‘I didn’t know p*** was an insult…I thought it was the same as ‘Yankee”: Harry says he didn’t know slur was racist after growing up ‘wrapped in privilege’
- Harry called his colleague Ahmed Raza Khan a ‘p***’ in a video recorded in 2006
- The clip, used for an ‘end-of-year’ video, was leaked to media three years later
- Harry said he ‘heard many people use the word’ as child and saw no one ‘wince’
Prince Harry has claimed he ‘didn’t know P*** was an insult’ when he notoriously used the racial slur to describe a fellow soldier from Pakistan.
In an extract from his upcoming autobiography Spare, the Duke of Sussex said he ‘heard many people use the word’ as a child and ‘had not seen anyone wince or get upset’ and that he had not considered them to be racist.
He added: ‘And I didn’t know anything about unconscious biases either. I was twenty-one years old, I had grown isolated from the real world and wrapped in privilege, and I believed that word was the same as ‘Yankee.’ Harmless.’
In 2009, Harry apologised after footage emerged of him using the slur to describe his Sandhurst colleague Ahmed Raza Khan. Harry said he had used the term without malice after the recording, taken in 2006, was released.
Prince Harry and Ahmed Raza Khan during The Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, April 2006. Prince Harry has claimed he ‘didn’t know P*** was an insult’ when he notoriously used the racial slur to describe his fellow soldier from Pakistan
Harry writes in his book: ‘I was twenty-one years old, I had grown isolated from the real world and wrapped in privilege, and I believed that word was the same as ‘Yankee.’ Harmless.’ (Pictured: Harry at Eton wearing his traditional school dress)
Recalling the video in his book, Harry said he had filmed it while killing time before boarding a plane to Cyprus with his fellow cadets.
He said that he was filming each serviceperson and making comments about them.
He recalls: ‘When I got to my partner and good friend Ahmed Raza Kahn, a Pakistani, I said, ”Ah, our little P*** friend.”’
Harry sent the video to another cadet who was making an ‘end-of-year video’, but the clip began circulating and ended up being sold to the News of the World, sparking a firestorm of criticism.
The Duke said people accused him of learning nothing from the Nazi debacle in 2005, saying that he was ‘worse than stupid’ or a ‘partyboy,’ and that he ‘was racist.’
He said he was in Highgrove watching the scandal unfold as leading politicians blasted him on national television, and that he was unable to process it.
Harry claimed that his father’s office issued an apology on his behalf and that he had wanted to issue another one, but palace aides advised against it.
‘Not the best strategy, sir’, he claims they told him, to which he said: ‘F*** the strategy.’
Harry said he contacted Ahmed directly and apologised. He said his comrade told him he knew he was not racist and that ‘nothing happened’.
However the Duke writes that ‘it did happen’ and that his friend’s forgiveness only made him feel worse.
The extract is one of dozens to be released overnight after copies of his book Spare were accidentally sold early in Spain.
The issue of racism is tackled elsewhere in the autobiography, when Prince Harry addresses his notorious Nazi uniform scandal.
But the Duke appears to blame Prince William and Kate for his choice of attire at the costume party in 2005.
The Duke of Sussex says in his new memoir – where he is also expected to detail resigning from royal duties along with wife Meghan – they both thought it was funny.
Harry claims he was considering either the Nazi uniform or a pilot’s outfit to a ‘Native and Colonial’ themed event and called his brother and sister-in-law for their opinion.
‘I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said,’ Harry wrote, according to Page Six.
Prince Harry partially blamed both his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate for his infamous appearance at a costume party wearing a Nazi uniform
‘They both howled. Worse than Willy’s leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point.’
The outfit became a huge scandal when Harry, then 20, was photographed wearing the Nazi regalia.
The story made global headlines after an image of Harry in the costume featured on the front page of The Sun newspaper.
The Duke of Sussex wore the Nazi uniform at a party thrown by Olympic show jumper Richard Meade.
Harry – seen here with William in 2021 – asked his brother and sister-in-law for advice on whether to wear a Nazi uniform or a pilot uniform to the party
Harry said William and Kate, seen here in 2020, ‘howled’ with laughter when Harry asked whether he should wear the Nazi costume
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The theme of the event – held to mark the birthday of Mr Meade’s son Harry – was ‘native and colonial’.
Harry wore the desert uniform of General Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps.
Earlier in the evening he had worn an army-style jacket with a German flag on the arm.
Harry had arrived with his elder brother Prince William, who reportedly dressed in a skin-tight black leotard with a leopard skin pattern and a matching leopard skin tail and paws.
One guest told the Daily Mail afterwards: ‘If this was his idea of a joke then it went down like a lead balloon.’
Harry issued a groveling apology shortly after the image was published.
He said: ‘I am very sorry if I have caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise.’
Addressing the issue in his Netflix series, Harry said that dressing as a Nazi was one of the ‘biggest mistakes’ of his life.
The Duke of Sussex expressed regret for his 2005 gaffe and said all he ‘wanted to do was make it right.’
He said he met with the chief rabbi and also spoke to a Holocaust survivor as part of efforts to repair the damage done by the gaffe.
At the time, the chief rabbi was Jonathan Sacks, who passed away in 2020.
Harry, pictured in 2004, issued a grovelling apology shortly after the image was published. He said: ‘I am very sorry if I have caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise’
Prince Harry has said in his new Netflix series that dressing as a Nazi was one of the ‘biggest mistakes’ of his life
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The Duke of Sussex said: ‘It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
‘I felt so ashamed afterwards.
‘All I wanted to do was make it right. I sat down and spoke to the chief rabbi in London, which had a profound impact on me.
‘I went to Berlin and spoke to a Holocaust survivor.
‘I could have got on and ignored it and made the same mistakes over and over in my life but I learnt from that.’
Spare tells Harry’s story with ‘raw, unflinching honesty’, according to Penguin Random House.
Publishing sources said arrangements for Harry’s ‘explosive’ memoir’s release were ultra-closely guarded and being managed in minute detail, with only a handful of senior executives aware of the exact details.
Deliveries to bookshops are being scheduled to be last-minute to avoid unauthorised copies being leaked. Guarded sites across the world have been secured to house copies of the book prior to 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 taken by hand from London to New York, a lawyer for the American publisher sat on it during the flight.
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