•The Prince is shown in several pictures completely naked after a game of strip billiards with at least one girl
•Hiding his modesty with his hands, the mystery nude young woman hides behind him in pictures on the US website TMZ
•Another snap shows him bear hugging a naked woman with his bare bottom facing the camera
•Prince is on a trip to Vegas to recuperate after the Olympics
•Clarence House confirm to MailOnline that the pictures are genuine
•Harry is now on his way back to Britain
By Martin Robinson and Rebecca English
Prince Harry was today flying back to the UK to face a firestorm over explicit photographs showing him cavorting naked with a mystery woman in a Las Vegas hotel room.
The third in line to the throne has been accused of bringing the Royal Family into global disrepute after the pictures were leaked to a US website.
The grainy shots, taken on a fellow reveller’s mobile phone, show the Queen’s grandson stark naked – apart from a distinctive thong necklace – playing a game of ‘naked billiards’ in his high rollers’ suite at the five-star Wynn Hotel.
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Party prince: Harry needed a rest after all that Olympic duty but it appears the fun may have got out of hand after he was pictured naked with a young woman
In one picture the prince can be seen cupping his hands around his groin in a fruitless bid to preserve his modesty as the dark-haired girl hides behind him.
He can then be seen bear hugging a nude girl by the side of the pool table as other partygoers look on.
The prince’s advisors at St James’s Palace were this morning locked in meetings about how best to handle the scandal as Harry flew back to Britain to resume his military duties following his 10-day break.
However senior royal sources made clear to MailOnline that the prince was in his hotel suite on a private holiday and had expected a 'reasonable degree of privacy.'
Another source close to the prince added: ‘Harry has always been exuberant and it's just the way he lets off steam.'
He could face a meeting with his Army superiors when he returns later today. Their rules state that 'social misbehaviour' is not acceptable, especially is it tarnishes the reputation of Britain's armed forces.
Any protestations are, however, unlikely to cut much ice with members of the public, shocked by the prince’s apparent lack of caution.
It is understood that the revellers present were members of the public the prince had met on his trip to Sin City and invited back to his room to ‘continue the party’.
American website TMZ, who have published the pictures, say the 'raucous party' happened after the prince and his friends made friends with 'a bunch of hot chicks'.
The group then went back to his huge suite, with a pool table, and they decided to play a strip version of the game which quickly ended in full nudity for Harry and at least one other mystery woman.
Harry checked into the suite at the five-star Wynn hotel and casino last week for some ‘full-on partying’, as the prince told one fellow guest.
The room has its own butler, games room including a pool table and private driveway.
The scandal also makes a mockery of his British tax-payer funded, round-the-clock, police protection team.
While the Scotland Yard officers – at least two of which have accompanied Harry on holiday – are not there to act as the prince’s moral compass, questions are bound to be asked at the highest level as to why they did not prevent the partygoers from at least taking photographs of his antics.
Former head of royal protection officer at the Met, Dai Davies, admitted it could be difficult to keep a handle on Harry, who he described as a 'lovely man' but 'a nightmare' to control sometimes.
'We're paying huge amounts of money for this young man to be followed everywhere he goes by security,' he told the Telegraph.
'He's a young man with lots of testosterone but there is a balance and occasionally that balance slips.'
Plush: The incident is believed to have taken place in a suite at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas, pictured
Expensive: A suite at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, pictured, is among the most expensive hotel rooms in Vegas
The latest incident to involve the party-loving prince has come as a huge disappointment to palace advisors who had been buoyed by Harry’s growing maturity.
Earlier this year the prince, who turns 28 next month, undertook his first official foreign tour on behalf of the Queen and charmed statesmen and members of the public alike from The Bahamas to Brazil.
The trip was deemed such a success that there was already talk of another trip next year if his military commitments permitted.
As a result the prince was also given several major roles at the London Olympics – including a position as official Team GB Ambassador and standing in for the Queen at the high-profile closing ceremony.
He has also won plaudits for his support of injured servicemen and women and even took part in a televised fund-raising trek to the North Pole on their behalf.
With his grandfather, Prince Philip, recently hospitalised for the third time in just eight months - putting even more pressure on the younger members of the family to take on royal duties - it will be difficult for St James’s Palace to shrug this off as mere high jinks.
It came as several stories about the Prince's trip to Vegas emerged since he arrived last week, including several other images of him partying with his top off.
Letting his heir down: Prince Harry relaxes poolside at the MGM Grand's Wet Republic surrounded by bikini-clad girls
Centre of attention: Prince Harry casts a lingering glance in the direction of the stunning blonde as he enjoys himself during a pool party in Las Vegas
Winding down: Prince Harry jetted out to Las Vegas - known as Sin City - for a little 'rest and recreation'
Harry even challenged swimming ace Ryan Lochte to a race after bumping into him in the VIP section of the Wynn Hotel’s XS nightclub in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Lochte, who was in Las Vegas celebrating his 28th birthday, told the Mail in a statement: ‘It was really fun swimming against Prince Harry. He’s a great guy, and it was a huge honor [sic] to meet him.
