Talbot Church: The royals love this sort of thing. I remember Princess Margaret's strip vingt-et-un

The Palace will be greeting ‘The Crown Jewels Affair’ with quiet satisfaction

Related Topics

For those of us fortunate enough to have attended unbuttoned royal parties down the years, this week's photographs of Prince Harry, naked and yet characteristically stylish, will provoke little surprise.

Although I was not among the partygoers in the deluxe suite at Steve Wynn's Encore Hotel, my experience as a court correspondent is enough to tell me precisely what happened. The royals have always enjoyed games which involve the removal of clothes – Princess Margaret famously held strip vingt-et-un parties at Clarence House during the Swinging Sixties – and the fun-loving prince is no exception.

Far from this incident being an embarrassment, as has been widely reported, the so-called "Crown Jewels Affair" will be causing quiet satisfaction at the Palace. For some time it has been recognised that the greatest threat to the British monarchy is not scandal but dullness. As a senior equerry told me off the record, "the last thing we want the Firm to be is like some dreary Danish royal family".

With every generation, a senior Royal is designated to be what palace insiders call "the romper". Margaret set a high standard as a romper, living life to the full in Mustique where her gangster friend John Binden used to do a party trick for her which involved balancing a pint of beer on the part of his anatomy for which he was most famous.

The next generation's romper was more problematic. Because neither Charles nor Edward were up to it, Prince Andrew was given the job. In spite of carefully leaked stories about meeting his bride-to-be at a spin-the-bottle party in Ibiza, the ludicrously named "Randy Andy" was seen as one of the less successful royal rompers of recent times.

By contrast, Harry has delighted the Palace team. Brighter and more energetic than his dutiful but anaemic older brother, the party-loving prince has thrown himself enthusiastically into his romping duties with the help of what he calls his "glossy posse", a group of no-nonsense pals who include the son of Princess Katalina Esterhazy de Galantha, his best friend "Skippy" Inskip, and, of course, Isabella Anstruther- Gough -Calthorpe.

Just as his grandmother the Queen showed herself to be game for a laugh in Danny Boyle's superb opening ceremony for London 2012, so the young Prince has maintained the great British tradition of bonkers, bare-faced cheek for which we are now world-famous.

Today, as we behold what the Bard once called "a touch of Harry in the night" – a firm, virile young man doing his patriotic duty, surrounded by the busty lovelies of Las Vegas – we should be proud of our very special Romeo prince, a royal romper in the great tradition.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas