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Prince Harry's Naked Vegas Photos Defended by Rupert Murdoch Despite Tabloid Running Scandalous Shots

Prince Harry, Prince of Wales BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM

Of all the white knights to rush to Prince Harry's defense...it's safe to say no one was expecting this man to be the one leading the charge.

Rupert Murdoch, a man who knows from scandals—both from starting them and finding himself in the middle of them—has spoken out in defense of Prince Harry's naked partying ways, sticking up for the young royal's right to both put the "sin" in Sin City and expect privacy in the wake of his escapades.

Which would make for an impressively noble defense were it not for the fact that the tabloid magnate ever so slightly undermined himself not 24 hours earlier when the Murdoch-owned Sun became the sole U.K. paper to publish the uncensored shots of Harry's crown jewels.

Well, he almost managed to avoid being a hypocrite. Er, baby steps?

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"Prince Harry. Give him a break," the media mogul tweeted over the weekend. "He may be on the public payroll one way or another, but the public loves him, even to enjoy Las Vegas."

Ignoring the numerous replies that then questioned the News Corp. honcho on why his paper chose to run the privacy-destroying shots, he carried on his defense with a brief word of advice.

"Only lesson for Prince Harry: avoid playmates with cameras!"

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We'll assume the "or sensationalist media empires" is equally implied.

The Sun was the only British paper to break from rank last week and publish the grainy photos of Prince Harry in his birthday suit in his Vegas hotel suite, then citing the umbrella of the freedom of the press as their justification.

Britain's Independent newspaper, meanwhile, claims that Murdoch was not so much showing sympathy for the royal's plight as firing off "a warning shot" to the Leveson inquiry when he demanded that the paper run the photos.

Prince Harry breaks silence in wake of scandal! Find out what he had to say

Meanwhile, Harry's troubles are far from over. While the prince reportedly shut down his Facebook page over the weekend (which was, by various tabloid accounts, set up under the pseudonym Spike Wells), he's also due to report back to his army base in Wattisham, England, as early as today, where he will have to answer to his superiors and potentially be reprimanded for last weekend's festivities which, admittedly, weren't exactly befitting an officer.

Still, it can't be any worse than his meeting with his grandma, Queen Elizabeth II, and dad, Prince Charles, as he was also presumed to have turned up at Balmoral over the weekend. There's no word, however, on whether that meeting went down as expected.

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