"You can't manhandle the prince!" AFL star's night in Vegas with Prince Harry
Former Hawthorn premiership star Campbell Brown has opened up about a chance encounter he had with the Duke of Sussex while at a Las Vegas nightclub.
Brown has achieved a memorable career, playing 159 games for Hawthorne before he moved to the Gold Coast Suns to finish off his last three years in AFL.
While speaking as part of Thirsty Camel’s ‘Thirsty for a Good Story’ campaign, Brown admitted he had crossed paths with Prince Harry during Brown’s first off-season with the Suns in late 2011.
Brown was to spend one night in Vegas with the team after a training camp in Arizona.
“Coach Guy McKenna had been pretty specific, we had a young group, he wanted a 12 o’clock curfew. We sort of agreed on that, went out for dinner and had a few drinks,” he said.
“We only had this one night, we trained pretty hard so we felt like we needed to reward ourselves, so I decided that I was going to break curfew. I knew there was a nightclub called Excess that was pretty good on a Monday night.
“We’re walking through the back part of Excess. I was just looking around and I see a Prince Harry lookalike, a guy with red hair, I said to Matty Warnock ‘Ha, Prince Harry!’, we keep walking and then I stop and I look and I go ‘I actually reckon that is Prince Harry!’
“I walk up, there were two skinny sort of guys, they were sort of overlooking the booth he was in, he was sitting in there with three other guys. I said ‘Harry!’ He looks across at me and I said ‘I knew it was Prince Harry!’”
Brown says the royal had been in Vegas as part of fighter pilot drills and Brown was able to keep Harry’s interest by explaining he played AFL.
“I thought I better keep him engaged here because Scotland Yard standing over there, they were pretty keen to move me along,” he said.
“I’m out of my drink now so I lean in I grab the drink I pour myself a Vodka cranberry!”
The 2008 premiership Hawk said he and the Duke were in an intense conversation when Hawk admits he may have gone a step too far.
“Eventually I’ve got this habit that every hour on the hour I undo a button after midnight,” he said.
“I’ve looked down at my watch and it was about two o’clock so I’ve undone my buttons and on comes my favourite ever song, ‘Give Me Everything’.
“I start dancing to this song and I undo my button and I turn to Harry and I start to try undo his buttons and I get a tap on the shoulder saying time to move on mate. I looked at Harry pleadingly, he’d waved them away the first couple of times and he sort of just said nice to meet you and off I went. You can’t manhandle the prince!”
The following morning, Brown says he was fearful he may have been busted for breaking curfew, and in result would cop a hefty penalty.
“One of the coaches came up to me and said ‘Did you break curfew last night?’ I said ‘Nah nah’, he goes ‘So you weren’t at Excess last night?’ I said ‘Nah nah’”, Brown remembered.
“He goes ‘That’s funny because as I was walking through the crowd to go to the bathroom with the CEO and a couple of the coaches, I looked up and I saw you. Then as we get a bit closer we see you in a booth with Prince Harry, how do they know each other!?’
“So he took them the long way to the toilet and they never saw me until now I suppose!
“Feels good to be a part of Prince Harry’s wild weekend. He’s probably smart to offload me when he did otherwise there might’ve been a lot more trouble!”
This article originally appeared on Over60.