In an abrupt change of position, Britain’s tabloid The Sun announced that it will publish photographs from Prince Harry’s naked Las Vegas romp in its Friday edition.
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Millions of people have already seen the photos on the Internet, but British newspapers have held back from publishing any of the images — until now.Video: See the Prince Harry photos leaked from Las Vegas (on this page)
The Sun’s Managing Editor David Dinsmore said the issue has become a matter of “freedom of the press.”
“We are not against (Prince Harry) letting his hair down once in a while,” Dinsmore explained on The Sun’s website. “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 favorite paper read by 8 million people every day.”
The move would make The Sun the first newspaper in Britain to print the photos, despite a request from St. James's Palace not to publish them on the grounds that they would infringe on the prince’s privacy.
A spokesperson for Prince Harry declined to comment on the subject with NBC News late Thursday.
Bob Satchwell, head of the industry group the Society of Editors, told the Associated Press that most British papers had opted to comply with editors’ voluntary Code of Practice, which says “it is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent.” The nude photos of Prince Harry were snapped while he was partying in a Las Vegas hotel suite.
“Of course freedom of the press is vitally, vitally important,” Satchwell said. “But just because you can publish something doesn’t mean that you should.”Story: Prince Harry naked pics: British papers steer clear
The Sun’s Dinsmore said his newspaper’s decision to run the photos has been made with great care.
“We’ve thought long and hard about this,” Dinsmore said. “The Sun is a responsible paper and it works closely with the royal family. We take heed of their wishes.Slideshow: Princes Harry, William: Growing up in spotlight of royalty (on this page)
“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. …
“For us this is about the freedom of the press.”
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