Tony Blair's chief media adviser used to say that if a negative story was on the front pages for ten days it was going to be a disaster.
I doubt the tale of Prince Harry and the strip billiards in Las Vegas will make it to this level, but to be honest I'm a bit surprised it has lasted as long as it has.
'Unmarried army officer in his late twenties parties in his hotel room with both men AND women!'. It's hardly a scoop, is it? Not even a headline.
Harry has a serious job, and had been through enough crap with the Olympics, where it seems his father, brother, grandmother, stepmother, uncles and aunts had declined to take any further part and he found himself representing Head Office and chaperoning his sister-in-law at the Closing Ceremony. He had been posted to America and had a night to let his hair down.
Americans are different, and, for example, unaware that etiquette dictates that when indulging in sex acts with the Royal Family, it is customary not to take photographs and sell them.
So, how have we dealt with this? Peter Oborne, writing the most precious article in the Telegraph I think I have ever read, even by his self-righteous standards, suggested that Harry had let down the monarchy, the country and his brother officers by..er..getting up to a bit of rumpy-pumpy while off-duty. Keith Vaz MP, whose taste for publicity exceeds that of Victoria Beckham, says that the Royal Protection officers (polite term for bodyguards) are there for the protection of the Prince's reputation as well as his safety (now, that's quite enough Tequila, your Royal Highness!), something I suspect to have been made up in front of the microphone, his mouth already open. And finally Prince Charles (more about whom later)is going to have a stern word with him, he has let it be known.
The males of the British Royal Family are not known for keeping their trousers buttoned up and his father led a fairly free life (not just with Camilla Parker Bowles), as did his grandfather, great uncle, great grandfather and many before (George V seems to have been the only faithful one but who knows?). And the difference with these is that they were all directly in line to the throne (the Duke of Edinburgh as consort) and married.
Harry is neither.
As to the British Army, it has rogered its way round every continent of the world and this sort of thing will greatly enhance Harry's status with his men. We're not pretending, are we, that a good officer would not play strip billiards? Please.
Harry does us a sterling service in reminding the world that the House of Windsor contains humans, not just the stuffed frogs who bonk in private and beg the newspapers not to mention it, calling their mistresses 'confidantes'.
As to Prince Charles giving him a talking to, I can only say with the gospel of St Matthew, 'By their fruits shall ye know them'.
As to the Press, one paper regarded the story (with the photos) as sufficiently in the public interest to publish. I think that is a legitimate point of view, although I don't agree with it. Many of them didn't publish because Prince Charles hypocritically begged them not to. That is not good journalism.
Let us now allow this one to drop.