Prince Harry makes first appearance at WellChild awards

Prince Harry is met by Lord Lieutenant for Greater London David Brewer as he arrives at the WellChild awards ceremony in London on 3 September The WellChild charity supports terminally and critically ill children in the UK

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Prince Harry has made his first public appearance since photos of him naked at a Las Vegas hotel were published on the internet and in the Sun newspaper.

The prince was at an awards ceremony in London organised by the WellChild charity, of which he is patron.

Although he did not refer to the images in his speech, there was applause when he described himself as "never one to be shy in coming forward".

The pictures emerged from a private weekend the prince spent with friends.

The Sun's decision to print the images prompted about 3,600 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). The newspaper had argued that publishing the pictures was in the public interest.

The watchdog is considering the complaints, which were mainly about invasion of privacy and came from the public and not from the Royal Family.

The nude photographs were first published online by US website TMZ.

The 27-year-old prince, who is third in line to the British throne, gave a speech before handing out awards for the WellChild charity for seriously ill children on Monday evening.

'Glad clothes are on'

He jokingly alluded to the incident as he paid tribute to the winners.

"All of you, children, families, nurses, doctors, carers, volunteers are quite frankly too remarkable for me adequately to describe with mere words," he said.

Prince Harry talks to Alex Logan, aged six, as he attends the WellChild awards ceremony at the InterContinental Hotel in London on 3 September Prince Harry persuaded Alex Logan, six, not to mention the Las Vegas incident

"But never one to be shy in coming forward, I'll give it a go," he added, before smiling as the audience burst into laughter and gave him a warm round of applause.

Earlier, one of the children attending the awards, six-year-old Alex Logan, told ITV News that when he spoke to the Queen's grandson he planned to say: "I'm glad you've got your clothes on Prince Harry."

But when they met, the prince gave him a smile, wagged his finger at him and warned him not to mention the incident.

Analysis

After the photographs of him attempting to play "strip billiards" minus his clothes, tonight was Prince Harry in an altogether more customary pose - shiny black shoes, carefully pressed blue suit.

It is not the easiest of transitions, from a prince caught in what even his friends must concede was a somewhat seedy lads' mag escapade, to that of a responsible royal supporting a children's charity.

But Harry did what Harry does on these occasions. He crouched down and chatted to the children. He is a natural at it and gives every impression that he enjoys it.

He is 28 in a few days time. Very probably his family will be hoping that his greater maturity will put paid to any further "episodes" in Vegas or elsewhere.

Debbie Logan, 39, the youngster's mother, from Lincoln, described the encounter, saying: "Harry said to Alex 'You keep looking up at your mum, looks like you're dying to say something but you know she will tell you off.

"'I heard you were on ITV earlier, you said something cheeky, let's not talk about that here.'"

The prince made headlines around the world when pictures of him in the nude with an unnamed naked woman during a Las Vegas holiday emerged on celebrity gossip website TMZ last month.

Only the Sun defied a request to UK newspapers by St James's Palace, via the PCC, to respect the prince's privacy and not publish the pictures.

It used one of the images on its front page a day after it published a mock-up version of the picture in the same spot.

David Dinsmore, the Sun's managing editor, has said the paper "thought long and hard" about whether to use the pictures and that it was an issue of freedom of the press.

Pictures from the awards ceremony, at the InterContinental Park Lane hotel in central London, showed the royal looking relaxed and smiling.

He is patron of WellChild, a UK-based charity dedicated to the needs of sick children and their families, whose children's nurses provide specialist medical care and direct support in the home for chronically ill youngsters.

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