A spokeswoman for the PCC told the Guardian that “almost all the complaints are from members of the public, and nearly all are about invasions of privacy”.

The PCC added it had not received a complaint from reps for the prince, even though St James’ Palace issued a warning this week that it would consider publication of the pics a breach of privacy.

The naked snaps first turned up on US gossip machine TMZ’s website and have been widely circulated on the web. However, until today no UK publication had chosen to print them.

The Sun, however, decided to go ahead and print the pictures – one in which Harry is starkers but covering his crown jewels with his hands, another in which the royal rear faces the camera as he wraps his arms around a naked girl – this morning.

The tabloid said the pictures were in the public interest, stating: “There is a clear public interest in publishing the Harry pictures, in order for the debate around them to be fully informed.”

The palace had asked the pictures not be printed on the grounds that it would be a breach of the PCC’s code of practice, which says it is “unacceptable” to use photos of people shot in private places.

Image: Getty