Video shows Prince Harry using racist terms
Issued on: Modified:
The British newspaper News of the World published a video showing Prince Harry calling a fellow cadet "Paki" and telling another he looked like a "raghead". The paper said the video was made by the prince in 2006 when he was an officer cadet.
AFP - Britain's Prince Harry made racist remarks on a video, calling a member of his army platoon a "Paki" and telling another he looked like a "raghead", a British newspaper reported on Sunday.
The video obtained by the News of the World plunges the 24-year-old prince, the third in line to the throne, into fresh controversy four years after he wore a Nazi swastika at a fancy dress party.
The video, made by the prince in 2006 when he was still an officer cadet, begins as he is waiting at an airport with his comrades for a flight to a training exercise in Cyprus.
Spotting an Asian cadet, he says: "Anybody else around here?... Ah, our little Paki friend, Ahmed."
"Paki" is a derogatory term for Indians or Pakistanis.
Harry makes the second remark while on the exercise.
Once again he is behind the camera when he spots one of his colleagues with what appears to be camouflage netting over his head and as he looks up at the lens, Harry says: "It's Dan the Man... Fuck me, you look like a raghead."
"Raghead" is a racist term for Arabs.
The prince is also shown apparently talking on a mobile phone to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, until he is forced to hang up by a comrade.
He says: "Granny, I've got to go. Send my love to the corgis. And grandpa... God save you... yeah, that's great. See you, bye."
The News of the World made the video available on its Web site.
The royal family issued an apology, but insisted the prince had used the term "Paki" "without malice".
"Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause," a statement said.
"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 added: "Prince Harry used the term 'raghead' to mean Taliban or Iraqi insurgent."
The prince served with the army fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan last year but was forced to return home amid security fears after a carefully arranged media blackout on his deployment was broken.
Now an army lieutenant, he is to begin training soon as an army combat helicopter pilot.
Britain's equalities watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said the racism claims "appear to be disturbing allegations".
"We will be asking the MoD (Ministry of Defence) to see the evidence, share that evidence with us and their plans for dealing with it," a spokeswoman said.
"We will then consider what further action might be necessary."
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence 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," the spokeswoman said, referring to "Ahmed".
She added: "Bullying and racism are not endemic in the Armed Forces."
It is not the first time that the youngest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana has been forced to apologise for his actions.
His decision to attend a friend's fancy dress birthday party wearing a swastika armband in 2005 sparked widespread criticism. The publication of those photographs in a newspaper was followed by a swift apology from the royals.
In the past, it emerged he had smoked cannabis as a teenager and he was once involved in a nightclub scuffle with a paparazzi photographer, but in recent years Harry has sought to shake off his 'playboy prince' reputation.
He is heavily involved in a charity in Lesotho to support children orphaned by AIDS which was launched in memory of his mother, and is patron of several other children's charities.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe