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15 years ago: Diana’s death

- August 31st, 2012
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On Thursday, people stand in front of the Flame of Liberty statue at the Pont de l’Alma underpass in Paris where Diana died 15 years ago. Some people have left momentos and flowers to the late mother of Prince William and Prince Harry. (Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP)

At 12:23 a.m. on Aug. 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, was in a car crash in a Paris tunnel alongside her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed.

Blood tests later showed the driver of the car, Henri Paul, had used drugs and drank a lot of alcohol before the accident, in which they were fleeing from the paparazzi.

Diana, 36, died at 4 a.m. after she was rushed to hospital, but efforts to save her failed.

About three million people lined the streets of London for her funeral on Sept. 6, and watched as her two sons walked behind her casket.

So much has happened in the last 15 years – her oldest son is married, her youngest son has fought in Afghanistan, the media backed off the two boys as they grew up, and people have forgiven the Queen and the royal family for what was viewed at the time as a lack of reaction on their part to her death.

A movie about her life is also in the works (originally called Caught in Flight, now titled simply Diana) . Naomi Watts plays Diana in the biopic.

Earlier this week, some people in Paris started placing flowers, photos and notes at the base of the Flame of Liberty statue, which is above the tunnel where Diana died and has become an unofficial memorial for her.

Share your thoughts about Diana in the comments.

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Photos and flowers were among some of the items placed at the base of the Flame of Liberty statue in Paris this week. (Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP)

Uh oh, Harry

- August 30th, 2012
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Prince Harry watches the men’s gymnastics events during the Olympics. (Photo: Phil Noble/REUTERS)

Is it possible that Prince Harry and friends were having a little more fun in Vegas than just some strip pool?

RadarOnline.com reports there were prostitutes and cocaine in the hotel room as well, which takes the idea of Harry being a “good ol’ boy just having some adult fun” to a new level.

The website says it has confirmed at least one woman was a known prostitute. As well, a source tells the website there was a cocaine dealer in the room – although no one is saying (yet) whether Prince Harry was partaking in the white stuff.

“Things got pretty crazy in Prince Harry’s suite that night. Everyone was drinking and drugs were also being used by some people,” one witness told RadarOnline.

Splash News has also reported there was cocaine in the room.

It’s been reported there is video footage of the evening and it’s being shopped around.

Prince Harry has arrived back in Britain and is expected to show his support to athletes during the Paralympics.

Support for Harry

- August 28th, 2012
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One man posts a photo on the Facebook group, Support Prince Harry with a naked salute! The caption on the photo reads: “Well done, Harry. One of the lads.” (Photo: Facebook)

While Prince Harry’s Vegas antics may have been frowned upon by some in the royal family, he’s got supporters all around the world.

(Read our story and see some of the pictures)

Hundreds of photos have been posted on Facebook and the website Salute 4 Harry with one common theme – everyone is either naked, or nearly naked.

“This group was started after a few serving and ex military lads started posting naked salutes to each other in support of Prince Harry,” the website says.

In less than 72 hours, more than 16,000 people had joined the Facebook group and the hashtag #Salute4Harry was trending on Twitter.

Along with posting naked photos (always with the sensitive bits covered in some way), people have also posted photos of their full-clothed children and pets to the Facebook page.

Many use their hands, flags or even guns to cover themselves.

Makes me wonder …

Prince Harry offered $10M to star in adult film

- August 25th, 2012
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Prince Harry watches an Olympic event before his trip to Vegas. (Photo: Neil Hall/REUTERS)

You knew this was coming.

Vivid Entertainment – makers of such adult film parodies as Superman XXX and Star Wars XXX – have written a letter to Prince Harry offering him the staring role in a big-budget flick entitled, The Trouble with Harry. They’re willing to pay the prince $10 million.

TMZ has a copy of the letter.

The letter, sent to Clarence House by Vivid founder Steven Hirsch, said they were “amused and pleased” by the recent naked shots of the prince during a private vacation in Vegas.

“We would like to offer you the opportunity to truly become the coolest prince of all time,” the letter states.

“Of course, ‘little Harry’ will make an appearance too, but we assure you the sex will be well scripted, and the Crown Jewels will not be ‘minimized’ in any way.”

This isn’t the first time Vivid has propositioned the royals. Following the nuptials of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Vivid offered Pippa Middleton (Kate’s sister) $5 million to do just one scene in an adult film.

