January 13, 2005

Dirty Harry

I don't like to pick on a young guy forced into the Royal follies. But this is really, really dumb. It's kind of sad to see aristocracies, unmoored from traditional private safe-havens and lofty pedestals, subject to the mad-cap, brutish media cycles of 21st Century democracies. They come off looking all too mortal, I'm afraid. And, in this case, insensitive in the extreme:

PRINCE HARRY apologised last night to the Prince of Wales after attending a fancy dress party wearing a red Nazi swastika. Prince William was with his brother at the party, which was held by Richard Meade, the triple Olympic gold medallist, who is a close friend of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles.

The theme of the party at Mr Meade’s equestrian centre in Wiltshire on Saturday night was Colonials and Natives. It was attended by more than 400 people. Mr Meade is a former boyfriend of the Princess Royal and they remain close friends.

Clarence House moved swiftly last night to try to defuse the row after photographs emerged of Prince Harry, 20, sporting the apparently home-made red swastika on the left arm of a military-style shirt.

The Prince of Wales was appalled by his son’s lack of judgment, which will plunge the Royal Family into another embarrassing row. Harry apologised immediately. Clarence House is braced for protests from leaders of the Jewish community. A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “We are pleased that Prince Harry has apologised. Such an incident is in bad taste, particularly in the run-up to Holocaust Memorial Day (January 27), for which the Queen will be leading the commemorations in the United Kingdom.”

Terry Burton, a spokesman for veterans of the Second World War, said the prince’s costume was an insult to soldiers who had faced German troops in battle and were still dealing with painful memories. “Maybe people think it’s funny to use inappropriate fancy dress like this, but I just find it disgusting,” he said.

Posted by Gregory at January 13, 2005 04:06 AM
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