Does Prince Harry's little game of strip billiards with a Vegas 'bachelorette' troupe really matter? His friends in the media have been quick to offer all kinds of bizarre justifications for his behaviour. The most ludicrous of these - which I read quite soon after the news of his escapade first broke - was that His Highness needed some R&R after the Olympics.
Err... excuse me?
Was he actually involved in the competitions? I don't remember his challenging Mo Farah for the tape in the 10,000 metres, do you? In which case, we're talking about the need to recover from a succession of jollies, where he lapped up the sporting action from the best seats in the house. Poor diddums. It must have been tiring.
The next argument is that he's an army officer and about to ship out to Afghanistan shortly. If we had to fight the Taliban like him, so the argument goes, we too would be spending thousands of pounds a night on a luxury suite and inviting an excitable hen party to join us.
What a load of horses**t.
I'm sure that soldiers are inclined to let their hair down between tours. But your average squaddie is downing pints and chasers in a pub in the back streets of Andover. My hunch is he's not jetting half way around the world with minders in tow, picking up a group of hot chicks who like nothing better than discarding their clothes after a game of pool.
Now, one of the Prince's rich pals is trying to put the blame on the girl who took the pictures, describing her behaviour as 'despicable'. Really? If I'm in a position of responsibility and do something irresponsible, can I honestly say it's 'despicable' when someone who lacks my own massive wealth makes a bit of cash out of my behaviour?
What this whole episode reveals is a culture of hedonism among supposedly well-educated and cultured young men, who have a great deal more money than sense. There seems to be no embarrassment about the way in which police bodyguards are compromised by having to tag along for strip billiards. Even their bosses seem to think that the whole thing's ok. But the average British taxpayer is entitled to ask what the hell is going on. And pray that one day a lottery win may take them to their own Vegas hellfire club.