Naked pictures that rocked the royals


As transformations go, Prince Harry's over the past decade is spectacular.

From donning a Nazi uniform, to being regularly caught drunkenly having a good time, he was the royal family's prodigal son, notching up a series of scandals with his laddish ways.

While today he is a passionate environmentalist and mental health activist - not to mention a besotted husband and father - it wasn't that long ago Harry was making headlines for all the wrong, very risque reasons.

Perhaps the most outrageous incident took place seven years ago this week, inside Room 2401 of the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, a night that will live on in infamy thanks to a couple of blurry photos and the internet.


August usually sees the Windsor clan trade London for the wilds of Balmoral, the Queen's privately owned 50,000-acre Scottish estate. In 2012, before he enjoyed a break tramping across the moors with his monarch grandmother and a spot of grouse hunting, Harry had another quarry he was keen to bag - a very good time.

On August 17, 2012 Prince Harry (then third-in-line to the throne) flew to Las Vegas for a holiday. His home for the mini-break was the five star Encore Wynn Hotel, where rooms start at $500-a-night.

But Harry, and his devoted wingman Tom Inskip, weren't checking into a simple hotel room.

Instead, the resort's owner Steve Wynn had arranged for his royal guest to enjoy a taste of the high-roller life, arranging for them a $9200-a-night suite which included a private elevator, massage room, butler service and mohair walls.

However, Harry's presence hadn't been noted … yet.


What's the fun in partying if you don't have your best posse with you? Tom Inskip has quite the impressive track record when it comes to helping Harry have a smashing time.

He had been by the royal's side during a 2011 jaunt to Croatia when Harry was filmed drunkenly jumping in a nightclub's pool fully clothed. Then there was the Verbier ski trip where Skippy (as he is known to mates) and Harry reportedly threw snowballs at passers-by from a balcony.

Also joining the Good Time Brigade was a longtime friend of Harry's, Arthur Landon, who had been mates with the Prince since high school.


The royal party's anonymity disappeared when the lads decided to enjoy some chlorinated good times. The day after checking in, they headed to the MGM Grand's Wet Republic for a star-studded pool party.

No soggy pool loungers for these lads. Instead the group took up residence in a $1450 VIP bungalow, with Jennifer Lopez partying with her own friends just metres away.

Photos from the event show the Prince enjoying the attention of a number of bikini-clad women while blokes believed to be his protection detail, shirtless, stay in the private pool laughing and joking.

Suffice to say there were a lot of pale British skin on display.


This was probably one hen's party that beat the actual wedding … That same day, Harry and his pals crossed paths with a group of women celebrating an upcoming wedding.

"We were speechless," Lauren Martirano who was a member of the party has said. "We just stood there with our jaws dropped."

Harry, however, she says, was a "gentleman".


TV station Extra filmed Prince Harry enjoying the poolside entertainment at the MGM Grand hotel and throwing a lingering glance towards a stunning bikini-clad women. Picture: Extra.
TV station Extra filmed Prince Harry enjoying the poolside entertainment at the MGM Grand hotel and throwing a lingering glance towards a stunning bikini-clad women. Picture: Extra.



The party just wouldn't quit. Back at the Wynn, the royal revellers hit up the hotel's XS nightclub where Harry met Olympian Ryan Lochte. What could be more sensible than challenging a gold medal winner to a few laps at 2am? Challenging him to a number of races!

According to Lochte himself, the new friends had a great time getting wet.

"It was really fun swimming against Prince Harry!" Lochte later said. "I was surprised that he challenged me actually. I didn't know if he had any skills in the pool, but I definitely wasn't going to take it easy on him!"

An eyewitness told E Onlinethat this was not exactly a well-managed face-off, saying, "After three races, Ryan seemed to win as he got out of the pool and jumped up and down with jubilation and then Harry got out and Ryan hugged him.

"I am not quite sure where the finish line was - there didn't seem to be one, (but) I think it was a girl in a bikini."

No word on whether Harry encouraged Lochte to consider lobbying the Olympic committee to introduce girls in bikinis during competitions.

Come 4am, Harry & Co left the pool area. Let's hope they washed all the chlorine off.


Ryan Lochte, who was in Sin City, celebrating his 28th birthday, ended up crossing paths with the Prince at the Wynn Hotel’s XS nightclub. Picture: AFP/Robyn Beck.
Ryan Lochte, who was in Sin City, celebrating his 28th birthday, ended up crossing paths with the Prince at the Wynn Hotel’s XS nightclub. Picture: AFP/Robyn Beck.



Harry, his mates and his protection detail left Sin City the following day, heading back to Los Angeles.

The real hangover landed with a thud on August 21, when gossip website TMZ posted grainy photos of a naked Harry playing strip billiards.

Several days later, The Sun in the UK decided to print the scandalous shots with the headline, "Heir It Is!" with the subhead "Pic of naked Harry you've already seen on the internet."

Of their decision, the paper revealed that: "The Palace's lawyers, via the Press Complaints Commission, (had) warned the UK's newspapers against printing them, claiming they would breach Harry's privacy and the PCC Code."


So when did the world's most famous game of strip billiards take place?

It would seem on that very first night in Las Vegas, long before anyone had clocked the presence of an HRH in the famous gambling capital, his group had kicked things off with, err, a bang.

According to the Daily Mail, on that night, Harry, Tom and Arthur were seen trying their hands at the dice game craps and enjoying some drinks with a group of mystery women. (At one point, Harry accidentally broke his cocktail glass with the drink going all over the gaming table and then was seen apologising.)

After meeting what TMZ eloquently called "a bunch of hot chicks" in the hotel bar, they were invited upstairs to his room.


Several weeks later after this whole brouhaha broke, a British-born woman named Carrie Reichert who had been in the room that night went public with what had happened inside the pricey suite.

She said that one of his entourage had approached her in the hotel's bar. "They said 'Hey, would you like to party with Prince Harry?'," Ms Reichert said. "I'm not going to pass an opportunity to party with Prince Harry."

Ms Reichert told the Mirror that the women were then given entry to the suite without being checked by security.

Inside, "the music was going, alcohol was flowing," she said. "Harry was already undressed. It was just crazy. He looked actually delirious. There was a pool table and he was playing air guitar with pool sticks.

"He would just randomly walk up to you and hug you. He was just really friendly and there were just really random naked hugs. It was funny."

Ms Reichert also alleged that she and the Prince had enjoyed a 15-20 minute "drunken fumble".

"He told me I was beautiful and ­gorgeous, which was sweet. Then we kind of nonchalantly returned to the party and kept drinking," she revealed.


Good question. The naked woman seen in the photos with Harry has never been identified.

"She was an American girl. She was very slender, really cute and pretty, kind of shy and she also seemed really drunk," Reichert told The Mirror.


Two years later in 2014, Harry said of the controversial incident, "It was probably a classic case of me being too much Army and not enough Prince. It's a simple case of that."

Today, there's no question, Harry is all Prince these days.

Daniela Elser is a royal expert and freelance writer | Continue the conversation @DanielaElser

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