It Didn’t Stay Here: New Las Vegas photos of Prince Harry in the buff?

Las Vegas photos of Prince Harry

The Sun (London), 2012

Years before I became New to Las Vegas, Prince Harry gave the lie to “What Happens Here, Stays Here,” the racy marketing slogan dreamed up for the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority. In 2012, after the gossip website TMZ broke the news, The Sun (London) published pictures of the then-third-in-line-to-the-British throne cavorting in the buff at the Wynn Las Vegas in a private suite festooned with fetching females.

Why do I bring this up now? Two reasons. First, one of the women who apparently was in the room on that sultry August night, who goes by the name Carrie Royale, said earlier this month she has never-before-seen photos of the Duke of Sussex in his birthday suit from then that she is hoping to reveal for big bucks. Royale is described as a “former dominatrix and model.”

Second, as visitors to this space know well, I compile a list of candidates for my running feature, “It Didn’t Stay Here.” It’s a roster of folks in trouble somewhere else for something that happened in Las Vegas, my cheeky rejoinder to the nothing-leaves-Vegas marketing pitch.

My addition of Harry puts him among some big names. They include Donald J. Trump (twice, once for partying in Las Vegas with Russians and their hangers-on who later got him into trouble, and again for funny accounting concerning the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas that found its way into that New York civil fraud suit against him). There’s Joseph R. Biden Jr. (a little too touchy-feely at a Las Vegas political rally). And French President Emanuel Macron (expense account excesses at a Las Vegas trade show trip when he was an economics minister). You can see the entire list nearby.

In the case of Harry, his memorable long-ago trip to Sin City came when he was 27 years old, single (but beginning to date commoner Cressida Bonas, who wasn’t present), a lieutenant in the British military and about to ship out to fight in Afghanistan. According to press accounts at the time, he and some buds rented a two-story suite at the Wynn and set about tearing up the Strip.

They cut a wide swath at Wet Republic, the MGM Grand pool venue; fancy restaurants, and the Surrender nightclub at the Encore Beach Club, a sister property of Wynn. Eventually, in the early morning hours of Day Two they ended up back in the multi-story suite surrounded by about a half-dozen new female acquaintances dubbed “blackjack girls.”

A decade later in his best-selling 2023 memoir, Spare, Harry picked up the tale. He admitted it was his idea to play strip pool. It didn’t go well for him.

“Ten minutes later I was the big loser, reduced to my skivvies,” he wrote. “Then I lost my skivvies.”

One or more of those of those blackjack girls–Royale said it was someone else–quietly took some pictures on a cellphone.

It took about 10 days for the news–and the pictures–to hit the Internet and then the print media. Led by Rupert Murdoch’s Sun, with the headline, “Heir It Is,” the London tabloids ran large photos that left little to the imagination. Other media outlets piled on.

Las Vegas Review-Journal gossip Norm Clarke reported in his Vegas Confidential column that “something pretty gigantic” was about to break.Two days later,–owned by the National Enquirer, which had broken accurate news of the shenanigans of golfer Tiger Woods and presidential candidate John Edwards–reported the presence of cocaine and marijuana in Harry’s suite. This was not verified, although Harry in Spare said he was no stranger to such substances, which he said helped him deal with the continuing loss of his mother, Princess Diana, in a 1997 car crash.

Public opinion then ranged from outrage to boys-will-be-boys bemusement. It was later reported that Harry’s father, now King Charles III, took more of the latter view.

Harry wrote in the book:

“I berated myself: How had I let it happen? How had I been so stupid? Why had I trusted other people? I’d counted on strangers having goodwill, I’d counted on those dodgy girls showing some basic decency, and now I was going to pay the price forever. These photos would never go away. They were permanent.”

It certainly looks like he was correct there. However, more than a week after Royale’s threat promise business proposition, no more photos have surfaced. Perhaps talks or legal warnings have occurred. Royale originally said she might post the pictures on the pay-per-view of her account on OnlyFans, an Internet service often used by sex workers. But even that was too much for the U.K.-based platform, which deactivated her account for, as a spokesperson said, “threatening to share non-consensual intimate images.”

Now 52, Royale, whose real name is Carrie Reichert, has made something of a career from her fleeting encounter with Prince Harry. Just three years later, in 2015, when Las Vegas’s Exotic Heritage Museum (yes, there is such a place) opened a display that included a life-size photo of Harry in his underwear, Royale donated for display what she called the prince’s black boxer underwear he soon took off. She said Harry gave it to her at the time as a gift. “We are so proud,” museum owner Harry Mohney said in a statement, “to have on display the underwear which housed the Royal Family’s crown jewels.”

But earlier this month, it was reported that Royale sold the underwear for $250,000 to San Diego strip club boss Dino Palmiotto, supposedly to display the garment at his club, Exposé. Vegas’s loss, thus, will be San Diego’s, too.

But what is it about Vegas’s reputation for bad stuff that venue is simply assumed? I find in talking with friends around the U.S. that some think Sin City was the location of another of Harry’s well-publicized escapades, but one involving too many clothes. I am referring to his 2005 dressing-up as a swastika-wearing Nazi.

In fact, that incident took place in the U.K. countryside at a friend’s costume-themed birthday party in Gloucestershire, 110 miles west of London. Harry was all of 20 years old. That the episode came just days before Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, added to the resulting public outrage. In Spare, Harry says his older brother, Prince William, now the Prince of Wales, and wife Catherine approved beforehand of the costume. But the Spare pretty much bore the anger alone. That may be one early reason leading to the current estrangement of the two brothers. Harry is now married to former actress Meghan Markle, the father of two children–and in effect living in exile in California.

That puts him in the same state just 200 miles or so from where his discarded boxers may end up for all of eternity. But somehow, “What Happens in San Diego, Stays In San Diego” just doesn’t have the same ring.

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