Prince Harry “let himself and his family down” after pictures of him frolicking naked in Las Vegas emerged on the internet last year.
But the 28-year-old royal hit out at the way he was treated by some sectors of the press, insisting he was entitled to privacy.
Just weeks before his deployment to Afghanistan, the high-profile gaffe in a £5,000-a-night hotel suite saw him lapse into the “Playboy Prince” persona he has tried hard to shake off in recent years.
Within hours, the images of the “strip billiards” party were widely available online.
One British newspaper - The Sun - defied a request by St James’s Palace not to publish them.
“At the end of the day I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down,” Harry said in Camp Bastion.
“But at the end of the day I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy that one should expect.
“Back home all my close friends rallied round me and were great.”
The leaked pictures, in which Captain Wales was seen cupping his privates next to an unnamed naked woman and exposing his bottom, sparked a global debate on privacy last August.
They also triggered a web campaign in which troops, their wives, and others around the world showed their solidarity to the prince by posting naked pictures of themselves on Facebook and other internet sites.
“The guys out here caused chaos by their enormous support,” he said.
Harry admitted he often struggles adapting to the different personas he needs to assume in his life.
“But it was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince. It’s a simple case of that,” he said.
Before Harry went to Afghanistan, the press were told about his imminent deployment, but asked not to publish details for security reasons.
The prince criticised some newspapers for running the story at the time of the incident, only to print later that his actions were understandable, given the job he was about to start.
He said: “Yes people might look at it, going, ‘Yes it was letting off steam, it’s all understandable now, he was going off to Afghanistan.’
“Well, the papers knew that I was going out to Afghan anyway, so the way I was treated from them I don’t think is acceptable.”