Prince Harry in hot water after Paki insult
Prince Harry has been forced to apologise after using offensive language to describe a member of his platoon.
The News of the World obtained a video in which the prince – who is third in line to the throne – calls his Sandhurst colleague ‘our little Paki friend’.
The video was made when Harry was still an officer cadet at Sandhurst military academy three years ago.
It was filmed at an airport departure lounge in front of other cadets as they waited for a flight to Cyprus to go on manoeuvres.
Aswell as using the racist term for Pakistanis, ‘Paki’, the prince is also heard telling a friend he looks like a ‘raghead’.
The prince has apologised for the slip-up, with St. James’s Palace stating he used the term three years ago as a nickname for a friend and without any malice.
A statement read: ‘Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause.
‘However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon.
‘There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend.’
The statement continued: ‘Prince Harry used the term ‘raghead’ to mean Taleban or Iraqi insurgent.’
BBC royal correspondent Daniela Relph said this was an extremely embarrassing episode for the Royal Family, and that, as a member, Prince Harry should behave to a certain standard, and that everything he does is scrutinised ‘regardless of whether it was banter among colleagues or something that was being used by lots of other people he was working with.’
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said: ‘Neither the Army nor the Armed Forces tolerates inappropriate behaviour in any shape or form.
‘The Army takes all allegations of inappropriate behaviour very seriously and all substantive allegations are investigated.
‘We are not aware of any complaint having been made by the individual.’
She added: ‘Bullying and racism are not endemic in the Armed Forces.’
It is not the first time Harry has left the Royals red-faced. In 2005, he sparked a backlash over his decision to wear a swastika armband to a fancy dress party.