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Prince Harry Defended by the Palace for Hard-Partying Ways

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Prince Harry has been lying low ever since nude photos, taken during his weekend of debauchery in Las Vegas, hit the Internet last week.

But according to the Palace, the Party Prince, 27, has nothing to be ashamed of.

“He didn’t do anything unlawful,” a Palace source tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “What he did was entirely his own business.”

PHOTOS: If Prince Harry Had a Bucket List…

And according to sources and royal watchers, as third in line for the throne, behind his father, Prince Charles, and brother William, 30, Harry won’t likely be changing his stripes any time soon.

In the coming days, he’s set to resume official duties in London: attending the Paralympics on Aug. 31., and the WellChild Awards ceremony on Sept. 3.

“Harry is a big boy now,” says Dai Davies, former head of royal protection services. “He knows the rules, but he thinks, I’m going to do whatever I want.”

For much more on the scandal and about Harry, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday