Prince Harry has, until the last few years, been a blessing for the tabloids in England and a thorn in the side of the English establishment. Drugs, s*x, not much rock'n'roll, falling down drunk, naked in Las Vegas. You know the kind of thing the "spare" (William is the heir) gets up to. Spoiled, rich and privileged. And, let's not forget, sexy. Now, find us one other English royal you could attach that title to. Prince William? Balding and rather boring. Kate Middleton? Pretty, reasonably well dressed, but not exciting. Let's not even discuss Prince Charles and the Rottweiler (Princess Diana's term for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall). Harry has consistently been in the top three most popular Royals lists (behind Queen Elizabeth and William). Many think he is his mother's child and William very much his father's, a Windsor through and through. Now in his thirties, he seems to be finding his way. But up until a few years ago, the news about him was sensational at best and totally shocking if the tabloids got lucky. Here are 15 pictures that Harry wishes would disappear.
15 The Rehab Thing
You're sixteen, a Prince of the realm, and "studying" a little at posh Eton College. You are surrounded by boys from rich and sometimes privileged families. It was school break time and Harry was staying at dad's place, Highgrove House. Harry and his mates did a little (or a lot of) cannabis and got sh*t-faced on booze. Like posh boys from boarding schools have always done, Harry and his friends smoked weed and drank booze in the outbuildings of a pub, in this case the Rattlebone Inn (at dad's nearby house Highgrove). One night there is a bust up at the Inn and Harry calls a French employee a "f**king Frog". And that leads to Harry being barred from the Inn. Tabloid overload. The Royal Family is not amused (again) and dad calls Harry to suggest a spot of rehab. No, not like that, but he did send him to spend a day at London's Featherstone Lodge Rehabilitation Centre in 2002. His mother, Princess Diana, who had been buried only five years earlier, called Harry "the naughty one".
14 That Vegas Trip In 2012
In 2012, twenty-something Harry went to Vegas, not for the sun and sand, but rather for a spot of strip pool. It went something like this: Harry installed in penthouse of Wynn Hotel in Vegas. He and his buds go down to the bar and pick up a few random girls and take them back up to the penthouse, where they decided to play strip pool. Pool table, miss and you lose some clothes. Well, to say the least, some ended up naked, including Harry. Thank you smartphones everywhere, because blurry images started appearing. Of the royal Prince naked as... with an equally naked girl. TMZ posted a YouTube video of their discussion of the incident which ended up with a poll in which nearly seventy percent of viewers dubbed Harry "Awesome", with only around thirty percent calling him "Disgraceful". One of the female TMZ commentators had a beef: It was not fair that Harry hid the crown jewels from sight with strategically placed hands.
13 Another Stumbling Drunk Pic
It's 2004 and in the wee small hours of the morning, Harry came stumbling out of a nightclub. He is obviously totally worse for the wear, falling over drunk. The paparazzi are out in force and a number of pictures of a stumbling, befuddled Harry hit the tabloids. That's bad enough, but the Royals are used to that. But there was something of a scuffle when an in your face photographer got too up close and personal, ending in (Harry's version) his pushing the camera away and (photographer's version) Prince Harry lashing out at the man resulting in a cut lip. The really inconvenient thing was that the incident came only a week after former teacher from Eton accused the powers that be at the school of helping Harry to cheat on an exam. More of that later.
12 The Las Vegas Thing Again
As People said, "What happened to Prince Harry in Vegas isn’t staying there". Party girl Carrie Reichert told The Mirror that by the time she got up to the penthouse, strip pool was in full swing and Harry was "undressed". She also said he was playing air guitar with pool sticks and pressing his naked body up against a large window. According to The Mirror, she said, “It was not like an orgy going on, it was just sexy naked. It was like almost a game. He was trying to get everybody to get naked. That was the whole point of him being naked". Reportedly, she and Harry had a bit of a "fumble", but apparently he was too wasted by that time. By the time the kiss and tell story hit the tabloids, Harry was back in England and hoping that the worst of the Vegas thing was behind him.
