Prince Harry regrets wearing Nazi costume to a party
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In January 2005, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, attended a friend’s fancy dress-themed birthday party wearing a Nazi uniform, complete with a swastika armband.
The incident caused widespread outrage and criticism, with the Board of Deputies of British Jews commenting on Harry’s “ill-judged actions.”
At the time, Harry issued a statement apologizing for his actions, saying that he was “very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone.”
He also acknowledged that it was a “poor choice of costume” and apologized for any harm he may have caused.
The incident has been brought to the forefront again in the third episode of Harry and Meghan, a documentary series produced by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for Netflix.
In the episode, Harry discusses how unconscious bias affects not only the royal family but also wider society.
“In this family, sometimes you’re part of the problem rather than part of the solution,” Harry said. “There is a huge level of unconscious bias… It’s actually no one’s fault, but once it’s been pointed out or identified within yourself, you then need to make it right.
“It’s education, it’s awareness. And it’s a constant work in progress for everybody, including me.”
When asked directly about the incident, Harry admitted that it was “probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life.”
He said that he felt ashamed after the fact and was determined to make things right.
“All I wanted to do was make it right,” Harry said. “We sat down and spoke to the chief rabbi in London which had a profound impact on me. I went to Berlin and spoke to a Holocaust survivor. I could’ve just ignored it and probably made the same mistakes in my life over and over again in my life, but I learnt from that.”
The episode also included footage of newspaper covers from the time that criticized Harry for his actions, as well as a voiceover from a news report describing how “British headline writers have been salivating today” over the images.
The actual image of Harry in the Nazi uniform was not shown.
The incident remains a stain on Harry’s reputation, but it appears that he has learned from his mistake and has taken steps to educate himself and others about unconscious bias and the dangers of hate speech and bigotry.
As a member of the royal family and a public figure, Harry has a unique platform to speak out about these important issues.
It is heartening to see that he is using that platform to promote understanding and acceptance, rather than division and hate.