Prince Harry has admitted for the first time that he “let my family down” when he was photographed naked in his Las Vegas hotel room.
The 28-year-old said his lack of judgement was a case of “too much Army and not enough Prince” and said his father, the Prince of Wales, had reminded him of his responsibilities as a member of the Royal family.
Last August the Prince invited a group of hotel guests back to his £5,000-a-night suite where one of them photographed him and a girl naked during a game of strip pool.
The pictures appeared online and in newspapers around the world, though only one British newspaper, the Sun, defied a request from St James’s Palace not to publish them.
Speaking in Camp Bastion during his deployment to Afghanistan, the Prince said: “At the end of the day I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down.
“It was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince. It’s a simple case of that.
“But I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy that one should expect.
“Back home all my close friends rallied round me and were great.”
The pictures triggered an internet craze in which troops, their wives, and others around the world showed their solidarity to the prince by posting naked pictures of themselves on Facebook and other internet sites.
“The guys out here caused chaos by their enormous support,” the Prince said.
He admitted he often struggles adapting to the different personas he needs to assume in his life, saying: “My father’s always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that.
“Certain people remind me, ‘Remember who you are, so don’t always drop your guard’.
“But it’s very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the Army. Everyone’s wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing.”
Asked if he was more comfortable being Captain Wales than Prince Harry he replied: “Definitely. I’ve always been like that.”
Talking about his three different personas, he said there was: “One in the Army, one socially in my own private time, and then one with the family and stuff like that. So there is a switch and I flick it when necessary.
“And I’d like to think that it’s measured and balanced as the way it is. Army comes first, it’s my work at the end of the day.”
He said juggling his Army, royal and charitable commitments with his personal life is exhausting.
“It’s been quite hard for the last two-and-a-half years flying this thing, because the amount of time off was restricted. The Army were obviously very concerned that I wasn’t being taken away too much.
“On weekends you’re exhausted. All you want to do is collapse and maybe watch TV or just hang around with friends, but it was a case of sitting down, either working and learning about this thing, which takes a long time.”