February 8, 2023

Opened in 2006 and the brainchild of businessman Piers Adam, it prided itself on its lack of pretense. “Put together these different worlds: it is Tatler satisfies Sun. It’s Kensington meets Essex,” Adam said in an interview.

The abundance of blonde toupees and suede shoes on the dance floor suggests that the clientele was more familiar with luxury. Tatler Column “spectator” than the tabloid of the sun Page “Dear Deidre”.

“A friend and I used to play a drinking game to see how long it would take someone to ask you where you went to school; on average, I would say it was about two or three minutes,” says Sarah, who worked at a nightclub. promoter at the time.

Prince Harry has long had a strained relationship with the British press.Credit:access point

Harry was the leader of the tribe and once Guy Pelly, then the princes’ best friend, was hired to help run Mahiki, every girl with a dream of a Kensington Palace address followed suit.

The princes felt safe there because they knew that none of the managers would call the press.

“There was always a bit of a ruckus the nights Harry or William would show up: they’d come and go through the staff entrance, or even arrive wearing ski masks,” says Lucie, who worked on the Mahiki gate in the late 2000s. “Usually they stayed in a private, roped-off area of ​​the club, although I remember Harry coming to the main dance floor to have some fun.”

For much of Harry’s party period, he was in the military and in an on-and-off relationship with Zimbabwean Chelsy Davy. They often hung out together, but in their breakup periods, there were many distractions. Promoters were tasked with bringing in young, attractive women: one editor, who was a fashion student at the time, said she and her friends were regularly invited to Mahiki for a free night of draft drinks and platters of food.

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“The promoters’ job was to bring in stylish young girls,” she says. “We had no obligation other than to look good, have fun and take pictures with our digital cameras. For the most part, the partygoers respected the (royal’s) privacy.”

Prince Harry, left, talks to his then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, who was born in Zimbabwe, before the international rugby match between England and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium in 2008.Credit:access point

William and Harry had to deal with increasingly hungry groups of paparazzi filling the club’s doors in hopes of getting a photo. One person I spoke to says that it was once rumored that William slipped out the back door while Harry stayed behind with the press. It should be remembered that the youngest prince had a fight with a photographer when he was leaving the Pangea nightclub in 2004.

Prince Harry leaves the popular celebrity hangout of Boujis in central London in the early hours of the morning.  The young royal is alleged to have lashed out at paparazzi snapper Nirach Tanner before being bundled into a waiting Range Rover.

Prince Harry leaves the popular celebrity hangout of Boujis in central London in the early hours of the morning. The young royal is alleged to have lashed out at paparazzi snapper Nirach Tanner before being bundled into a waiting Range Rover.

Drugs were also ubiquitous. “Of course, he had been taking cocaine at the time,” Harry writes in Replacement. “I was offered a line at someone’s house on a hunting weekend, and since then I’ve had a little more… It wasn’t much fun, and it didn’t make me feel as happy as others seemed to, but it did make me happy. made me feel different, and that was my main goal. To feel. To be different.”

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Now closed, Boujis was another fixture on the party circuit. Opened in 2002 in South Kensington, it was spearheaded by Jake Parkinson-Smith, grandson of fashion photographer Norman Parkinson.

“Boujis was the funniest of all,” says Tilly, who knew princes well at the time. “We used to have one shot of ‘Crack Baby’ after another: it was vodka, champagne and passion fruit, and you could have 10 in a row and still be on your feet.”

More than Mahiki, Boujis built much of his reputation around his royal connections. “Celebrities like Kate Moss would show up, but in the end it was all about the princes,” says Sarah.

“People would walk through the door and immediately start seeing the royals – the jackpot went to William and Harry, although they were also happy to see Kate, Beatrice, Eugenie and Zara.”

“It was a real feature of that period,” adds Nicholl. “The boys on their nights out and the groups of beautiful, long-limbed beauties in the prince’s guard.”

“Harry was a young prince and he was enjoying himself as many of his relatives had before him,” adds Nicholl.

“Very few people were going to scold him for that.”