Britain's Prince Harry has found himself in trouble once again, and may face a serious racism inquiry, after a secret video was released showing the Prince making racist remarks during his officer's training in 2006.
Harry, who has already found himself in trouble for being photographed in a Nazi Halloween costume in 2005, is now facing criticism from the Ministry of Defense, as well as his fellow soldiers, for his crass remarks, which include referring to a fellow soldier as "our little Paki friend," and shouting ""Fuck me, you look like a raghead," to a soldier who happened to be wearing a camouflage cape. Harry is also being criticized for mocking the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army—his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
"Send my love to the corgis," Harry is filmed saying in a mock-phone call to the Queen, "Send my love to the corgis and Grandpa. God save you ... yeah, that's great."
The Prince claims that his remarks were made in jest. "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," St. James Palace said in a statement, regarding the "Paki friend" remark. Yet Iftikhar Raja, the uncle of the soldier whom the remark was aimed at, begs to differ: "I am proud to be British and if someone called me Pakistani I would be proud to be called that, but Paki is definitely a derogatory remark," Raja says, "We expect better from our royal family on whom we spend millions and millions of pounds for training and schooling."
The scandal is a blow to the British Military, who "are actively trying to recruit Muslims as intelligence officers and translators for the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan." Furthermore, Prince Harry, whether jokingly or not, appears to have broken the military's zero-tolerance policy on discrimination, and royal blood or no, should be held accountable. "Neither the Army nor the Armed Forces tolerates inappropriate behaviour in any shape or form," The Ministry of Defense said in a statement, "The Army takes all allegations of inappropriate behaviour very seriously and all substantive allegations are investigated."
Yet we all know what is going to happen: the Prince will make a grand apology, and the Queen will make a statement, and that will be it. Sadly, Harry is protected, by his name, his blood, and the fact that he is third in line for a throne that really holds no power anymore. The argument is being made that this kind language isn't anything new or shocking for the military, and his words are being misinterpreted as hateful when, in reality, they were said in jest. Yet Prince Harry, of all people, raised in perhaps the most public manner possible, seems to be completely unaware that his words, whether he likes it or not, will be scrutinized and publicized everywhere. I don't know if this is arrogance, stupidity, or just a general lack of awareness on the Prince's part, but if nothing else, he should know better.
A few months ago, Harry's commitment to the military was being held up as heroic and inspirational. Yet now, it seems, Prince Harry is right back where he started from: caught on tape with a lot of explaining to do. "It was a very stupid thing to do and I've learned my lesson, simple as that really," he once said after the 2005 Nazi costume scandal. Perhaps he didn't learn anything, after all.