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UK royal family warns newspapers over nude Prince Harry photos

London, Aug 24 (): Royal officials on Wednesday contacted the British press complaints commission to warn U.K. newspapers not to publish the nude pictures of Prince Harry dancing with friends on holiday in Las Vegas.

The nude photographs were published in the United States by celebrity news website TMZ.com. Those pictures showed the third-in-line to the throne naked in a hotel suite. A video has also been released from the same trip that purports to show the prince racing US Olympic swimming gold medallist Ryan Lochte in the pool of a nightclub in the hotel.

St. James’s Palace, where Prince William and Prince Harry’s staff work, said it had heard that a number of U.K. papers were thinking of using the pictures, the BBC reported. The palace said it would view the publication of the photos as an unacceptable invasion of privacy.

A letter to the watchdog from royal law firm Harbottle and Lewis warned that royal officials “entirely reserve their rights as to any future steps that they may take should publication take place.”

A royal spokesman later confirmed the family had contacted the Press Complaints Commission, the country’s newspaper regulators, to request that British newspapers did not print the images, arguing it would be a breach of privacy.

Newspapers on Thursday adhered to the palace’s request, although The Sun’s front-page carried a mock-up of the infamous photograph with a journalist taking Harry’s role next to the headline “Harry grabs the crown jewels”.

The Sun announced Thursday that it has decided to publish the photos in Friday’s newspaper. It will be the first British newspaper to do so.

It is not the first time British royalty has been embarrassed by leaked photographs with a topless picture of the Countess of Wessex, taken before she married Prince Edward, hitting the papers in 1999.

Sarah, Duchess of York, was also pictured having her feet kissed by US businessman John Bryan shortly after separating from her husband the Duke of York.