I can't imagine Britain is pleased with Prince Harry at the moment. Can the queen or Parliament kick him out of the royal line?
—P.W., Alberta, Canada, via the inbox
Elizabeth II may have caught flak for supposedly "scowling" during the Olympics opening ceremony, but if you're hoping for a breathless account of a spanking in the Royal Mews or some formal stripping of title in Parliament, you're about to be sorely disappointed.
Princes have done much, much more disturbing things and remained royal. (Look up Prince Harry in a Nazi uniform. Or the exposure of Prince Charles's affair with future wife Camilla Parker Bowles—while he was married to Di. Or anything associated with Henry VIII. Or just rent The Madness of King George.)
The rules of royal succession are pretty clear. And none of them include a provision for kicking out a blood prince for getting naked in a hotel room in Vegas.
Now, if Harry had instead been exposed as the out-of-wedlock child of an affair, or converted to Catholicism while out in the Nevada desert, that would be a different story. Really. Catholics can't ascend to the throne. Neither can illegitimate kids. But naked princes? Not a problem. Really.
The worst that could happen? The queen could strip Harry of his title, make him a mere—horrors!—duke or something. Or he could abdicate all by himself if he hated all this attention.
But none of that is likely.
According to royal watchers, in this particular instance, the palace is much more likely to sympathize with Harry, rather than scold him.
"Personally I can't see him being in massive trouble," royal watcher and expert Robert Jobson tells me. "I don't think they're necessarily tearing into him for this."
Why? Because Harry was on vacation, or "holiday," as the Brits prefer, and he was in a private space when his now-famous cheeky photos were taken. Whoever leaked those photos violated Harry's trust—assuming the guy wasn't somehow in on the distribution—and that's what important here.
"The family knows all this," Jobson points out. "The palace is more likely going to be defensive," or protective, of Harry. (Hence the royal blackout on photos of Harry in England.)
In fact, despite rants to the contrary by Boy George, it's unlikely that the palace even has a problem with the prince's security detail.
"It's not their responsibility to guard his image," Jobson rightly points out. "It's their responsibility to make sure he's safe. He wasn't in any physical danger, so, no error there."
That isn't to say that Harry hasn't faced discipline from his family in the past. At 17, after publicly admitting to smoking marijuana and getting drunk in a pub, Harry was sent to rehab by his princely father. The trip was just for one day, to get an idea about the horrors of addiction, but you get the idea: The future king was not amused.
Compare that to this more private incident, and, even from the royal perspective, you're looking at a nonstory. Besides, it's not like the guy looks bad naked...