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Prince Harry lets it all hang out

For a senior member of the British Royal Family to remove any item of clothing in public still creates shock waves over here. Her Majesty the Queen, we are all encouraged to believe, never so much as takes off her hat - even in the shower. So you can imagine the reaction when Prince Harry, her grandson, appeared in Las Vegas the other day playing 'Strip Billiards' in the company of several shapely young women. His Royal Highness ended up wearing absolutely nothing at all.

Well, 'Dirty Harry', as he is now known, has what the police call "form". Seven years ago he was photographed at a pal's fancy dress party clad in the uniform of a German Nazi officer. With hindsight, if you will pardon the word, he'd have been better advised to attend that party in the nude.

But the Royals have a long tradition of living life to the full and taking the consequences. Take King George the Fourth, who ruled this country for ten years from 1820. By the time he came to the throne he'd calmed down a bit - but in his heyday as Prince Regent he drank excessively, spent public money like water, had become an expert on London's houses of ill-repute and fathered several illegitimate children - one of whom, it is said, was sent to America and later became a Jesuit priest. King George had no less than seven mistresses - which says more about his stamina than his common sense.

Royal Mistresses are a recurring theme. The most recent being Prince Harry's dad - Prince Charles (heir to the throne, no less) who, before his wife Diana died in that tragic Paris car crash, kept a steamy relationship going with Camilla Parker Bowles. She became his second bride and is now the respectable Duchess of Cornwall. But neither of them attended wild parties in Las Vegas nor were photographed in the buff, perish the thought.

Prince Harry, on the other hand, is an eligible bachelor, a serving soldier, and a bit of a lad. You'll see him in public over the next few days as ambassador to the London Paralympic Games - smiling and fully clothed. Because 'Strip Billiards' is not yet a recognised international sport.

This is Ed Boyle for CBS News in London.

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