Prince Harry’s Playboy Year: Royal Wedding, Las Vegas, Croatia (Photos)
2011 proved the young royal is well on his way to becoming this generation’s playboy prince. From his royal wedding banter to his Croatia nightclub swim and Las Vegas winnings, Tom Sykes has the photographic evidence.
James Devaney / Getty Images Royal Wedding
It’s been quite a year for Prince Harry, who rocketed back into the foreground of global attention after serving as best man at his
brother’s wedding and then relocating to America for Apache helicopter training.
But despite the best efforts of the press office at Clarence House, Harry seems determined to live up to his reputation of being this generation’s playboy prince.
Bryn Lennon / Getty Images World Darts Championships
Harry kicked off the year with a laddish visit to the semifinal of that most British of pub “sports,” spending a day at the World Darts Championships in London’s Alexandra Palace on Jan. 2.
Accompanying pals included English rugby player Will Greenwood. Amazingly, given the combination of Harry and darts, he didn’t touch a drop of alcohol all day.
North Pole Expedition
There’s nothing a playboy prince likes to do so much in his spare time as go exploring through previously uncharted terrain.
In early April 2011, Harry joined the Walking for the Wounded charity for the first five days of its
expedition to the North Pole. Posing With Another Playboy
On March 18, Prince Harry posed with a model of his playboy-ish ancestor, Henry VIII, during a visit to the Mary Rose Museum on March 18, in Portsmouth, U.K. Earlier Harry, in his role as commodore-in-chief, small ships and diving, presented medals to members of the First and Second Mine Countermeasures Squadrons to mark their service in Iraq.
Royal Wedding After-Party
After the royal wedding,
Harry was the party cheerleader in chief. He gave the best man’s speech for his brother, hit the dance floor, and at 3:10 a.m., wearing a black dinner jacket and white dress shirt with three buttons undone, he emerged from Buckingham Palace to lead revelers on to the second venue of the night—the nearby Goring Hotel, which had been hired out in its entirety by the Middleton family. Harry sat in the front of the minibus used to convey one group and used a microphone to give a running commentary on the journey. Samir Hussein / Getty Images Split From Chelsy Davy
It’s inconvenient for any playboy prince to be encumbered by a girlfriend, and, in May, Harry split up for good with his girlfriend
Chelsy Davy. The Zimbabwean blonde apparently came to her decision after seeing the amount of pressure put on Kate by her marriage to William. A friend told Grazia magazine: “Her mind was most definitely made up by Catherine and William’s wedding, and so while she was happy to be his date on the big day, she’s now told him they should see other people. It has been really hard for both of them and it wasn't a decision they took lightly.” Dave M. Benett / Getty Images Fling With Florence
Harry’s first post-Chelsy fling was with the gorgeous, blond, and extravagantly named Florence Brudenell-Bruce, a lingerie model with an illustrious lineage dating back to the Earl of Cardigan, who led the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Flee dumped Harry after a few weeks, however, when Harry declined an invitation to join her in Ibiza over the summer, telling her he wanted to go on a boys’ holiday to Mallorca instead. Night Out in Croatia
After his trip to Mallorca, at the end of August
Harry went to Hvar, the Croatian island beloved by the likes of Roman Abramovich, Bernie Ecclestone, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gerard Depardieu, and Steven Spielberg. After one to many drinks, he dived fully clothed into the swimming pool at Veneranda, an open-air night-club, with his clothes on. A “friend” later told the , “Harry cannot handle his drink, but commits himself to being a leader when it comes to alcohol. He once burnt his face, nose and lip when he tried to down a flaming sambuca shot. It took four weeks to heal and he had to make sure he wasn’t seen in public so no one started asking questions…A couple of years ago, some photos were published of him snorting vodka up his nose on holiday. But I have seen him ‘drinking’ it though his eyeball. He ruptured a blood vessel doing it.” Daily Mail POOL / AFP / Getty Images Sojourn in California
Even playboy princes need a day job, preferably one involving vast quantities of hydrocarbons and uniform, so being an Apache helicopter pilot for the RAF is perfect for Harry. At the beginning of October, Harry was transferred to the United States, for intensive training at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California, and the Air Force Auxiliary Air Field in Gila Bend, Arizona.
San Diego Cocktail Waitress
rehabilitation of Prince Harry from boozy ne’er-do-well to assured royal brother-in-law and top gun hit a snag when he hooked up with a buxom, brunette, highly photogenic cocktail waitress with a large tattoo on the side of her ribcage named Jessica Donaldson. Harry first met Jessica on Friday, Oct. 7, just hours after the prince and his mates from the Royal Air Force had touched down on American soil, when his minders called ahead to the Ivy nightclub at the five-star Andaz hotel in downtown San Diego, asking for a secure area where a VIP and 20 of his mates could watch the Rugby World Cup. “It was something the hotel set up because Harry wanted to watch the match, and management hooked up a laptop to a flat-screen TV.” Jessica told the British tabloid The Daily Mirror, adding that Harry paid for the first two of the three $500 bottles the group ordered. Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images Warning in Arizona
Harry moved on to Gila Bend, where the
mayor reportedly cautioned him not to be caught “fornicating the night away and drinking into the small hours.” Town manager Rick Buss quickly came to Harry’s defense, calling the story “a total fabrication.” Buss insisted to The Daily Beast that the wildest thing the rowdy young royal had done was go out for some pizza. Harley Ride
Playboys love motorbikes, and Harry is no exception. With his stint in the desert nearly complete, Harry, who drives a Ducatti motorbike back home,
rented a Harley in Scottsdale and drove to Las Vegas, about six hours away. Said Dan Dvorak of Hacienda Harley-Davidson said: “He’s just a regular 27-year-old guy,” said Dvorak, the dealership’s rental manager, in an interview with The Associated Press. “Mild-mannered. Excited to be on a Harley.” This is the first time in history anyone has described Harry as “mild-mannered.” At Home in Las Vegas
The spiritual home of the playboy is, of course, Las Vegas, and when Harry arrived in Sin City, he partied in style. He checked in to the Wynn Resort on arrival Friday night and spent his first night at the hotel’s nightclub, Tryst. Saturday kicked off with a session at the tables—“He lost $300 gambling and his friends lost $200. He couldn’t believe you got free
drinks from gambling at the blackjack tables,” a
source told People. In the evening he went to a Cirque du Soleil show before taking the party on to XS nightclub. And Sunday night he made it three in a row, returning to XS and leaving at the early hour of 12:30 a.m. Harry sipped a vodka cocktail while a group of eight people—four men, two women, two security guards—at his table drank from bottles of Grey Goose and Dom Perignon. Mark R Milan / Splash News Return to London
Since getting back to the U.K., Harry’s been doing his best to keep a low profile. On Thursday night he visited the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland exhibit, then dined at
Jak’s restaurant in South Kensington with friends. Harry then partied at Zefi bar before leaving in the early hours of the morning. @HWalesWatch tweeted: “Prince Harry was at Jak’s restaurant in Lon. tonight before drinks at Zefi while friend Nat. Pinkham partied down the street at BungaBunga (sic).” And photographer Jesal Parshotam tweeted from @therealjesal: “#PrinceHarry brushed shoulders with a Christmas tree as he left #zefi bar in kensignton Sw3 at 1.30am. He looked very festive (sic).”