11 Harry And The Nazis
In 2005, Harry attended a friend's "fancy dress" (costume) party and the tabloids on both sides of the Pond had a field day. Why? Well, Harry rolled up to the party in military gear sporting a swastika armband, the dreaded symbol of World War II Nazi oppression. Now a little falling down drunk and fooling around with girls is one thing, but the swastika was like a red flag to many. Staid papers like The Islam Times had been calling Harry a big problem, a troubled Royal who was harming the Royal family big time. The other thing is this: Harry has minders and bodyguards and security guys all over the place. How on earth, many asked, could they let the twenty-something do it? Clarence House, his official residence, said sorry. Not good enough many said.
10 Harry And The Lap Dancer
When Harry and his Sandhurst (Military Academy) chums visited the Spearmint Rhino Club, a stripper by the name of Mariella Butkute (we really did not make that up) offered him a lap dance. The Lithuanian reportedly was wearing yellow hot pants and a matching bra top. She sat on the Prince's lap for a while as they chatted about this and that. We can totally believe he was a gentleman (?). At the time, Harry was dating South African beauty Chelsea Davey. See, Harry loves his clubs, his pubs, and his girls. So much so that the Army later saw fit to ban him from pubs and clubs and the like, so he could focus on his work and not the drink and dames.
9 Harry And The Tape
The stories started surfacing after Vegas. Some sources made vague allegations about a "big problem", hinting at a s*x tape and drugs. The story came and went, and came again. It was first outed by celebrity blogger Norm Clark, on his Las Vegas gossip page. According to eatbloganddie.tumblr.com, Clark said, “Something pretty gigantic is involved; something more serious than 'strip billiards'.” Buckingham Palace kept quiet and said nothing, which could mean something or nothing. The site also said that Harry had a Facebook page under the name of "Spike Wells", but after Vegas he was told to take it down. Seems the "thorough" investigation of what he got up to in Vegas was being conducted by his very own private-secretary. At one point, Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew, said to him he would never be normal. This from the man who got dragged into an underage sex scandal.
8 He's Only Human
Well, he is after all a healthy thirty-something male. Imagine leading the kind of life where people hang around hoping to get embarrassing or scandalous shots of you falling down drunk, snogging, or worse. Tabloids pay a pretty penny for shots like this. Harry's minders and bodyguards do the best they can, but walking out in plain daylight in a tailored suit in his condition is just asking for trouble. When Buzzfeed picked up the story, they avoided the elephant in the room as long as they could, waxing eloquent about Harry's new ginger beard, and only getting to the zinger at the very end of the piece. And to make certain we didn't miss it, added a big, big red circle. We think longer coats and looser pants are in order.
7 The Thing About His Father
When Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage imploded in the 1990s, it was not a pretty thing. They finally divorced in 1996, only a year before Diana died in that car crash in Paris. It was dubbed the Battle of the Wales. Diana went on television looking sad and upset to talk about Camilla, the third person in her marriage. Charles was apparently taped saying he wished he were one of Camilla's tamp*xes. Gross. Diana reportedly had an affair or two herself, one with a noted surgeon and another with dashing military officer James Hewitt. Some say the affair lasted for five years. Some even say that Hewitt could be Harry's father. The similarity in their appearances is indeed striking. But everybody involved says no way and suggestions of DNA testing were waved away. Even Hewitt has said he is not Harry's father. But, still, the affair was going on before Harry was born, and who can say for sure without DNA testing.
