The Sun defies Palace and publishes naked photos of Prince Harry

The Sun Credit: ITV News

The Sun has published naked photos of Prince Harry despite a request by St James's Palace via the Press Complaints Commission not to.

Almost half of the front page of Friday's edition shows one of the photographs of the naked Prince in a hotel room in Las Vegas where he was on holiday.

ITV News' UK Editor Keir Simmons reports:

A Royal source told ITV News: "Prince Harry was letting off steam over the weekend before he returns to the next phase of his military duties".

In today's edition, it published a mock-up with one of its own reporters, also called Harry, posing naked in the Prince's place.

The Sun's managing editor David Dinsmore said that the newspaper's editorial team thought "long and hard" about whether to print the pictures, and had reached the decision that it was a matter of press freedom.

In a video posted to The Sun's website he said:

A spokesman for St James's Palace responded to The Sun's decision saying:

The front page of the Evening Herald on Thursday Credit: ITV News

The photos first emerged on the US celebrity gossip website TMZ and quickly spread throughout the American media. They are widely available on the internet.

But St James's Palace acted quickly to dissuade UK media organisations from using the pictures by contacting the Press Complaints Commission.

The Evening Herald, which is printed in Dublin in Ireland, is the only newspaper that decided to publish the photos today.