known. How the public interest is served by doing this is not clear."

A palace spokesman said: "We have made our views on Prince Harry's privacy known. Newspapers regulate themselves, so the publication of the photographs is ultimately a decision for editors to make."

'Scared'

The decision by British newspapers not to publish the pictures despite their publication elsewhere had prompted a debate about the impact the Leveson Inquiry was having on press behaviour.

The inquiry was set up to investigate the practices and ethics of the press following the phone-hacking scandal.

Conservative MP Louise Mensch, who is a member of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: "The Press Complaints Commission totally overstepped their bounds by going to the UK press en bloc and telling them not to publish these photographs.

"More to the point we cannot have a situation where our press as a bloc is so scared of the Leveson Inquiry that they refuse to print things that are in the public interest."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said none of the prince's police protection officers were facing disciplinary action after criticism in some press reports over their lack of intervention at the hotel room, adding that "as you would expect, senior officers have been briefed about the situation".

 

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  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 1347.

    So if anyone else has a wild Vegas weekend, involving some form of stip game, would the photos also be published worldwide "in the public interest"?

    Yes, Harry is 2nd in line to the throne. No that does not mean he cannot have a private life and do something IN THE PRIVACY OF HIS HOTEL ROOM that many of us have done at one time or another!

    Shame on the person taking and selling the pictures!

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 1346.

    There are so many of these Royals and they cost a public fortune

    What exactly is Harry for?? He seems like the spare part

    I suggest he forgets about being Royal and gets some higher education and a job. On the other hand he never bothered with Uni being more a manual bloke. Perhaps an apprentice scheme might suit him better

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 1345.

    We already knew that Captain Harry Wales is a brave, red-blooded young man.
    We didn't need the Sun to tell us and print this intrusive photo (to boost sales?) as "proof".
    Good on you Harry, we're as jealous as hell. Do it while you can - but pick your "friends " more carefully.
    As fore the rest of us - we can always boycot the Sun - it won't be the first time.
    Time for a new Editor (and owner).

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 1344.

    The sadness of seeing the privacy our young prince invaded is more than overshadowed by the sorrow of being reminded that the human condition and its capacity for transgression has no respect for a person's station.
    His behaviour is a disgrace to our nation and the timing could not have been worse coming at a time when we had just wowed the world with the 2012 Olympics. Sad, sad, sad...

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 1343.

    @1293
    "Is this type behaviour something HE is proud of ?"

    I always find this an odd argument. I doubt he's proud of it, but I would hope that he isn't ashamed either. A night out is not normally something to be proud of, but can be a lot of fun in between the other commitments in your life that do give you pride.

    Everyone should do something silly now and then as long as it doesn't hurt others.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 1342.

    What is 'perverse' is wanting to publish the pics - leave the lad alone !!!! Sad sad people .....

  • Comment number 1341.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 1340.

    What is more perverse is that someone as young has him who has only ever been fed on swan and bathed in asses milk can be so out of shape. What are our taxes being spent on !!!!!!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1339.

    As the photographs are published in North Amkerica and available on the Internet, it seems rather pointless not to show them at home. Unfortunately Harry bore the brunt of the Late Nigfht talk shows. I am wondering apart from the Queen herself who is in a position to scold him, even if it were neccessary.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 1338.

    1320.
    monty1958
    ___

    How wrong is it that many people in the world expect to be able to view these pictures yet expect their own privacy to be upheld?

    Just what is the big deal that people want to see these pictures?

    Who cares what games Harry plays in his own time? He's a young lad having the kind of fun most young lads would if they could, good on him and leave him be!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1337.

    Weather has been a little adverse today hasn't it?

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 1336.

    "And how exactly is this officer going to discipline a soldier under his command for the same sort of off duty escapade?"

    When I was in the Army, it was not an offence to take ones clothes off in a hotel bedroom.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1335.

    @Rod S the Royal family bring in alot more than they spend... I would complain about your taxes being spent on the guests of Jeremy Kyle than on Prince Harry. Or perhaps you enjoyed watching the London Riots while the rest of us cringed in disgust? I would rather that the Royal family are the face of Britain than those pathetic excuses of human beings

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1334.

    If this was any other "celebrity" they would have been published immediately. Why should Harry get special treatment? Furthermore this is far more in the public interest than footballers personal lives as Harry could possibly be the head of state one day.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1333.

    This is a classic invasion of privacy and as such the Sun should have the full weight of the law thrown at them!

    It is sad to see this Country going down the drains with the gutter press just printing who is doing what with whom thinking it is news!

    What people do behind closed doors should be nobodys business but their own and any one abusing that code should be sued for invasion of privacy!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1332.

    I think that the Sun is not only insulting it's readers intelligence but also at odds with public opinion. Printing the photographs is not about freedom of the press as they had already reported on the story. By printing the photographs they are suggesting that their readers can only understand comics.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 1331.

    @1273 'beammup'
    ~~
    It's impossible for the press to mind their own business - or they wouldn't have a business.

    Yes, Harry has done nothing wrong and not one of us are perfect.

    However, if you are born into a small and exceptionally privileged lifestyle, that's more powerful than any amount of money - it's your duty to set standards and grow up. I direct that comment to all royal families.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 1330.

    So now it’s alright to endorse the same media hounding behaviours that led to the death of this poor boy’s mother? This is a wretched paper staffed by wretched people . There is no press “decency code” and there is no story just the mindless pursuit of money and distribution. No more Sun in my house!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 1329.

    The sum should be ashamed. All people should be private. I have complained to the press complaints commishion so should you.Prince harry has the right to be private. PLEASE DONT BUY THE SUN!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1328.

    Of course we all knew that it was a matter of time before one of the red tops would publish the pictures! It just so happened that it was Sun; the one paper that just cant be trusted anyway!

 

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