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Prince Harry rolled back the years to his bachelor days and let his hair down during a three-hour pub session with friends – but in a sign his wild days are over the LA-based royal turned down free tequila slammers and nursed a single drink.

With Meghan back home in California, Harry took the opportunity to pop into an Irish bar for a pint of Guinness in The Hague last night surrounded by five bodyguards, including four men usually protecting the Dutch royals.

Harry expressed his delight when he took his first sip of the pint of world famous stout at O’Casey’s Irish bar, where other drinkers suggested there may have been a toast to the Queen on her 96th birthday yesterday.

The Duke of Sussex sat in a secluded part of the large beer garden with members of his Invictus Games staff and a couple of friends who flown from the UK to join in the pub visit. Among them appears to be former Strictly Come Dancing star JJ Chalmers, who was injured in a bomb blast in 2011 while serving as a Royal Marine in Afghanistan. 

The Prince – who sparked controversy this week when he spoke of how he is looking out for his grandmother from his home in California – may have been toasting his grandmother who celebrated her birthday yesterday.

Harry was accompanied by his burly bodyguard, a former US Secret Service agent, and four plain clothes officers from the Dutch royal protection squad amid his own claims that he does not feel safe in the UK because Scotland Yard won’t give him 24/7 security.

The Duke of Sussex was once famed for his ferocious partying including the notorious occasion he ended up playing naked billiards after a boozy night out in Las Vegas. But despite the offer of multiple free drinks – including tequila – Harry stuck to one pint to keep a clear head for the final day of Invictus today.

Prince Harry poses with bar owner John Gulay 51 of O'Casey's Irish pub where the royal spent three hours with friends last night

Prince Harry poses with bar owner John Gulay 51 of O'Casey's Irish pub where the royal spent three hours with friends last night

Prince Harry poses with bar owner John Gulay 51 of O’Casey’s Irish pub where the royal spent three hours with friends last night

The Duke of Sussex cheers on competitors during the Powerlifting event at the Invictus Games 2022 today

The Duke of Sussex cheers on competitors during the Powerlifting event at the Invictus Games 2022 today

Her Majesty is believed to be seeing family and friends at her Norfolk home

Her Majesty is believed to be seeing family and friends at her Norfolk home

The Duke of Sussex cheers on competitors during the Powerlifting event at the Invictus Games 2022 yesterday.  Her Majesty (right yesterday) is believed to be seeing family and friends at her Norfolk home. Some in the bar claimed there may have been a toast to the Queen, but the owner told MailOnline he didn’t see it

Staff at O’Casey’s  had been tipped off he would be arriving – but other drinkers were stunned when he walked through the bar. He was dressed in black polo top and a wore a baseball cap to hide his distinctive ginger hair.

While his friends downed tequila slammers and beer Harry was more abstemious, sticking to a single pint, perhaps mindful that in the morning he was meeting the King of the Netherlands and didn’t want a hangover.

Aides had booked a private corner in the pub garden that backs on to the Dutch royal palace.

The street outside is lined with giant crowns strung between buildings and a five-minute walk from the royal palace of King Willem-Alexander.

Harry spent three hours at the pub that was packed with drinkers for a quiz night.

Pub owner John Gulay,51, said: ‘When he got the pint, he was like ‘that is so nice’. Harry was super chilled and very relaxed, and he had a great time.

‘He was here for about three hours but only had the one pint. He said he had a busy day ahead with work.’

Harry leaves by golf buggy after watching the weight lifting finals at The Invictus Games yesterday. He is being followed by a Netflix crew

Harry leaves by golf buggy after watching the weight lifting finals at The Invictus Games yesterday. He is being followed by a Netflix crew

Harry leaves by golf buggy after watching the weight lifting finals at The Invictus Games yesterday. He is being followed by a Netflix crew

Prince Harry and Meghan visit the sitting volleyball section of the fifth edition of the Invictus Games in The Hague on April 17. Meghan is back in the US

Prince Harry and Meghan visit the sitting volleyball section of the fifth edition of the Invictus Games in The Hague on April 17. Meghan is back in the US

Prince Harry and Meghan visit the sitting volleyball section of the fifth edition of the Invictus Games in The Hague on April 17. Meghan is back in the US

Harry, 37, spoke to breakfast show Today (pictured above, with presenter Hoda Kotb) from the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, where he is spending the week after flying in from California with wife Meghan. His remarks have caused more upset for the royal family, experts have said

Harry, 37, spoke to breakfast show Today (pictured above, with presenter Hoda Kotb) from the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, where he is spending the week after flying in from California with wife Meghan. His remarks have caused more upset for the royal family, experts have said

Harry, 37, spoke to breakfast show Today (pictured above, with presenter Hoda Kotb) from the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, where he is spending the week after flying in from California with wife Meghan. His remarks have caused more upset for the royal family, experts have said

Mr Gulay said he wasn’t aware of Harry’s group raising a toast to the Queen’s 96th birthday. He said: ‘ Someone did mention it after they left, but I did not see any toasts’. 

Mr Gulay said as Harry was about to leave he asked if he could take a photo to commemorate the visit.

‘I said if he lets me take a photo I would pick up the bill for the drinks, and he agreed. He was a super nice guy and very relaxed. I didn’t check how much they had spent.’

Mr Gulay said Harry had said he didn’t want any special treatment and said hello to other drinkers as they walked by and offered to buy him drinks.

”His team have been drinking here all week and thought it was a great bar so came back and booked the area out the back. We call it the VIP area but didn’t dream we would have real VIPs.

‘We can say it is by royal appointment now.

‘We didn’t want to close the bar as we had our pub quiz so just had the garden they wanted it as normal as possible.

‘Harry was surrounded by his friends and had his bodyguard sit opposite. There were four royal protection officers who were also there.’

‘My wife is Mexican, and she suggested they have tequila slammers. All the others downed them, but Harry refused. He just wanted his pint. He said he had work to do and a busy day later.’

The group also feasted on a pile of Nacho chips, spicy chicken and la ocal delicacy called bitter ballen, small deep fried balls of mince meat.

Mr Gulay, who has owned the pub for 30 years, added:’ He just seemed very happy to be here and to have a drink with his friends.

‘I think the plan was to have a drink and go to a restaurant, but they had food and stayed until about 11pm. It was great to have him here, and no we can say the bar is by royal appointment.’

Prior to the visit Harry’s personal bodyguard Christopher Sanchez had visited the pub to check out how secure it was for the visit.

Mr Gulay said: ‘We back on to the royal palace and he asked if there was a key to the gate for an exit. I guess he was looking at ways to get the Prince out if he needed.’

Two female bar staff were assigned to keep the royal group topped up with drinks during the visit.

The pub- which has been voted the best Irish bar in Holland – was packed with drinkers, including one man who wore a Union Jack blazer to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.

O’Casey’s was one of the first Irish pubs in Holland with its extensive beer garden still part of the royal gardens of the Noordeinde palace.

On its website it boasts : ‘ We are happy to provide some old fashioned Irish hospitality and make you feel at home in our beautiful pub’.

The pub is also a magnet for sports fans boasting it will show any event on one of its 40 TV screens.

Source: Daily Mail

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