Embarrassing pictures showing Prince Harry and a young woman naked in a hotel room have been published on the internet.
The images of the royal were taken in Las Vegas where the third in line to the throne was enjoying a private break over the weekend.
In the first photograph, Harry is shown wearing just a necklace and a wristband with his hands around his genitals as a seemingly topless woman stands close behind him.
The nude prince is shown in another picture shielding himself behind an unknown woman who is also naked.
The images were published by celebrity gossip website TMZ, which said they were taken last Friday.
The website claims that the pictures came after the prince and his entourage met some women in a hotel bar and invited them up to the royal's suite.
The group played a stripping game and someone in the party is thought to have captured the image of the naked prince on a camera phone.
St James's Palace confirmed it was Harry in the pictures but declined to comment further.
A source said the prince, an Army officer and Apache helicopter pilot, was just "letting off steam" before the next important phase of his military career.
The photographs of the naked prince come at the end of an eventful long-weekend break for the royal in Los Angeles and Las Vegas that was well documented in the British media.
Harry was filmed wearing a hat, sunglasses and colourful swimming shorts, socialising at a hotel pool party in Las Vegas as bikini-clad women strolled around him.
Singer Jennifer Lopez is thought to have met the royal as he wandered around the event being staged at the MGM Grand hotel.
The fun-loving 27-year-old royal even challenged US swimmer Ryan Lochte, who won two golds at London 2012, to a race across a pool during the weekend, but lost.
Other royals have been photographed in compromising situations - most notably Sarah, Duchess of York who was pictured having her feet kissed by John Bryan in 1992 soon after she separated from her former husband the Duke of York.
Harry is the joker of the Royal Family but in recent years he has shed much of his party animal persona and concentrated on his military career.
As a younger man he was pictured leaving nightclubs and once got into an altercation with a photographer outside a club, but his focus is now firmly on returning to frontline operational duties.
A source stressed that the naked pictures had been taken during Harry's personal break from work: "He's been in LA on a private holiday over the weekend. He's been letting off steam before the next phase of his military career."
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