Prince Harry says wearing Nazi uniform was biggest mistake

Prince Harry says wearing Nazi uniform was biggest mistake

Prince Harry talks about addressing his ‘unconscious bias’ in new Netflix documentary series Harry & Meghan. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry has opened up about one of the “biggest mistakes” of his life in the new Netflix documentary series Harry & Meghan.

Harry caused upset and outrage across the globe when he decided to wear a Nazi uniform at a fancy dress party in 2005.

At the time, Clarence House issued a statement saying the then 20-year-old royal had apologized for the “poor choice of costume”.

Many said this wasn’t good enough, and suggested he should apologise in person for the incident, which occurred just two weeks before the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Harry, now 38, addresses the issue in Harry & Meghan, a six-part documentary series exploring the span of the Sussexes’ relationship and the controversies that made them step down as senior members of the Royal Family in 2020.

Read more: The biggest revelations from Harry and Meghan’s tell-all Netflix documentary

An electronic copy of the front page of The Sun newspaper on January 13, 2005 shows a photograph of Britain's Prince Harry wearing a red and black swastika armband and an army shirt with Nazi regalia at a friend's party at an unidentified location which he attended on January 8, 2005. Prince Harry apologized on Thursday after he wore a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party two weeks before Queen Elizabeth is due to lead the country's holocaust memorial events.  EDITORIAL USE ONLY.  PICTURE MUST BE USED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND NOT CROPPED.  REUTERS/HOASA

The story made it onto the front page of The Sun and caused a great deal of embarrassment for the Royal Family. (Getty Images)

“It was probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I felt so ashamed afterwards – all I wanted to do was make it right,” Harry said.

“I 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 gone on and probably made the same mistakes over and over again in my life, but I learned from that.”

In the documentary, Harry recalls how being a senior royal “sometimes you’re part of the problem rather than part of the solution” and tells how there is a “huge level of unconscious bias” in the Royal Family.

Read more: Everything we know about Meghan bullying allegations

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala in New York City, US, December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Harry & Meghan explore the span of the Sussexes’ relationship and what drove them to step down as senior royals. (Reuters)

Journalist and author Afua Hirsch said it was “really significant” to see Harry and Meghan attending a 2018 memorial service for Stephen Lawrence, a Black teenager who was murdered in a racist attack in southeast London in 1993.

She said in the documentary: “It represented a direct attempt to speak to the pain that many people still feel as a result of the murder of Stephen Laurence. That was really welcomed by many Black communities in Britain.

“I always perceived Prince Harry as just another senior royal who’s a little bit racist, very ignorant, but I have watched him on this journey and seen that he has really embraced the education that is required for someone like him to transform themselves into an anti -racist.”

Read more: ‘Diana was at fault, too’, Queen’s former adviser warns Harry and Meghan

Princess Michael of Kent arrives at the Parade Ring for the start of the second day of Royal Ascot races meeting in Berkshire, southern England, June 21, 2006. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico (BRITAIN)

The show also looks at a more recent scandal which saw Princess Michael of Kent wearing a blackamoor broach. (Reuters)

Harry & Meghan also touched on a more recent scandal involving a Royal Family member displaying racist imagery on clothing.

In 2017, Princess Michael of Kent apologized after wearing a blackamoor brooch, depicting an African figure, at a pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace, which was also attended by Meghan.

Hirsch said: “When I heard about Meghan at an event where a member of her soon-to-be family was wearing a blackamoor brooch, I wasn’t hugely surprised, because one of the realities of life in Britain is that if you go into a palace, or a stately home or anywhere that represents tradition, you are likely to be faced with racist imagery.

“There are murals on the wall or carvings on the ceiling that depict enslaved people in a way that glorifies the institution of slavery.

“You can say it’s a small thing, it’s a broach, she probably didn’t mean any harm by it. If you magnify that thousands of times – it was just a painting, it was just a slave, it was just a plantation, these are the skeletons in the closet that frequently make an unwelcomed appearance in daily life.”


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