Nude Prince Harry photos: St James's Palace decides against making formal complaint

 

Prince Harry's aides have announced they will not be making a formal complaint to the newspaper watchdog about the Sun's publication of nude photos of him.

Harry, an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner, is on deployment in Afghanistan and pursuing a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) would be a distraction, said St James's Palace.

The Sun was the only British newspaper to defy a PCC advisory note not to publish the photos of Harry frolicking in the nude with an unnamed woman in Las Vegas.

The PCC had warned that publication could breach the editor's code of practice on privacy grounds.

A St James's Palace spokesman said: "Having considered the matter now for a number of weeks, we have decided not to pursue a complaint with the PCC on behalf of Prince Harry in respect of the photos of the Prince taken in Las Vegas. We informed the PCC yesterday.

"We remain of the opinion that a hotel room is a private space where its occupants would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

"Prince Harry is currently focused entirely on his deployment in Afghanistan, so to pursue a complaint relating to his private life would not be appropriate at this time and would prove to be a distraction.

"We have concluded that it would not be prudent to pursue the matter further, and we will have no further comment to make about the matter."

Images of Harry naked with a nude woman led to global headlines after they emerged on a celebrity gossip website last month.

He had been photographed while on a short break in Las Vegas just a few weeks before he was sent back to Afghanistan.

The Sun's front-page image showed Harry holding his genitals and another inside showed him with his bottom exposed while apparently playing strip billiards with an unknown blonde.

The tabloid defended its decision in an editorial published along the pictures: "The photos have potential implications for the Prince's image representing Britain around the world.

"There are questions over his security during the Las Vegas holiday. Questions as to whether his position in the Army might be affected. Further, we believe Harry has compromised his own privacy."

The editorial said it was "vital" that the paper ran the pictures: "It is absurd that in the internet age newspapers like The Sun could be stopped from publishing stories and pictures already seen by millions on the free-for-all that is the web."

The decision by St James's Palace not to pursue a complaint with the PCC comes a few weeks after the press watchdog said it would be "inappropriate" to open its own investigation into the Sun's printing of the nude photos.

The PCC received around 3,800 complaints from the public about the newspaper's publication of the pictures.

In a statement, the PCC reiterated its position: "On September 6 the Commission issued a statement confirming that, at that time, it did not consider that it would be appropriate to open an investigation into this matter in the absence of a formal complaint to the Commission from Prince Harry.

"It will consider the matter further at its next regular meeting."

PA

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