Radar's September cover story, an insider account of the turbulent life of England's 22-year-old pin-up prince, reveals the details of Harry's rowdy lifestyle and his military career. As a second lieutenant in Britain's elite Blues and Royals unit, the prince was so desperate to join his regiment in Iraq that he threatened to quit the military if he wasn't allowed to serve. When it was revealed that Al Qaeda had put a $500,000 bounty on his head, he even drew up a will dispersing his multi-million-dollar estate. But days before Harry was to ship out to Iraq, Sir Richard Dannatt, who heads up the British Army, personally phoned the prince to inform him that his six-month deployment had been canceled. On the night his regiment flew to Iraq, a dejected Harry partied at the Syndicate, a Bristol club renowned for its Ecstasy-fueled fetes. In the following excerpt, Radar examines Harry's party-boy antics.
Spend any time near Prince Harry in a social setting and it's easy to see where his "wild child" reputation comes from. He annually attends the nightclub Chinawhite's Rock the Polo tent party—held for 3,000 revelers in late July after the Cartier International Polo event at Windsor Park—looking like Jeff Spicoli in an Evelyn Waugh novel. Three years ago, dressed in his Maxim-approved attire of jeans and a baseball cap, he chucked Red Bull cans at his friends, screamed along to the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right," then mounted a platform to kiss a girl who was celebrating her bachelorette party. And Harry was so exhausted at the end of another event that he wound up slumped on a 20-foot pile of water bottles in the VIP area.
A close friend of Harry's says the prince was ordered to clean up his act earlier in the year by senior royal courtiers and army superiors in his Blues and Royals regiment. "They got fed up at the number of late-night confrontations he was having with photographers outside Boujis," the friend says, recalling a particularly bad night in March when a ruddy-faced Harry lashed out at a cameraman before stumbling into a gutter outside the nightclub.
Indeed, according to a source with contacts in the royal protection forces, Harry's bodyguards spend much of their time intercepting bar patrons they suspect of trying to push ecstasy on the prince. In an attempt to prevent embarrassing incidents from turning up in the papers, the boys' minders have been instructed not to inform police of drug use among the princes' friends. But more than just image is at stake. Harry's behavior "poses a security nightmare, frankly," a former head of the Royal Protection Squad told the Express in April. "We already know that people plotting bombs have singled out nightclubs." This last statement was thrown into high relief with the discovery of car bombs in a London nightclub district in July.
Harry's response to the scolding seems to have been to choose his nightspots more carefully. Boujis, a grimy basement venue opposite the South Kensington tube station, is out of favor. These days the royal posse is likely to be found at Mahiki, a kitschy watering hole where one of the princes' most loyal friends, Guy Pelly, serves as marketing manager. Mahiki's trademark drink, the Treasure Chest, is a $200 concoction of brandy, peach liqueur, and champagne meant for a party of eight; Harry has been known to down one by himself in a single sitting. He has also become a regular at Azteca, where the royal party usually occupies a special box right under the DJ booth.
In a typical night out, reports a source, the princes start with dinner at a friend's, then hit Mahiki, entering through the back door Goodfellas-style, backed by a fleet of bodyguards. Their friends have to make do with the front entrance, though a special password allows them to bypass the assembled plebeians and avoid the cover charge. (On a recent evening, the magic word was "mole.")
Last spring, Harry mostly socialized with the Gloucestershire polo set he met during stays at Highgrove. "One night in March," says a friend, "he partied so late he missed his class reunion at Eton the next day."
In a bid to counter the prince's party-boy image, the palace recently embarked on a public relations initiative designed to portray the boys as solid, everyday lads. Responsibility for this effort fell to Paddy Harverson, a canny PR heavyweight who was hired as Prince Charles's personal spokesman after successfully handling publicity for Manchester United and David Beckham. In June, Harverson arranged for both boys to appear on Dateline in a much-hyped interview with Matt Lauer, their first major appearance on U.S. television. Despite their awkward, halting performance, the episode drew high ratings. In the palace, it was seen as a huge success. Over and over, both boys emphasized their normal, unregal values. Asked by Lauer what he'd do if he weren't a prince, Harry replied that he dreamed of being a safari guide in Africa.
The PR offensive culminated on July 1, with a six-hour concert at London's Wembley Stadium held in honor of the princes' late mother. The event, organized by William and Harry last year, brought together some of Diana's favorite acts (Duran Duran and the English National Ballet) along with more contemporary performers (Lily Allen and Kanye West), ostensibly for the purpose of raising money for her beloved charities. But it was beset with problems from the start: Many top acts refused the princes' invitation, opting to play Live Earth the following Saturday at Wembley instead; after-party sponsors failed to materialize; and bad publicity resulted when it was revealed that Diana's charities would be forced to pay retail for tickets. A lavish after party hosted by Diddy also raised eyebrows. Clucked one royal source: "There is a genuine fear that the princes could be photographed falling out of the party in the early hours. It is not seen as a fitting memorial." Anxious to avoid any embarrassment, Harry steered clear of booze for the day.
But despite his recent efforts, some royal watchers remain skeptical that he will ever really reform. "The royal family does what they want, and the PR man faces the consequences," says Robert Jobson, the Evening Standard's Royal Correspondent. "Every time Harry takes two steps forward, his character takes him three steps back."
when they were younger I used to think that William was the cuter one, but now..I love Harry
I was well impressed that he wanted to join his reg. in Iraq, must've been scary to find out that Al-Qaeda had a bounty on his head
Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear. -Lord Goring
From a magazine whose cover also carries the line 'Mormons vs Jews', sounds reputable. He looks pretty pissed off on that cover, but if I only ever went out to Boujis I'd be pretty pissed off... (Never had the displeasure of going to 'Mahiki', but it's bound to be of a similar type - Sloanes on the (overpriced) lash.)
-Jamais fille chaste n'a lu de romans
i don't doubt that Harry does all that is said in the article and more, following the footsteps of all royal princes for centuries. I don't know why people expect them to be angels, they were born to the utmost status and money without ever working for it.
I can't believe a descendant of God is posing half-naked in a cover of a magazine. I don't know how much of this is his idea, but he (and people in general, I guess) should at least treat him with a bit of dignity or something.
You can calm down — this is not a real photo.
But US magazine Radar has come under a storm of real controversy after creating the mock-up image of Prince Harry for their latest issue.
The fake image shows the young prince sitting on a throne in his underwear, with a beer in his hand and two empty cans at his feet. Radar spokesman Adam Raymond said creating the image was the best way to accurately portray the secret life of the media-shy prince.
"We thought it was just a fun way to poke a bit of fun and illustrate the way Harry is behind closed doors," he said.
The accompanying article, which will be released with the new issue of the magazine on August 12, describes the Queen's grandson as a "skirt-chasing, hard-partying royal pain."
Mr Raymond said Radar did not agree with the royal family's request to the media to leave the princes alone.
"Certainly they (William and Harry) should not be untouchable — especially considering the amount they put themselves in the public eye by going out and going wild," he said.
"They are young, good-looking, powerful and rich — all things that America obsesses over — so we were interested in doing something big on him."
He added that while the magazine usually used legitimate photos on their covers, it has created mock-ups in the past — including President George W. Bush placing a medal around the neck of Paris Hilton and bad-boy actor Colin Farrell lounging on a bed with women.
The picture of Prince Harry was created by superimposing an image of his face onto a model's body.