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That rascally royal

An open letter to the Queen on young Harry's latest hijinks

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To: The Queen

From: Your loyal Canadian subject

Re: What are we going to do about Harry?

Dear Ma'am: I am deeply sorry I haven't written in such a long time, but I've been on holiday for the past couple of weeks and, what with floating in our new inflatable backyard pool and searching for the perfect margarita recipe, I haven't had much time for letters or emails.

While we're chatting, let me offer a sincere and hearty congratulations for a "jolly good" job putting on the Summer Olympics in London. Now that it's over, I find myself longing for those lazy days lounging on the couch in front of my big-screen TV watching the world's finest athletes in micro-bikinis duking it out on the beach volleyball courts.

Personally, I think they should scrap men's beach volleyball from the next Olympics, but that's not what I wanted to talk to you about today. No, I think we need to have a serious chat about Harry, your grandson, the one with the red hair.

In case you've been too busy walking the corgis and visiting Philip in hospital, I will cut straight to the chase -- Harry has done it again, by which I mean he has been caught with his pants down and, for once, I mean that in the literal sense.

You might want to get a firmer grip on your teacup, because the celebrity gossip website TMZ has posted photos of the party-boy prince "cavorting" in the, um, buff, with a mystery woman who is also in the, um, altogether.

I am aware most of your highly principled British papers have not published these risqué photos, but they have been bouncing around the Internet like a beach ball at a Nickelback concert. Seriously, ma'am, you can find pictures of naked people on the Internet. Who knew?

Anyway, it seems some ne'er-do-well snuck a smartphone into Harry's VIP suite in Las Vegas and, as quick as you can say "Bob's your uncle," snapped photos of Harry and his unidentified companion at the tail end of a rousing game of strip pool.

Sure, Harry is a hip young guy raised in an age where everyone in the world can use their phone to instantly post pictures to the World Wide Web, but how was he supposed to know?

These pictures raise some troubling questions ma'am: 1) Why were they playing pool as opposed to snooker, or, perhaps, billiards?; 2) Where in the official rules does it explain the part where you have to take all your clothes off; and 3) Is this what they mean by "bumper pool?"

Fortunately, Your Majesty, from what I have seen while peeking between my fingers with my hands over my face, the blurry, low-resolution photos mostly show Harry cavorting with his back turned or facing away from the camera, hands discretely covering his, um... OK, I will need a moment here to consult my dictionary of British slang... his "wedding tackle," his "twig and berries," or, to be succinct, his "meat and two veg."

Forgive me for being so blunt, Your Highness, but these are confusing times. According to all the stories I've read, the photos show Harry and his pool partner "cavorting." I am not entirely sure what that means, but I believe back in your day it would have been called "skylarking," or "sowing your wild oats."

Whatever you call it, ma'am, I am entirely in favour of it. I mean, what is the point of being a (insert appropriate British bad word here) prince if you can't spend the bulk of your time cavorting. I mean, what's a modern prince supposed to do?

Sure, back in the old days, things were simpler; princes could gallop around to their heart's content rescuing fair maidens from dragons, or going on silly quests at the behest of wrinkly old wizards, but times have changed and, well, princes have to change with them.

What I am trying to say here, ma'am, is if I were a prince, I would definitely cavort myself into an early grave. So, please, don't be too hard on your grandson. I realize he showed bad judgment and caused the Royal Family a wee bit of embarrassment, but, all things considered, boys will be boys and, after all, he is a soldier on leave.

More to the point, it's not like Harry's ever going to have a serious shot at sitting on the throne, is it?

If he thought he was going to be king, ma'am, he'd probably do a much better job guarding the Crown jewels.

Yours with respect, and all my clothes on;

Doug Speirs

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 24, 2012 A2


Updated on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM CDT: Corrects typo

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