Prince Harry naked: Is the "party prince" back?

Prince Harry and LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, left, watch the Eventing Cross Country Equestrian event of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on July 30, 2012. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Prince Harry at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Prince Harry watches the Eventing Cross Country Equestrian event during the London 2012 Olympic Games, July 30, 2012.
Getty

(CBS News) LONDON - Pictures have surfaced showing Britain's Prince Harry and a mystery companion cavorting - completely naked in a Las Vegas hotel room - and the royal family says they're legit.

She's hiding behind him in one of the snaps, and he's hiding his modesty with his hands. Not much else is left to the imagination.

In a second picture, they've swapped places. He's totally naked, aside from a watch and a necklace.

British broadcasters steered clear of showing the pictures. Most American networks ran them. CBS News chose not to.

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The pictures were reportedly snapped inside the Prince's private VIP suite in a Las Vegas hotel following a game of strip-pool, which he appears to have lost.

It's unclear which one of Harry's newfound friends from the hotel bar broke the "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" rule, but the pictures - inevitably - did come out.

Harry has never been a shrinking violet, but lately, his image has been on the up.

He represented the Queen on a tour of the Caribbean and South America this year, in honor of the monarch's Jubilee this year.

He served as royal ambassador to the London Olympics.

The Vegas trip was meant to be a little rest, relaxation and recreation... heavy on the recreation, as British newspapers have feverishly reported.

Few would argue that there is any harm in a single, 27-year-old man, letting off a little steam in what was meant to be a very private situation.

But the embarrassing nude pictures can't help but revive Harry's reputation as the "party prince" - the wild child antidote to brother Prince William's buttoned-down high standards of discretion.

They hearken back to his earlier years of spilling out of nightclubs at all hours - and that dubious decision to wear the Nazi uniform to a costume party.

Perhaps less important than Prince Harry in the nude, is the company he's keeping, and who let the pictures slip. He is, after all, third in line to the British throne. There are serious security questions, if not expectations of decorum.

But he's rich, famous and most importantly, single, which makes him free to do what some rich, famous, single people apparently do. No harm, no foul.

Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, told CBS News that Harry was "stupid" to allow the nude photos to come out, but this isn't likely to affect his "brand" and may actually exemplify the unguarded nature of the "party prince," which keeps people interested.

The photos may make a few people in the royal family blush, and they most certainly bring the kind of attention the royal brand could do without.

Harry being Harry, he'll likely be able to get past this latest mini-scandal with a wink and a smile.

It may only have been a matter of time before Harry got be caught with his pants down, or completely off, but the next time he decides to play strip pool, it might be an idea to confiscate guests' cell phones, first.

  • Charlie D'Agata

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