6 What Does He Really Think of Camilla?
To put it mildly, Diana loathed, loathed, loathed Camilla (then) Parker-Bowles, the divorcee who had romanced the young Charles and reportedly was his mistress while he was married to Diana. So, it is natural to assume that William and Harry, who were devoted to their mom, might not immediately warm to the "Rottweiler", as Diana called Camilla. Charles married Camilla in 2005, but she has never been particularly well-liked in Britain. Stories come and go of hostilities between the boys and their (now) stepmother. What also comes into the equation are stories of Camilla battling just about everybody, including Kate Middleton and Charles. Royal family pictures are polite and show no hint of what gossip sites like celebritydirtylaundry.com love to put out there.
5 The "I Slept With Harry Club"
We're kidding, kind of. In 2012, the Tatler did a piece about the "Playboy Prince" and how he (usually) keeps his sex life out of the tabloids. How? Well, he keeps it in the social family by only bedding girls from his own "social set", posh chicks who had something to lose by kissing and telling. And that Vegas incident? Fifty-nine percent of respondents to a survey said their opinion of Harry went up after the scandal. Like we've said, he's human. He makes mistakes. We can relate. But the Tatler article also reported that Harry keeps up with his "harem", the girls he's been with. And they all know one another anyway. What if you were the only girl on the block he hadn't taken to bed. Oh, the shame of it.
4 He Was Such A Weak Student, Eton Helped Him Cheat?
In England, you don't graduate high school, you take "A Levels". And at Eton, Harry was doing an A Level in Art. Not intellectually pressing, but interesting. The story of how Eton helped Harry pass his A Level Art Exam hit the papers in 2004, just before the falling down drunk pictures. A former teacher, who had been fired, took the school to a tribunal claiming unfair dismissal. Her story was that the head of the art department had enlisted her aid in "assisting" Harry get through his project and that he had fired her to distance the school from the Harry mess. Her story was that the school actually helped him cheat. Well, nobody will claim that the Royals are blessed with excess brain power. Not so, said Eton. Not so, said Prince Harry. We should mention, she won her case.
3 Definitely A Chest Man
The tabloids got a picture of William and Harry in a pub. William is laughing a carefree laugh, and obviously having a good time. And Harry? Harry has his right hand firmly clenched on the breast of a buxom young blonde girl and he appears to be smooching her face. "Dirty Harry" was the predictable headline. Boobjob shouted the tabloids. The girl was one Natalie Pinkman, a TV sports presenter and friend of the Prince. Someone (someone she knew) had stolen the negative from her and she only realized what had happened when a panicked Royal aide called her when the picture hit the tabloids in 2006. Some things never change. Fast forward to a grown up Harry meeting Lady Gaga, and it's clear what he's still interested in.
2 Harry And The Cougar
Harry has been linked to a long, long list of mostly English beauties, almost always upper crust and part of the same circle the young Royals run in. We know what he gets up to on trips to the States, but, brief holiday flings aside, he usually sticks to the A-List. Wills and Kate may have lived together before marriage, but public displays of affection? No way. But our Harry is not shy, having been pictured in liplocks with his young beauties. So, it was a surprise when Real Housewives of DC star Catherine Ashley Ommanney, came out and talked about a "stunning" kiss with Harry. According to fashionstyle, she said he literally lifted her off the floor and gave her a "lovely" kiss. Up in the air and pinned against a wall, she was, she said, "stunned". Oh yeah, we should mention she is thirteen years older than the Prince.
1 That Tatler Story
In 2012 "Dirty Harry" was Tatler's 'Man of the Year'. He's actually done quite a few magazine covers, including GQ and Town & Country. It wasn't all positive though, with tales of Harry swallowing a live goldfish, inhaling a balloon filled with laughing gas, and stories of his minders and bodyguards seizing and wiping cameras and phones they feared had compromising pictures of the Playboy Prince on them. The rumors continue, with tabloid speculation at the end of 2015 that Harry was about to become a dad. But our Harry seems to have turned some kind of a corner. Into his thirties now, he's not settled down and is still actively, really actively, playing the field. He's moved from being a liability to being a solid Royal asset. These days he comes out of a club in the wee small hours but seems able to walk on his own. Most of the time.