At 22, William (left, on May 29) is "much more serious" than Harry (lashing out at photographers on Oct. 21), says a family friend.
CAMERA PRESS/RETNA; NIGGS-EAGLE/INF
10/28/2004 AT 06:00 AM EDT
Let's face it – the last thing you want to see when leaving a nightclub at 3:20 a.m. is a lot of bright lights. Particularly if you're third in line to the British throne, you've been partying for several hours, and the lights come from the flashbulbs of more than a dozen waiting paparazzi. In the wee hours of Oct. 21, Prince Harry lost his temper – leaving a photographer with a bloody lip and Buckingham Palace with a royal mess on its hands. Exiting the private London club Pangaea after a night of drinking, chatting and flirting, a red-faced Harry, 20, headed for his car with a bodyguard. The prince started to get into the back seat, then changed his mind. "He burst out of the car and lunged towards me as I was still taking pictures," photographer Chris Uncle, 24, told London's Evening Standard. "He lashed out and then deliberately pushed my camera into my face." The camera cut Uncle's lower lip as a bodyguard and club security staff scrambled to restrain Harry. A spokesman said Harry reacted after a camera hit him in the nose, but photographers on the scene say no one got that close. Says one, James Taylor, 18: "Harry just flipped."
So did the British press, gleefully plastering newspaper front pages with pictures of the fracas, while tut-tutting the paparazzi who took them and invoking images of Harry's mother, Princess Diana, who battled street photographers until her death. ("Can you blame him?" asked the Daily Express.) Others clucked over Harry's growing reputation as a playboy. And the Daily Mail even slammed Harry's recent work with AIDS orphans as a PR stunt that would saddle the prince "with a saintly image he cannot possibly live up to."