‘I was surprised that he challenged me actually. I didn’t know if he had any skills in the pool, but I definitely wasn’t going to take it easy on him!
‘He was a great competitor but in the end it was Team USA all the way to the wall!! Next time I’m in the UK it’d be fun to challenge him to something on his own turf.’
Harry even managed to beat Usain Bolt in a 20-yard dash earlier this year – by distracting him at the start.
And earlier that day, Harry had found himself surrounded by a gaggle of leggy lovelies who had made a bee-line for Las Vegas’s Encore Beach Club as news spread that the playboy prince was in town.
The prince had been filmed enjoying the poolside entertainment at the MGM Grand hotel and throwing a lingering glance towards one of the stunning bikini-clad women by a camera from television station 'Extra'.
High jinks: Earlier this week Harry, left, challenged gold medal-winner Ryan Lochte to a race in the pool of Vegas nightclub XS - and unsurprisingly was beaten by the Olympic champion
In white fedora and red floral shorts, 27-year-old Harry lapped up the attention of his new fan club on the latest leg of what has been dubbed his ‘endless summer’ before returning to the front line as a helicopter pilot.
He also lapped up copious amounts of his favourite Grey Goose vodka as well as some of the many cocktails on offer in Sin City.
Days after the London Olympics, at which he was an official ambassador for Team GB, Harry jetted out to the US for a little ‘rest and recreation’.
This took him to Vegas at the weekend, accompanied by two taxpayer-funded police bodyguards and his best friend, Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip.
The group were seen playing the dice game craps, to the cheering and whooping of their fellow gamblers.
The following day Harry and Co headed off to a £950-a-day poolside bungalow at another Las Vegas landmark, the MGM Grand.
The hotel hosts raucous alcohol-fuelled parties four times a week under the brand ‘Wet Republic’, which attract up to 1,600 revellers to its two giant saltwater pools.
At 3am, bare-chested but still in his jeans, the prince enthusiastically threw himself into the club’s huge open-air pool.
Shhh, I am a prince: Prince Harry, right, looked like he was trying to blend in shirtless in the pool
Victory: When faced with a race against Usain Bolt, Prince Harry knew there was only one way he could ever win. Cheat
He was joined by the fully-clothed swimmer as friends attempted to carve a path through the pool, which was full of bikini-clad girls.
Footage shot on a mobile phone shows Lochte, who won five gold medals in London, theatrically counting to three on one hand as he gives Harry a head start before heading off in hot pursuit.
Strangely – not least because he boasts several world records – Lochte only just beat the prince.
The truth, however, was revealed by another partygoer on Twitter, who said a fellow reveller had grabbed hold of Lochte’s legs as he kicked off for the one-length race. The tactic didn’t quite pay off – though some insisted it was Harry who won.
Official business: Prince Harry was Britain's royal representative, along with the Duchess of Cambridge, at London 2012's closing ceremony
Outside Harry’s bungalow was a private Jacuzzi from which the prince and his group chatted to a group of girls who had taken the cabana next door and ordered drinks from a menu boasting £65 pitchers of ‘dragonberry’ mojitos.
Just a few bungalows down was singer Jennifer Lopez, 43, and her dancer toyboy Casper Smart, 25, although it is understood they did not meet the prince.
At one point Harry borrowed a red singlet from the ‘bachelorette’ (an America term for hen party) girls next door and jumped on a friend’s shoulders, waving his hands in the air.
‘They had a blow-up whale in their area and were just fooling around, having some drinks and enjoying themselves,’ an onlooker said.
Viva Las Vegas: Prince Harry was joined by several friends at a private bungalow on the grounds of the MGM Grand on the Vegas strip
The excited ladies couldn’t resist taking to Twitter, posting pictures of them posing with the prince alongside giggly accounts of what a ‘gentleman’ he was.
One member of staff also admitted having ‘creepily’ kept the water bottle from which he had drunk.
The following day the group were in the water again, this time at the 60,000 square foot Encore Beach Club for another ‘adult pool party’, taking a bungalow with its own infinity hot tub.
The entertainment was rounded off with a visit to the resort’s XS nightclub where other VIP guests included US Olympic champion swimmer Ryan Lochte.
Harry has recently re-trained as an elite Apache attack helicopter pilot and completed a period of pre-deployment training with hopes of returning to the front line in Afghanistan in the near future.
A spokesman stressed that he was on a private holiday and was not entitled to any more leave than his fellow pilots.
He attended the Olympics in his own time and was not given any special dispensation by the military.
He is expected back in the UK in the next few days but will not attend the opening of next week’s Paralympic Games owing to his military commitments.
ExtraTV spotted Prince Harry 'letting his heir down' in Vegas this weekend