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Palace pre-empts tabloids on prince

London, June 8: Prince Harry has provided a fascinating insight into his school life with the release of a series of photographs to mark his departure from Eton College this week.

The pictures reveal that Prince Harry, 18, is a talented and innovative artist and that he sleeps with a photograph of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, beside his bed.

It also emerges that the Prince is a typical teenage boy: he has a cluttered room and photographs of bikini-clad pin-ups, predominantly blondes, on his notice board. He wears two African bracelets on his wrist but no watch.

His room also reflects his interest in sport. He has a polo stick on his bedroom wall, which also bears a poster of the Whistler ski resort in Canada with the message, believed to be from a ski guide, saying: “Great skiing with you.”

He also enjoys cricket, swimming, athletics and Eton’s Wall Game, a unique and puzzling sport often described as “open warfare”. The 6-feet, 2-inch Prince wears a support bandage on his right knee for games because of a recurring injury. Prince Harry, who takes his final A-level — in art — on Thursday, decided to give the public an insight into his life at work and play at Eton, where he has studied for the past five years.

The release of the photographs marks the end of his school days and comes after threats from some tabloid newspapers that they will use snatched paparazzi photographs of Princes William and Harry if they are not given more access to the brothers by St James’ Palace.

The framed photograph on Prince Harry’s desk is a black-and-white portrait of his mother taken by Mario Testino for Vanity Fair, the last formal portrait that she posed for and taken shortly before her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997. It is his favourite picture of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died when he was 12.

Prince Harry, like his father, is a keen artist and his work has been exhibited at Eton. “Harry is a fantastic painter,” said Prince William, 20, of his younger brother in a recent interview. Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, works in a mixture of painting and printing techniques and uses animals, as well as Aboriginal art, as inspiration for his abstract work.

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