Prince Harry; GoldenEye/ Brewer/ Splash News

Prince Harry's bum will grace The Sun.

Despite the royal request to refrain, Friday's edition of the cheekiest British tabloid of them all, home of the infamous Page 3 girls, will lead with the photos of the naked prince frolicking in Las Vegas.

The paper explained its rationale in a video statement posted on its website—where, incidentally, you can also now get a glimpse of tomorrow's front page, the headline reading "Heir It Is!"

Prince Harry, The Sun

The Sun

"We've thought long and hard about this," says managing editor David Dinsmore. "The Sun is a responsible paper and it works closely with the royal family, and we take heed of their wishes."

The Sun is also a creative paper, choosing to reeanct one of Harry's now burned-into-the-brain poses—the naked girl hugging a crown jewels-cupping Harry from behind—with stand-ins for today's edition.

"We're also big fans of Prince Harry," he continued. "He does a huge amount of work for this country and the military and for the image of both those institutions. We are not against him letting his hair down once in a while. For us, this is about the freedom of the press. This is about the ludicrous situation where a picture can be seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world on the Internet, but can't be seen in the nation's favorite paper, read by 8 million people every day.

"This is about our readers getting involved in the discussion about the man who's third in line to the throne. It's as simple as that."

Along with its crafty "Heir It Is!" headline, the Sun subtitles the feature, "Pic of naked Harry you've already seen on the Internet."

It doesn't get much more head-on, er, straight-forward than that.

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