by Gina Serpe | Wed., Aug. 22, 2012 8:31 AM
Let's be honest here: Everyone loves a royal scandal. And judging by his past predilection for the types of headline-grabbing antics normally reserved for reality TV stars, it seems like no one loves a royal scandal more than the man oh-so-frequently at the center of them. We speak, of course, of Prince Harry.
Maybe it was the secondhand "jeah" fumes that clouded Prince William's little brother's sense of propriety, but for one reason or another, Harry saw fit to show off his own personal crown jewels in all their glory during his recent Sin City stay. And while the world was entertained and maybe, briefly, faux-scandalized by his behavior, it was not truly surprised and more or less met the leaked photos with a giddy shrug.
That's because this sort of thing isn't exactly unprecedented when it comes to the extracurriculars of the third in line to the throne. Don't believe us? Well, herewith we expose (ahem) Harry's five biggest royal scandals...
1. Prince of Ales: Once upon a time, in a kingdom not so far, far away, Prince Harry was nothing more than a young impressionable schoolboy (at Eton, granted, one of the most prestigious schools in all the land) and allegedly engaged in a pastime not foreign to 16-year-olds: He experimented. Back in 2002, the British press exploded with reports that after admitting to having tried out cannabis and engaging in underage drinking, Harry's dad Prince Charles ordered him to a nearby rehab center. Not to be admitted, but simply to visit for a day. Royal officials even confirmed the trip, explaining that Harry and a friend were chaperoned to the Featherstone Lodge rehabilitation center in London to learn about the dangers of drug-taking.
2. School Daze: Back in 2004, Prince Harry once again dominated headlines for less than flattering reasons, when one of his former teachers at Eton College made the bold claim that she helped him cheat his way through an arts class, completing some of his schoolwork for him, and claiming that she prepared text—at the behest of the head of the art department, allegedly—to go along with art he created in one of his final projects. The teacher, Sarah Forsyth, made the claims during an employment tribunal held over her unfair dismissal (she blamed Harry; the school blamed her not-up-to-snuff teaching style) and added insult to injury when she called Harry a "weak student." Both Harry and the school vehemently denied the allegations.
3. Der Foot in Mouth: Perhaps the most infamous of all of Harry's tabloid indiscretions was the costume party held back in December 2004, when the then-20-year-old wore a swastika armband to a friend's do. Inevitably, a photo of the royal in the horrendously ill-chosen outfit made the front page of tabloids around the world, most blaring the headline, "Harry the Nazi."
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Clarence House was quick to offer up an apology for the deviation from common sense, releasing a statement saying, "Prince Harry has apologized for any offense or embarrassment he has caused. He realizes it was a poor choice of costume." Those Brits. They really are the kings of understatement.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
4. Language, Gentlemen: Unfortunately for him, Harry's cultural insensitivity tour continued apace, and yet more hands were wrung and heads hung over a bout of verbal gaffes laid out by the prince. In 2009, a video taken of Harry three years prior emerged, on which the prince was clearly heard describing fellow Army colleagues by racist or otherwise derogatory names. During the footage, filmed while training in Cyprus, he refers to one colleague, Ahmed Raza Khan, as "our little Paki friend," and to another as "a raghead." Even the now-Prime Minister David Cameron spoke out against the utterances, calling it "an unacceptable thing to say." Harry naturally was quick to issue an apology, saying he understood "how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause." Of the incident in question, which took place in 2006, the palace said that Harry had "used the term without malice and as a nickname" and "was in no way seeking to insult his friend."
5. Royal Rage: Well, we can't say that we blame him for this one. Or that we're disappointed that the headlines that resulted from this particular incident resulted in him being called, at least briefly, Harry Potty. But back in the fall of 2004, the prince launched into what the Mirror deemed "four-letter fury" at a paparazzo who was hounding his every move. The incident devolved into a physical scuffle, and photos of the royal being held back red-faced emerged, as did photos of the offending paparazzo with a cut lip. No legal action was taken.
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