By Max Foster and Peter Wilkinson
CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan (CNN) — Prince Harry has spoken for the first time about his notorious romp in a Las Vegas hotel suite when photographs were published around the world of him nude, just weeks before he began his tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The prince was photographed during a game of strip billiards in his hotel suite with friends and a group of women they had met.
The prince said he had “probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down.”
“But at the end of the day I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy that one should expect.
“Back home all my close friends rallied round me and were great.”
He added that it was “probably a classic example of me you know probably being too much army and not enough prince. It’s a simple case of that.”
His deployment with 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps allowed him to withdraw from the public eye, but speaking while stationed at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan he allowed his frustration with the media to show through.
Harry received news that the Duchess of Cambridge, was expecting a baby while he was on his tour of duty and, from afar, he expressed sympathy at his sister-in-law’s treatment at the hands of the press.
“I can’t wait to be an uncle. I think it’s very unfair that they were both forced to publicize it when they were, but that’s just the media for you. I just only hope that she and him, but mainly Catherine, hopefully that she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother-to-be to enjoy the privacy that that comes with.”
Harry’s own privacy is clearly a concern for the prince as well, and he made little attempt to hide it.
Referring to the TV producer whom he was addressing, he said: “I never wanted you guys to be out here, but there was an agreement made to invite you out on the deal that the media didn’t speculate before my deployment. That’s the only reason you guys are out here.”
Back home the media glare will inevitably be brighter than it has been on him for the last four months. And the pressure will be back on the 28-year-old to settle down.
“If you find the right person and everything feels right, then it takes time, especially for myself and my brother. You ain’t ever going to find someone who’s going to jump into the position that it would hold. Simple as that.”
Harry said he now put his military role ahead of his royal duties. “Once you are wearing the uniform you are part of the gang and you know, fine, I am the queen’s grandson and all that good stuff.
“I love representing her, but to be honest with you … and as far as I see it … and as far as William sees it as well — our service towards our country in the military in whichever shape or form it takes — will always come first. I know some people look at it thinking it’s all a big bluff — and the only reason they are doing all this is to keep themselves out of public duties — well to a certain extent yes. There is no reason for us to do public duties, because we are doing public service.”
Life in the army is “as normal as it’s going to get” for Harry and he said relishes having the chance to be hang out and be treated as “one of the guys.
Asked if he was more comfortable being Captain Wales than Prince Harry, he answered: “Definitely. I’ve always been like that. My father’s always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that.
“But it’s very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the army. Everyone’s wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing.”
Harry admitted that he was more at home in an aircraft cockpit than a classroom. “I don’t know … I am one of those people that during my flying course especially … I would be fine at flying, probably should have done a lot more reading. But I was fine at flying. Then every now and then a written test would come up and I would be absolutely useless … exams were always a nightmare. Anything like kicking a ball around and playing Playstation or flying, I do … I genuinely find a bit easier than walking sometimes.
“My brother (was) probably exactly the same, my father flew, my uncles have flown all, all sorts of people have flown in my family, I wouldn’t suggest that is where it comes from it is, it’s great fun. I was given the opportunity and I couldn’t say no to it.”