Opened in 2006 and the brainchild of entrepreneur Piers Adam, it prided itself on its lack of pretentiousness. “It brings these different worlds together: it is Tatler meets The sun. It’s Kensington meets Essex,” Adam said in an interview.
The sheer number of blonde quiffs and suede shoes on the dance floor suggests the clientele was more familiar with the upscale segment Tatler “Viewer” column than the tabloid Sun Dear Deidre page.
“A friend and I used to play a drinking game to see how long it would take for someone to ask you where you went to school — on average, I’d say it was about two or three minutes,” says Sarah, who promoter worked as a nightclub at that time.
Harry was the leader of the tribe and when Guy Pelly – then the princes’ best friend – was hired to run Mahiki, all the girls who dreamed of an address at Kensington Palace followed suit.
The princes felt safe there knowing that none of the managers would call the press.
“There was always something going on the nights Harry or William showed up – they came and went through the staff entrance or even came in with balaclavas,” says Lucie, who worked on Mahiki’s door in the late ’00s. “They usually stayed in a private, cordoned off area of the club – although I do remember Harry coming down to the main dance floor to have some fun.”
For much of Harry’s partying time, he was in the military and in an on-off relationship with Chelsy Davy from Zimbabwe. They often went out together — but there were plenty of distractions during their breakup periods. Promoters were tasked with recruiting attractive young women: one editor, then a fashion student, said she and her friends were regularly invited to Mahiki for a free evening of draft drinks and food platters.
“The job of the promoters was to bring in stylish young girls,” she says. “We had no other obligation than to look good, have fun and shoot with our digital cameras. For the most part, the party-goers are respected [the royals’] Privacy.”
William and Harry had to deal with increasingly hungry groups of paparazzi crowding the club doors in hopes of getting a photo. One person I speak to says it was once rumored that William was snuck out the back door while Harry had to deal with the press. Memorably, the younger prince had a scuffle with a photographer while leaving Pangea nightclub in 2004.
Drugs were also ubiquitous. “Of course I was doing cocaine at the time,” Harry writes spare part. “During a weekend of hunting I was offered a leash at someone’s house and since then I’d used up more of it… It wasn’t very fun and didn’t make me particularly happy as others seemed to do, but I felt it me differently, and that was my main goal. Feel. Be different.”
Now closed, Boujis was another fixture on the party scene. It opened in South Kensington in 2002 and was managed by Jake Parkinson-Smith, grandson of fashion photographer Norman Parkinson.
“Boujis was the most fun,” says Tilly, who knew the princes well at the time. “We used to do ‘crack baby’ shot after shot — it was vodka, champagne and passion fruit, and you could drink 10 in a row and still stand up.”
More than Mahiki, Boujis built much of his reputation on his royal connections. “Celebs like Kate Moss showed up, but ultimately it was all about the princes,” says Sarah.
“People walked through the door and immediately started spotting royals – the jackpot was William and Harry, although they were happy to see Kate, Beatrice, Eugenie and Zara too.”
“It was a real hallmark of the era,” adds Nicholl. “The boys at their evenings and the groups of stunning long-limbed beauties at Prince’s Watch.”
“Harry was a young prince and, like many of his relatives before him, was having fun,” adds Nicholl.
“Very few people would berate him for that.”
https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/prince-harry-s-wild-party-nights-at-the-mahiki-club-that-aren-t-covered-in-spare-20230112-p5cbyt.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Prince Harry’s wild nights out at London’s Mahiki Club that aren’t covered in Spare