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This week media outlets across the world have been focusing on the legacy of the late Princess Diana as the 10th anniversary of her Aug. 31, 1997, death quickly approaches.
Her sons Princes William and Harry have naturally found themselves under the same kind of scrutiny by an international press corps eagerly comparing the heirs to their philanthropic mother.
While the elder William’s quieter ways have largely been given a pass — albeit somewhat grudgingly by those who are beginning to note that Wills is slowly morphing into his stodgy father Prince Charles -— the younger of the royal brothers has been taking heat in some circles.
Some in the British media have dubbed the 22-year-old “Dirty Harry” for his hard-partying ways —- a trip to rehab after admitting pot use and alcohol bingeing to stodgy dad Prince Charles being one consequence.
Then there was that whole costume party faux pas in which Harry dressed in a Nazi uniform complete with swastika armband which led to obvious public outrage and an apology from Harry’s office.
There have also been incidences of a drunken Harry being photographed at bars flirting with random and very attractive women or even copping not-so-subtle feels. He has a girlfriend, for those who were wondering.
In other words, the younger prince is capable of moronic public behaviour that his brother seems smart enough to avoid.
But there’s something about Harry that the public embraces.
Men surely envy his position as a prince with all the money in the world and little responsibility, save those he takes on as a continuation of his mother’s legacy.
Being third in line to the throne after Charles and William, Harry is the spare heir, leaving him plenty of time for charitable pursuits and mindless partying.
Like an Austin Powers with red hair, good teeth and a better title, Harry is largely free to live a playboy lifestyle, party like an animal, fulfill his official duties to his country as a tank commander in the British army, party like an animal…you get the idea.
Idiotic mistakes such as the costume blunder aside, the British people seem to gravitate to the younger prince and probably for good reason.
He seems like a relatively normal 20-something guy.
Who wouldn’t live it up like Harry, given the financial freedom, good looks and more fame by birth than money could buy?
While William is obviously being groomed to one day take the throne and is beginning to embrace his lot, it’s Harry who could follow in his mother’s footsteps and truly salvage the reputation of the public relations nightmare that is the House Of Windsor by simply adopting and maintaining her most cherished asset: an air of public accessibility.
And he can do it simply by being as normal a guy with a regal title and a vault full of money allows…less public drunkenness and better choice in costumes would also help.