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St James’s Palace has confirmed it will not be making a formal press complaint about The Sun’s publication of nude photos of Prince Harry.

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It has been decided that it would be a distraction to pursue the matter further while he is currently on deployment in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner.

The Sun was the only British newspaper to defy a Press Complaints Commission (PCC) advisory not to publish the photos of Harry playing strip billiards with a mystery woman in Las Vegas.

The PCC had warned that publication could breach the editor’s code of practice on privacy grounds. The Sun’s publication attracted almost 4,000 complaints from the public.

A St James’s Palace spokesman said: “Having considered the matter now for a number of weeks, we have decided not to pursue a complaint with the PCC on behalf of Prince Harry in respect of the photos of the Prince taken in Las Vegas. We informed the PCC yesterday.

“We remain of the opinion that a hotel room is a private space where its occupants would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

“Prince Harry is currently focused entirely on his deployment in Afghanistan, so to pursue a complaint relating to his private life would not be appropriate at this time and would prove to be a distraction.

“We have concluded that it would not be prudent to pursue the matter further, and we will have no further comment to make about the matter.”

The naked Harry images made world headlines after they emerged on gossip website TMZ last month.

He had been photographed while on a short break in Las Vegas just a few weeks before he was sent back to Afghanistan.

In a statement, the PCC reiterated its position: “On September 6 the Commission issued a statement confirming that, at that time, it did not consider that it would be appropriate to open an investigation into this matter in the absence of a formal complaint to the Commission from Prince Harry.

“It will consider the matter further at its next regular meeting.”

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