The images were first published on the web three days ago but the Palace’s lawyers, via the Press Complaints Commission, warned the UK’s newspapers against printing them, claiming they would breach Harry’s privacy and the PCC Code.
Since then the entire UK media - print, online and TV - has reported on them and told readers and viewers how to find them on TMZ.com, the website that first published them, and on countless other sites that followed suit.
By Wednesday, millions duly found the pictures on sites from Canada to New Zealand and they were indisputably in the public domain everywhere in the world.
Britain's Prince Harry. Photo: AFP
This generated a legitimate public debate about the behaviour of the man who is third in line to the throne and increasingly taking on official duties, as he did most recently at the Olympics’ closing ceremony.
The many millions of people who get their news in print, or have no web access, could not take a full part in that national conversation because they could not see the images.
Even though the Royal Family’s lawyers claim there is no public interest in running the photos, the pictures photos have potential implications for the Prince’s image representing Britain around the world.
According to the Sun, it is absurd that in the internet age newspapers are being stopped from publishing stories and pictures that have already been seen by millions on the Internet.
The 27-year-old Prince of Wales went bare ass naked in Vegas during a game of strip billiards with a room full of friends in his suite.