The Prince and Our Right to Privacy

The freedom of the press is a key tenet of any civilised democracy; a crucial check and balance on the powerful institutions that govern us all. However, as the Leveson inquiry and the phone hacking scandal conveyed, the press cannot publish anything they wish. The stories must be in the public interest.

There is no doubt that the public are interested to see Prince Harry naked, but is it for the greater good that the public be informed of his antics in Vegas by publishing a rather revealing photo? The Sun has said that the release of the photos were in the public interest because, “The photos have potential implications for the Prince’s image representing Britain around the world.” One has to question the logic, then, of publishing the photo, if they believe it may have implications on his image and therefore Britain. Are they not just exacerbating the problem?

The real issue highlighted here though is the right to privacy and its scope. The right to privacy is protected in law by Art. 8 ECHR and it is a right we all share. Even Prince Harry has the right to privacy; never mind the fact that we all want to know what he gets up to. It seems to me that the Prince was at a private party having a great time doing very normal things.

Getting naked, showing off to attract women, being turned on and ultimately having sex with women are primordial desires which every man has. Its not illegal to let your inhibitions go after a few drinks and embrace the more instinctive aspects of Man’s nature. People around the UK get drunk, strip off, play games and revel in the anticipation of possible sexual intercourse all the time, but you never see it in the paper. So why should Harry and his arse be smacked about the newsstand?

Perhaps we should know so as not to be deceived by his humble and gentlemanly persona. We should know the real Harry. After all, it is public money that allows him to lead this seemingly hedonistic lifestyle, right? We essentially employ him to represent us as a nation. What a fool for being so careless; Britain’s pride is at stake.

Quite frankly, what a load of cack. He was not in his capacity as representative of the UK at the time of the private party and it would be foolish to think that he is always ‘on duty’. Your employer does not expect you to refrain from getting drunk, swearing, having parties and getting naked in your private life. It is none of their business. You would be outraged if your antics got into the public domain and you had to suffer the consequences. I’m sure Harry isn’t too happy either. It’s none of our business.

The freedom of the press is of paramount importance and I completely endorse it. Any information which seeks progress, tackles corruption, reveals lies, and informs debate should of course be welcomed. However, we must consider the privacy of every individual and find a healthy balance. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Prince Harry has fallen victim to a domineering gossip culture and the constant hunt for cash.

Richard Sweetman

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One Comment
  • karen
    26 August 2012 at 10:33
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    The right to privacy in one’s home and/or hotel room is sacrosanct. Many rights of citizenry flow from security and privacy rights.Without a guarantee of privacy, people cannot live their lives or properly pursue careers. Current libel laws should cover any claims he may wish to make, but it is very shocking that the press would publish such photos from a private residence. I hope Harry sues every one. The rights of many depend on his enforcing his rights.

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