Did British taxpayers shell out for Prince Harry's naked romp? Do they have any say in future naked romps?
—O. Quincy, via Twitter
Let's put it this way: At least part of Prince Harry's supposedly private strip-pool excursion involved money shelled out by the good people of his native land. As for exactly what the Brits paid for, well, let's put it this way: It wasn't the pool. It wasn't the hotel. In fact, it was something that's kinda hard to argue with, naked photos or not.
I speak of Prince's Harry's security detail, which is, I have learned, paid for by British taxpayers. Those costs, which cover all members of the family, aren't released to the public, but one report estimates that the total amount for the family is between £30 million and £100 million—or $48 million and $159 million—a year.
At least two Scotland Yard guards were said to have accompanied Harry on his vacation.
As for the rest of Harry's good time—the hotel, the food, the pool table upon which naked billiards were supposedly played—a spokesman for his royal person insists that taxpayers have nothing to worry about.
"Prince Harry's trip was paid for entirely privately," the spokesman tells me. "There were no public funds at all."
Now, that isn't to say that Harry directly earned his vacation money. There's a chance that some of that cash came from his elder family members, such as his father, the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles gets the bulk of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall, which last year provided him with the equivalent of about $29 million.
That income, in turn, apparently trickles down.
"The Prince...uses part of the income to meet the costs of his private life and those of his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry," according to an official royal website.
If you're outraged by any of this, consider: Harry has, sort of, paid the people back...with a free show.