Trying to fit in with the boys? Victim of today's "verbal break-out"? Or simply lack of intellectual acuity? The papers dissect Prince Harry's hideous behaviour.
The Sun, sister paper of the News of the World which kicked off Prince Harry's latest scandal, are remarkably thorough on the affair. Whereas you'd have expected a busty Page Three girl to simply deliver a "Naughty Harry" while looking seductively at the camera, today's Sun instead contains a background article ('Never again Harry') along with six separate comments. Most are sympathetic to the Prince, including a linguistic professor arguing that such banter is "perfectly normal [...] amongst good friends or colleagues"! Maybe in his world. They won't print it, but the Prince most certainly provided the Sun with the perfect tabloid fodder.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, in the Independent ('Harry you can't just say what you like'), makes the valid point that Harry is simply toeing the line with this "age of verbal break-out" punctuated by the glorification of the various Jonathan Rosses, Russell Brands, Big Brothers and other types of bullying. "The more we see and hear stuff that should be avoided in public discourse", Alibhai-Brown writes, "the more de-sensitised society becomes to what is unacceptable speech or behaviour". You're not kidding, Yasmin.
In the Guardian, Peter Preston doesn't mince his words, "The trouble with a hereditary monarchy is that you get what you're given: in this case, a third-in-line to the throne of no great intellectual acuity", adding the simple truth: "What does a Harry figure – almost devoid of exam pass marks – do with the rest of his life?"
The Express opt for playing down the scandal. As each Harry-related malarkey becomes more difficult to justify, the pro-Royals' best bet is silence. Hence yet another headline about immigrants nicking British jobs (the Express' own obsession) is enough to dwarf a secondary piece titled 'Prince Harry 'paki' slur sickening says Muslim leader'.
We couldn't finish without an opinion from Britain's moral keepers, the Daily Mail. They most certainly didn't find the Prince's latest antics funny. Geoffrey Levy and Richard Kay write that "The really dangerous aspect of this latest Prince Harry affair is that, in all probability, he doesn't really understand just what he has done wrong". They remind the reader that Harry "wasn't an immature 15-year-old" when he was filmed saying what he said. The Mail's own comment is no less slating. "Last chance for the apologetic Prince Harry", is the headline.