Rich and naked: Prince Harry gives anti-monarchists a boost

The royal family cannot afford to be associated with the arrogance and extravagance of the super rich

Column LAST UPDATED AT 08:44 ON Fri 24 Aug 2012

IT COMES as no surprise that The Sun newspaper, instrument of the deeply anti-monarchist Murdoch clan, should be the first to publish embarrassing photographs of Prince Harry in Las Vegas, defying efforts by Clarence House to keep a finger in the dyke through pressure on the Press Complaints Commission.
 
Instead of a story about the prince's latest indiscretions which would have blown over fairly quickly, we now have a story about attempts by the royal family to restrict the ability of the British press to publish information freely available via the internet across the globe.

Frankly, Prince Harry's latest misadventures are no big deal.  The idea that somehow the army has been offended or let down is inaccurate, sanctimonious tosh. The Household Division to which Prince Harry belongs as an officer in the Blues and Royals has always had a broad-minded approach to matters of the flesh. More than any other part of the army it recognises the distinction between on and off duty.
 
Still, as an ardent monarchist I do worry. I have a feeling that much of the affection and loyalty the monarchy generates is personal towards one particular monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. When she dies there will be a huge outpouring of national grief. It would not surprise me if millions of her subjects queue round the clock to pay their respects as she lies in state in Westminster Hall. She will be a hard act to follow and there will be danger ahead.

Her likely successor, the Prince of Wales, is not as popular as he should be given the huge amount of charitable work he personally undertakes and the influence he is invariably willing to deploy to better the lot of his less fortunate fellow countrymen. The reason? The caddish way he treated Princess Diana. He is also known for his extravagance – largely financed by his income from the 133,000 acres of land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.
 
His consort, the Duchess of Cornwall, is popular in some quarters, particularly with the services, but there are many in the country who are simply not prepared to accept her as Queen. To put it bluntly, the future of the monarchy is far from assured.

The threat is not just internal. The Queen is Queen not only of the United Kingdom but of 15 other countries (the "realm countries" as they are referred to). The largest are Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica, but they also include Caribbean and Pacific territories. Deliciously, this meant her subjects achieved 48 gold medals at the London Olympic Games – two more than the leader of the former realm country now known as the USA.

The catch is that nearly all of these countries will be reviewing the franchise after her departure - with Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica likely to become republics. This is bound to have a knock-on effect at home, encouraging the vociferous and chippy anti-monarchist lobby.

But these likely future developments pale in comparison to a development that is upon us already – most Brits are heartily fed up with the super rich.  

In between State occasions, the Queen and Prince Philip are celebrated plain livers. But super rich is exactly how many other members of the royal family behave these days.  

At more than £4,000 quid a night (minimum stay three nights), only the super rich would have the money or the bad taste to stay in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas where Prince Harry had the top suite. Freeloading super rich are even more irritating: according to one UK broadsheet a royal aide declined to comment on whether or not the prince, who was on a private holiday with friends, paid for the suite himself or accepted the hotel's hospitality.

Alarmingly, the Spanish royal family's popularity seems to be in free-fall. The once respected King Juan Carlos, whose personal intervention saved the country from a military coup in 1981, is regarded now with indifference, if not hostility by many Spaniards. It's partly to do with internal scandals inside the royal family - Juan Carlos has a voracious eye for the ladies and a dodgy son-in-law alleged to have profited financially from his royal connections - but also resentment at their luxury lifestyle while youth unemployment stands at 50 per cent.

Being super rich is not just about money, it's about attitude as well. One thing that really grates is the way that many of them get heavy-handed over their privacy, often backing it up with threats from fancy law firms. Unfortunately the royal family - or at least their courtiers - appear to be aping this habit.
 
Clarence House screwed up badly by trying to prevent publication of the photos in the UK. The idea that Prince Harry's privacy was somehow invaded while he was holding open house in Vegas is ludicrous.

