Image of shirtless Prince Harry used by London gay bar to promote Pride

A gay Pride poster featuring a shirtless image of Prince Harry has gone viral, but it’s unlikely that the royal icon would object.

The poster of the prince, who has emerged as a royal favorite, was used by London’s Manbar to promote Pride last week. Perez Hilton and TMZ publicized the artwork, which was created by East London-based artist Mikesbliss and displayed inside the bar.

Manbar owner Chris Amos’ said that Harry “is a role model for a generation – spirited, cheeky, handsome, liberal minded and fit! That makes him a role model for us as well as being a gay icon. I am not surprised how quickly the image by Mikesbliss of Prince Harry has spread online. The scallywag Prince is truly a British national treasure and iconic in the way his mother Princess Di was.”

Prince Harry was recently praised for stopping a homophobic attack against an openly gay soldier. Lance Corporal James Wharton wrote in his new book “Out in the Army” that Harry intervened after soldiers from another regiment said they were going to “batter” him.

Wharton, who quit the Army earlier this year, said, “I will always be grateful to Harry and I will never forget what happened. Until he went over and dealt with everything I was on track for a battering.”

The confrontation came on a training exercise in Canada in September 2008.

According to Mail Online, which published excerpts from Wharton’s book on June 8, Prince Harry was praised by the British military for his actions.

“The whole country will applaud Prince Harry. Our Forces should reflect the modern-day Britain they fight so hard to defend,” said Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy.

Wharton, who served in Iraq, said Prince Harry and Prince William considered themselves to be gay icons.

Wharton said, “We were on manoeuvres and talking over the intercom. Harry happened to mention that he and his brother had been told they were gay icons. I laughed and told him that I didn’t think that was the case. He became really adamant saying, ‘What? What? We are! Our press people told us.’

“Harry then asked if he couldn’t be a gay icon because he was ginger. It was all very funny.”

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