AFL great Campbell Brown has revealed a wild encounter he shared with Prince Harry inside a Las Vegas nightclub.
The former Hawthorn and Gold Coast star says he was eventually escorted away from the former royal after they enjoyed a vodka-induced chinwag and showed off their moves on the dance floor of the iconic XS Night Club inside the Wynn Casino.
Speaking as part of the Thirsty Camel Thirsty for a Good Story campaign, Brown revealed he was in Las Vegas in 2011 with Gold Coast Suns teammates when he broke the team’s midnight curfew to party with the Duke of Sussex.
“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!’”
The member of the House of Windsor was in Vegas as part of his fighter pilot training in the United States, but was sitting in a private booth inside the nightclub when Brown spotted him.
Brown says he was aware of getting told to move on as soon as he struck up the conversation with Harry and immediately went into his vault of AFL stories to keep the Prince entertained.
“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!”
He admits his party antics went a bit too far when his favourite song at the time — Pitbull’s Give Me Everything — started blasting through the nightclub speakers.
“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 best part of Brown’s story is that he was able to pull off the perfect crime without being punished for violating curfew — but only because a member of the Suns’ coaching staff protected him.
Nursing a hangover, Brown was told the next morning he had been spotted out and about in the early hours of the morning.
He still avoided detection from head coach McKenna.
“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 recounted.
“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!”
Brown’s hilarious tale comes after Supercars star Scott McLaughlin and Leigh Montagna both recently revealed their own hilarious run-ins as part of the Thirsty Camel series.
Montagna revealed last month the night he and teammate Nick Dal Santo partied with David Beckham and Katy Perry at Halloween party hosted by Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.