In January, Vivid noted a sex tape involving the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be “the best seller of all time.”

But Vivid isn’t alone in wanting Prince Harry. Playgirl is also hoping the 27-year-old will bare it all again in a Chippendales show.

“He’s a wild party guy and he’s appealing to a lot of people because, although he’s from the royal family, there’s sort of this untamed nature to him. I think that’s something that’s really attractive to our readers and to the general public. He can’t be contained by the royal family. He’s just a free spirit,”  the publisher of Playgirl, Vincent Stevens, told eonline, adding a million dollars is “not out of the question.”

Printing photos of Harry about ‘freedom of the press,’ U.K. Sun says

- August 24th, 2012
AFP_DV1296954An arrangment of British daily newspapers photographed in London on Thursday shows the front-page headlines and stories regarding nude pictures of Britain’s Prince Harry. However, none of the papers actually ran the photos of the prince. The U.K. Sun will on Friday. (Photo: DANIEL SORABJI/AFP Photo)

Until Friday, no British paper had printed the naked photos of Prince Harry in Vegas.

Now, the U.K. Sun is changing that.

The paper will run a “souvenir printed edition” including the photos of Prince Harry after a naked romp in his Vegas suite a week after the pics were snapped by someone at the private party.

“Heir it is!” the front page headline proclaims. “Pic of naked Harry you’ve already seen on the internet.”

The U.K. Sun will be the first British paper to run the saucy snaps of Prince Harry on Friday. (Photo: U.K. SUN/TWITTER)

Now why, you might be asking, would the U.K. Sun bother? The photos, which they had to obtain from the U.S. celebrity gossip website TMZ, were reportedly being sold to other media outlets for a few thousand dollars. Why print them when, even the Sun admits, you’ve likely already seen them?

“We’ve thought long and hard about this. The Sun is a responsible paper and it works closely with the Royal family. We take heed of their wishes,” managing editor David Dinsmore said on the Sun’s website.

“We’re also big fans of Prince Harry, he does a huge amount of work for this country and for the military and for the image of both of 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.”

The statement notes St. James’ Palace sent legal letters to British newspapers urging editors not to use the photos saying they’re an intrusion into Prince Harry’s privacy.

“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 favourite paper read by eight million people every day,” Dinsmore said.

The British media have long shied away from using paparazzi shots of Prince Harry, Prince William, Duchess Catherine and other young royals while drunk, partying or basically, behaving badly. It’s in part because they were asked to leave Wills and Harry alone while the two were in school, but also because many have blamed the paparazzi for Diana’s death 15 years ago. No British paper wanted to be in trouble with readers for publishing photos that might be perceived as leading to the same tragic end it did for Diana.

But there’s been a push-back as of late because, it seems, the royal family has wanted to control the media more than they need to.

When William and Kate got their puppy at Christmas, it took several weeks before they’d even release the name of the dog (it’s Lupo, by the way) even though the names of the Queen’s corgis are well known. In fact, they refused to say the cocker spaniel was their dog right away.

There were paparazzi shots of them walking the pooch on the beach, which U.S. media outlets ran with, but the British media ignored.

“He is a private pet and they do not want his name to be made public although the couple are happy to confirm that they do, indeed, have a new dog,” a spokesman at St James’s Palace said.

Why did they hold out on telling anyone the dog’s name? Simple – because they wanted to and they could. And they knew even if British outlets found out the name, they’d probably not run it because they’ve been warned so many times before about breaching the privacy of the young couple.

In other cases, members of the royal family have complained to the Press Complaints Commission when photos they’ve deemed too personal have made their way into British papers.

So it’s no surprise this story – whether you think it’s a disgrace or a funny tale of the partying prince having too much fun – has struck a chord with the British media.

It’s not a surprise it’s the Sun running the shots – they were the ones in 2005 who ran the photos of Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform and they are known for their tabloid-style journalism (they also had a reporter pose nude to “recreate” the shot earlier this week).

But, putting aside which paper is running these shots, it will be a huge step in the coverage of the royals – in particular the young royals – by the British media. While we won’t see a tonne of paparazzi shots right away, it’s likely we’ll see an uptick in them (no doubt every editor is dying for that first baby bump shot of Kate).

And it means the royal family will either have to realize they can’t control the media (so they have to better control themselves … Harry) and play nice, or they won’t play along and the media will do what they want anyway.