Prince Charles has summoned his youngest son for a heart-to-heart talk this weekend over his naked Las Vegas romp.
Royal sources stressed that 27-year-old Prince Harry would not be getting a ‘dressing down’ but Charles was keen to discuss his concerns ‘father to son’.
Although they have already spoken over the phone, Harry will be asked to explain in person how he ended up playing a sleazy game of ‘strip billiards’ with a group of strangers in a hotel suite – some of whom then sold photographs of it to a US celebrity website.
It is not known where the meeting will take place – Scotland, London or Highgrove, the Prince of Wales’s private Gloucestershire residence. But Charles is currently on holiday at Birkhall, his Highland estate and there is a strong chance Harry may have to make the trip north.
Prince William will not be present at the meeting, though the brothers have spoken at length on the phone.
The prince is said to be stunned by the scandal. Charles is understood to be ‘frustrated and concerned’ that, once again, Harry is news for all the wrong reasons.
A St James’s Palace spokesman said: ‘We are still considering all our options and will not be rushed on this. Prince Harry is, of course, being consulted every step of the way.
‘We have always said that we believe very strongly the photos were taken on an entirely private occasion. We have also said that it is a matter for editors to decide what they should publish.’
Sources close to the case say the palace is, in fact, livid over The Sun’s decision to publish the pictures, despite them having been viewed by millions on the internet.
But senior aides feel they have to weigh up what they have to lose or gain by a public fight with the country’s biggest selling daily newspaper.
They are also understood to be extremely fearful that more photographs or accounts of the prince’s seedy exploits in Las Vegas will emerge.
This lack of decisiveness is hugely at odds with their aggressive attempts to stop the pictures being published in the first place.