The paper says it will donate money to a charity to atone for the error.
Tuesday's "picture exclusive," titled "Dirty Harry," showed the drunk-looking princes during a night out with pals. In one photo a red-faced Prince William, 24, is seen chatting to someone while Harry, 21, is kissing his close pal Natalie Pinkham's cheek and grabbing her breast. Pinkham is a politics graduate, according The Sun, and has dated England cricket player Kevin Pietersen and England rugby star Matt Dawson.
Click here's to see the story on The Sun's Web site.
Word from Clarence House was that the photos on Tuesday's cover were taken in 2003, though the paper said they were taken in the summer of 2006. Yesterday MediaGuardian.co.uk reported the Clarence House rebuttal to the story on its Web site.
"The Sun published the photographs in good faith but we apologise to Ms Natalie Pinkham, a close friend of both Prince William and Prince Harry for publishing them without permission and for any embarrassment or offence their publication has caused," the Sun wrote today at the bottom of another story about Harry on their Web site.
The Sun said in the apology that the paper would make a donation to a charity of Ms. Pinkham's choice.
Click here to read Wednesday's story.
Paddy Haverson, Prince Charles' communications secretary, told MediaGuardian.co.uk yesterday that the shots were taken at the nightclub Purple in September 2003, before Prince Harry began dating his girlfriend of several years, Chelsy Davy. Davy is currently a student in South Africa.
Late yesterday, the Sun defended the authenticity of the photos to MediaGuardian.co.uk and said that "Clarence House have informed us they have concerns over precisely when and in which nightclub the pictures were taken and we are discussing these matters with them."
But today the newspaper admitted that the story was incorrect. "We accept that the nightclub was the Purple Nightclub and not Boujis as we said and the photographs were taken in autumn 2003 and not summer 2006," the Sun said in its apology Wednesday.
Tuesday's story included quotes from a witness, who was apparently there when the two princes were engaging in a drinking session.
"Harry was really going for it," one witness told The Sun. "He had been downing drink all night and was touchy-feely with everyone — especially Natalie. He had his hands all over her and was kissing her on the face. At one point he reached his arm around her and gave her a proper grope on her breast."
By Amy Bonawitz