You wouldn't expect media censorship to take place in the UK of all countries, but the royal family is cracking down after the cheeky pics of Prince Harry's bare bum from his Vegas trip made it all over the internet this week.

The royal family has specifically requested that British publications NOT publish the photos due to implied privacy violations. They made the request to regulatory agency Press Complaints Comission, citing their Editor's Code of Practice which says that, "It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent." And believe it or not, E! Online is reporting that most of the British rags are complying with the request!

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So can the royal family legally put a stop to the pics circulating in tabloids? No, but most publications are choosing not to because they're afraid of public backlash in the UK. "Five or 10 years ago, there would have been a gleeful rush on the part of many newspapers to splash these photos on their pages," said Rory Carroll, U.S. West Coast correspondent for The Guardian. "And the fact that they've been hesitating reflects the climate of questions and a bit of uncertainty to what they can and cannot get away with, what the public would or would not accept."

Of course, it also comes down to the, ahem, bottom line. Anybody who wants to see the photos has already seen them or knows where to find them. The British rags aren't going to sell many more papers by including the photos, so it's not worth a minor increase in sales to potentially alienate readers. "(The royal ban) has zero impact in terms of keeping a cap on the news," said Rory. "There's no way to stop a story like this. The genie is out of the bottle and Buckingham Palace is aware of that."

Do you think the royal family should be trying to stop the pics from circulating?

Photos courtesy of Getty Images