It's the kind of picture courtiers’ nightmares are made of—Prince Harry, wearing a pair of oversized comedy shades, pictured letting his hair down in a photobooth shot with British models Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse, actresses Sienna Miller and Margot Robbie, and his cousin Princess Eugenie.
Harry arrived at the bash, sponsored by vodka brand Ciroc, just before midnight after drinking in a pub. The event took place before Christmas, but the pictures have only recently surfaced.
One might be tempted to dismiss the picture as a harmless insight into Harry’s fun character, but the truth is that for the young royal’s managers and advisers who seek to closely manage their star performers image, it’s a nightmare.
Consider the hours, days and weeks of planning that go into each and every ‘official’ appearance and picture taken of Harry. Then consider this snap, taken after a few drinks, on a whim, and being shared around the world because it offers us what we really want to see—a glimpse into the private and extremely privileged life of Harry, as opposed to the sanitised and democratised version presented on TV.
The trouble with pictures like this is that they relentlessly nudge the narrative away from the carefully constructed ‘Harry is a grown-up now’ story, back to the theme of the ‘Party Prince’ of yore.
The fact that the pictures are now spinning around the world on Instagram, and that Harry was attending a promo party for a commercial vodka brand, only add to the headache.
Still, at least he’s fully clothed.