‘I didn’t know p*** was an insult’: Harry says he didn’t know slur was racist because of his privilege
Prince Harry has claimed he “didn’t know P*** was an insult” when he used the infamous racial insult to describe a fellow soldier from Pakistan.
In an excerpt from his forthcoming autobiography Spare, the Duke of Sussex said that he had “heard many people use the word” as a child and had “seen no one wince or become upset” and that he had not regarded them as racist.
He added, “And I didn’t know about unconscious bias either. I was twenty-one years old, I had become isolated from the real world and enshrouded in privilege, and I believed that word to be the same as “Yankee.” Harmless.’
In 2009, Harry apologized after footage emerged of him using the slur to describe his Sandhurst colleague Ahmed Raza Khan. Harry said he used the term without malice after the recording, made in 2006, was released.
Prince Harry and Ahmed Raza Khan during The Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, April 2006. Prince Harry has claimed that he ‘didn’t know P*** was an insult’ when he was notorious for using the racial insult to to describe his comrade soldier from Pakistan
Harry writes in his book: ‘I was twenty-one years old, I had become isolated from the real world and enveloped in privilege, and I believed that word to be the same as ‘Yankee’. Harmless.’ (Pictured: Harry at Eton in his traditional school dress)
Harry recalled the video in his book and said he filmed it while killing time before boarding a plane to Cyprus with his fellow cadets.
He said he was filming every soldier and making comments about it.
He recalls, “When I came to my partner and close friend Ahmed Raza Kahn, a Pakistani, I said, ‘Ah, our little P*** friend.'”
Harry sent the video to another cadet who was making a “year-end video,” but the clip began circulating and was eventually sold to the News of the World, sparking a storm of criticism.
The Duke said people accused him of learning nothing from the 2005 Nazi debacle, saying he was “worse than stupid” or a “party boy” and that he was “racist.”
He said he was in Highgrove to watch the scandal unfold as leading politicians blasted him on national television and couldn’t take it.
Harry claimed that his father’s office had issued an apology on his behalf and that he had wanted to issue another one, but palace officials advised against it.
“Not the best strategy, sir,” he claims they told him, to which he said, “F*** the strategy.”
Harry said he had contacted Ahmed directly and apologised. He said his comrade told him he knew he was not a racist and that “nothing had happened.”
However, the duke writes that “it happened” and that his friend’s forgiveness only made him feel worse.
The excerpt is one of dozens released overnight after copies of his book Spare were accidentally sold early in Spain.
The issue of racism is addressed elsewhere in the autobiography, when Prince Harry addresses his infamous Nazi uniform scandal.
But the Duke seems to blame Prince William and Kate for his choice of clothes at the costume party in 2005.
The Duke of Sussex says in his new memoir – in which he will also talk about stepping down from royal duties with wife Meghan – that they both found it funny.
Harry claims he considered the Nazi uniform or pilot outfit for a “Native and Colonial” themed event and called his brother and sister-in-law for their opinion.
‘I called Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said,” said Harry Page six.
Prince Harry partially blamed both his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate for his infamous performance at a costume party in a Nazi uniform
‘They both cried. Worse than Willy’s leotard! Much more ridiculous! Which was also the intention.’
The outfit became a huge scandal when Harry, then 20, was photographed wearing the Nazi regalia.
The story made world headlines after an image of Harry in the costume appeared on the front page of The Sun newspaper.
The Duke of Sussex wore the Nazi uniform at a party hosted by Olympic show jumper Richard Meade.
Harry – seen here with William in 2021 – asked his brother and sister-in-law for advice on wearing a Nazi uniform or a pilot’s uniform to the party
Harry said that William and Kate, seen here in 2020, ‘yelped’ with laughter when Harry asked if he should wear the Nazi costume
The theme of the event – held to mark the birthday of Mr Meade’s son Harry – was ‘Indigenous and Colonial’.
Harry wore the desert uniform of General Erwin Rommel’s Africa Corps.
Earlier in the evening he had worn an army-style jacket with a German flag on the arm.
Harry had arrived with his older brother Prince William, who was reportedly dressed in a form-fitting black leotard with a leopard skin pattern and a matching leopard leather tail and paws.
One guest told the Daily Mail afterwards: “If this was his idea of a joke, it went down like a lead balloon.”
Harry apologized shortly after the image was published.
He said, “I am very sorry if I have offended or embarrassed anyone. It was a bad choice of costume and I apologize.’
Addressing the issue on his Netflix series, Harry said dressing up as a Nazi was one of the “biggest mistakes” of his life.
The Duke of Sussex expressed regret over his 2005 blunder, saying he “just wanted to make amends”.
He said he met the chief rabbi and also spoke to a Holocaust survivor as part of efforts to repair the damage done by the blunder.
The chief rabbi at the time was Jonathan Sacks, who passed away in 2020.
Harry, pictured in 2004, apologized shortly after the image was published. He said, “I am very sorry if I have offended or embarrassed anyone. It was a bad choice of costume and my apologies’
Prince Harry has said in his new Netflix series that dressing up as a Nazi was one of the ‘biggest mistakes’ of his life
The Duke of Sussex said: ‘It was one of the greatest mistakes of my life.
“I was so ashamed afterwards.
“All I wanted to do was make it right. I sat down and spoke to the chief rabbi in London, which made a deep impression on me.
“I went to Berlin and spoke to a Holocaust survivor.
“I could have gone on and ignored it and made the same mistakes over and over again in my life, but I learned from that.”
Spare tells Harry’s story with “raw, unwavering honesty,” according to Penguin Random House.
Publishing sources said arrangements for the release of Harry’s “explosive” memoir were extremely closely guarded and managed in minute detail, with only a handful of senior executives privy to the exact details.
Deliveries to bookstores are scheduled at the last minute to prevent unauthorized copies from being leaked. Secure sites around the world are secured to host copies of the book before distribution.
One source compared the complex security operation to the 2007 release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
An army of guards, satellite tracking systems and legal contracts were all deployed to protect the first ten million copies of JK Rowling’s seventh Harry Potter book. When the finished manuscript was brought from London to New York by hand, a lawyer from the American publisher sat on it during the flight.