Skip to main content

In 1939, throngs of adoring Calgarians greeted King George and Queen Elizabeth with boisterous cheers during a stop on the royal couple's cross-country tour of Canada.

How times have changed.

Now Calgary has feted the arrival of George and Elizabeth's great-grandson, Prince Harry, with a reception of a much more intimate variety: booze, lipstick and busty barmaids at one of the city's most raucous nightclubs.

A bleary-eyed Harry, who is third line to be Canada's head of state, appeared in the British tabloid News of the World yesterday with his cheeks sandwiched between the lips of two attractive females at Cowboys, a Calgary nightclub renowned for outfitting its veteran servers with breast implants.

The Prince apparently wanted proof of the bar's claim to fame, requesting that one of the woman, Cherie Cymbalisty, 22, remove her top, according to the News of the World.

"He was obsessed about my outfit and bra top," Ms. Cymbalisty told the tabloid after selling her story for an undisclosed sum. "He was very forward."

The Prince then reportedly asked whether the 5-foot-6 Libra was wearing underwear and ogled a poster of the aspiring Playboy bunny removing her G-string with a stiletto.

In 2006, Ms. Cymbalisty placed third in a contest to crown Canada's Hottest Bartender, sponsored by Urban Male magazine.

According to her online entry, Ms. Cymbalisty wrote that she deserved the title "because I know how to entertain my male customers ... and keep them coming back for more!! (yee-haw)."

Prince Harry appears to have agreed, returning to the club after it closed for a more intimate tête-à-tête with the bartender. He had been on a break from training with his army regiment at CFB Suffield, 250 kilometres southeast of Calgary, ahead of a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"I think it's all quite hilarious," said Sidney Aster, a historian at the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

"It's a new generation of royal, certainly, that goes up to a bar, has a little too much to drink and kisses some good-looking women."

While royal visits to Canada have a long and stately history, they have also been the occasion of many a protocol breach.

More than 300 years ago, Prince William, a son of King George III, celebrated his 21st birthday with unruly sailors aboard a navy ship anchored off Newfoundland.

In 1939, Queen Elizabeth caused a stir among royal watchers after she broke away from her official duties to shake hands with a group of Scottish stonemasons in Ottawa.

"That ended up being a very successful trip all the same," Prof. Aster said.

"Canada has become a place where royals come to have fun."

In 1958, a 27-year-old John Turner famously danced with Princess Margaret while she was touring the country and rumours swirled that the two were a couple.

Experts in royal protocol pointed out that the two could not marry unless Margaret renounced the crown because Mr. Turner is Catholic.

"Harry better hope that this new girl isn't a Catholic," joked Tom Freda, national director of Citizens for a Canadian Republic.

There was nothing in those past visits salacious enough to match Harry's recent trip. Even so, some veteran royal watchers applauded the young Prince's tipsy appearance among commoners.

"The monarchy has to find new ways of connecting with all sorts," said Robert Finch, head of the Monarchist League of Canada.

"If that means the third in line to the throne going to a raucous Calgary pub, that's just a sign of the times. It's a sign the Royal Family is in touch."

Perhaps a little too in touch. The Prince was at one point photographed pecking Ms. Cymbalisty on the cheek.

Harry is no prince of propriety. Controversy swirled in Britain after he donned a Nazi uniform for a Halloween costume in 2005.

More recently he was photographed there punching a photographer outside a pub.