Scathing Harry reveals ‘anger’ at press intrusion
During his four-month spell in Afghanistan Prince Harry gave a series of scathing interviews that revealed his contempt for the press.
The 28-year-old has faced a lifetime in the glare of the media.
Photographs of a nude Prince Harry ‘letting off steam’ in Las Vegas were printed in The Sun last year and he believes the media forced the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to announce their pregnancy earlier than they had planned.
European magazines also published topless images of his sister-in-law that were taken by a photographer whose long lens was pointed through roadside foliage into a private holiday villa.
The death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was found at inquest to be partly due to the paparazzi in pursuit of her vehicle.
The interception of Royal voicemail messages by News of the World journalists in 2005 was one of the first sparks of the phone hacking scandal.
While it is perhaps unsurprising that Harry harbours such ill feeling towards the press, his anger displayed publicly in these interviews is unprecedented.
“All it does is upset me and anger me that people can get away with writing the stuff they do,” he says.
“My father always says don’t read it, everyone says don’t read it, because it’s always rubbish.
"I’m surprised how many in the UK actually read it.
“Everyone’s guilty for buying the newspapers, I guess, but hopefully nobody actually believes what they read. I certainly don’t.”
Making reference to the phone hacking scandal, Harry suggested press intrusion had made him nervous about communications in his life outside the Army.
“Because we haven’t got mobile phones out here in Afghanistan], they can’t bug our phones, so they don’t know what we’re saying,” he explained.
“I don’t believe there is any such thing as private life any more.”
He admits that stripping in Las Vegas was a mistake, but says the papers have made no allowances for the fact that he was heading out to war.
“It was probably a classic example of me being too much Army and not enough Prince.
“Yes people might look at it, going, it was letting off steam, it’s all understandable now you’re going out to Afghanistan – well, the papers knew that I was going out to Afghan anyway.
“The way I was treated by them, I don’t think it’s acceptable. But hey.”
He admits his dislike of the press goes back to the time of the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, when he was just 12-years-old.
“I think it’s fairly obvious how far back it goes – to when I was very small,” he says.
And he believes the press was responsible for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revealing their pregnancy earlier than they had wanted.
“I think it’s very unfair that they were forced to publicise it when they were. But that’s just the media for you,” he says.
He voiced further frustration that reports that he’d written to the Duchess of Cambridge from Afghanistan were ‘wrong’.
“How any of the papers think that they know the relationship between myself and my sister-in-law is quite remarkable,” he complained. They’re wrong, as always.”
Indeed one of the main reasons for Harry’s enjoyment of his Afghanistan tours appears to be the distance from British media.
“It is great being out here. I’m with agreat group of people,” he said. “It’s away from all the media back home, whichis one of the real negative points about the UK.”
But as a returning war hero, the public’s interest in Prince Harry is unlikely to diminish any time soon.