The prospect of a republic appals. But if the new generation of British royals allow themselves to become identified with the arrogance and extravagance of the global super rich, the House of Windsor is doomed. · 

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The only people getting upset and hot under the collar about this are the media. Everyone has seen in recent months how popular the Royal Family is. With appearances at most of the events taking place during the Olympics. If you think that this will change anything it must be a slow day for real news. It will blow over quickly, regardless of the fact that the royal Family may have asked that picture weren't published. It's not as if they are great pictures anyway. Can we make sure their is a photographer available the next time you go on free junket somewhere....as journalists are the world's worst for accepting 'freebies', as a father of one I should know.

How can any rational intelligent person confess to being an 'ardent monarchist' looking at pictures the third in line to the throne running around butt naked in a comped suite in Vegas? Ardent? Really?

Strip away the crowns and thrones and you have a "enterprise" that very cunningly over hundreds of years stitched itself into the fabric of the country using land, money, the church and the army. It's no more than a very successful business with some clever marketing. We live in a democratic meritocracy where there is opportunity and fairness for all. Monarchy directly contradicts this ethos by saying we are 'subjects' to a bunch of people who happened to be born into one particular family. The Queen is an exceptional individual. She demonstrates courage, dignity, sacrifice, wisdom, those very qualities so often glaringly absent in many of our elected leaders. She's been a constant in the background of my life. When the time comes I will be one of those filing past to pay my respects to a incredible leader. But when that happens let's leave on a high note. Charles, Camilla, the hangers on and the rest of this soap opera troupe have no place at the head of our country. A degree of mystery and quiet dignity has kept this show on the road for hundreds of years. I don't think the Brits or the commonwealth are going to be hoodwinked by a bunch of C list celebs. It embarrasses us.

What the ****!
It's irrelevent whether he's rich, super rich or disgustingly rich and priveledged. He's a young bloke out to have some fun. Generally speaking, he bl**dy deserves it. Anyone who's spent a lot of time at sea, know damn well how dangerous search and rescue is. I'm as p*s* poor as the majority of this country and admit some feelings of envy towards these super wealthy people but if I were him I'd be doing the same. Get off his back and remember, he's a person too and didn't ask to be born into the royal family. if it was you being rescued by him, you'de think he was worth every penny. Hope you read this 'Harry'.

If the people Harry was with were conscious and consenting, then he is well ahead of Aussie republican Julian Assange in the morality stakes.

And one of the guys he pals around with is an armaments dealer. Marvelous.

I only know about the British monarchy from what I hear on the news. I believe that the monarchy in GB lived in the past until now. . Poor old Edward 8th (Duke of Windsor - had he been born later, he may well have survived falling in love with a twice divorced woman). I believe Prince Charles was made to marry Princess Diana in order to bear heirs to the throne. I don't care for him one way or the other, but the fact that he married Camilla, a woman of his own age rather than a bimbo speaks volumes. He obviously cared for her from the start.

Going on to Prince Harry - he is 27, for God's sake, not 17. He should know better than to cavort around naked. This nation has gone from being fuddy duddys to showing the world that we have become the ridicule of European Monarchs. I couldn't care less if he is "royalty". If I had a son of 27 cavorting around naked, I would never forgive him!

Sorry Maria - most guys I know would be very happy to cavort around naked at 27! But they would never tell their mother!

I am no friend of the royal family nor do I support hereditary public office of any kind. However, I do not think that anyone's nude pictures should be shown in public without that person's express consent, be it a royal or any other person.

"At more than £4,000 quid a night (minimum stay three nights), only the super rich would have the money or the bad taste to stay in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas where Prince Harry had the top suite..."
Err other reports are saying his entire bill was picked up by the hotel owner, so no cost there then.

The above article is arrant nonsense. The monarchy is a public institution and hence all its activities are matter of public concern.
You cannot have a presumptive heir to the throne and a potential commander in chief running around naked in public and making a joke of the nation and all its institutions.
Harry's activities have shown him to be unfit for public or royal duties. As a minimum he should be stripped of all public duties and divested of his royal status.
In my view this is the minimum the royal family should do to uphold the dignity of the monarchy failing which they would have shown themselves to be unworthy and undeserving of royal privilege.