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Home > People

Dodgy Harry

15 January 2005

It is difficult to imagine exactly what Prince Harry might have been thinking on Wednesday evening, as he pulled the Nazi armband over his elbow, snorted his last line of coke and made his way to his toff pals' fancy dress party. But it was most probably: 'My South African girlfriend is going to *love* this.'

If it had crossed his mind however, that he'd be the whipping boy of the world's media for the rest of the week, would he still have gone as Rommel? We'd like to think so. He may be as thick as his mum was, as is often suggested, but let's hope at least that he has the courage of his convictions.

The theme of the party was 'Native and Colonial', so it would perhaps have made more sense if Harry had gone as a Zulu, maybe sporting a straw skirt and a fake bone through his nose; or perhaps a beturbanned tiffin-wallah from the last days of the Raj. But no. Harry, in all his wisdom, chose to go as a Nazi. And as we saw yesterday, it proved an extremely unpopular decision. No sooner had he been splashed across the Sun's front page than all manner of people were being cajoled out of the woodwork to express their disgust. A statement of apology was released by the Palace more or less immediately, but some - the morally unimpeachable Michael Howard for one - are demanding that he apologises in person, preferably down on his knees.

Former Labour MP, one-time president of the Board of Deputies ofBritish Jews and member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Lord Greville Janner said that Harry 'should be disciplined'. And while it's certainly true that a couple of days in the stocks in Hyde Park might do him the world of good, being pelted with kosher pork from the front and buggered with a Prussian helmet from behind, we can't really condone physical violence as retaliation for a dumbass student prank.

On a similar theme, ex-Palace press officer and passionate ice-dancer, Dickie Arbiter said that what Harry needs is 'a good dose of army discipline given by people he doesn't know.' He also said that Harry's Palace-penned apology was 'not enough' and that Harry should 'come up front'. Which is just plain odd. Labour backbencher Doug Henderson meanwhile, could not agree less, suggesting instead that Harry be strategically denied army discipline, as some kind of punishment. Henderson was once Armed Forces Minister of course, so perhaps he knows more than most that that one army is pretty much as fascistic as the next and that any genuine Nazi tendencies that Harry may have will most certainly be brought to the fore at Sandhurst. Henderson also told Radio 4 yesterday afternoon that Harry's prank would have been more acceptable 'if it had been a sort of Freddie Starr satirical take-off'. Right. Sure. Freddie Starr. Satirical.

Then there have even been suggestions that Harry be forced onto a bus and into Auschwitz, where he be obliged to experience the atrocities perpetrated in the Nazis' name firsthand. Again, although that might be fun to watch, one can't help feeling that all this has been a little bit of an overreaction. He only *dressed* up as a Nazi after all. He didn't actually gas anyone.

Thank God then for the sweet forgiveness of Aunty Sarah, who was more than happy to appear on 'American Morning' this morning, in America. 'The thing is,' she explained, 'that sometimes we all do things where the ramifications of our actions are perhaps afterthoughts.' A sentiment that could be applied as much to Harry as to the Nazis themselves. 'It's all very well to come down hard on [Harry], but he's been through a lot, and I fully support him 100%.' Aaah. 'His mum would be so proud of him,' she continued, the ramifications of her words almost certainly afterthoughts.

At the end of the day, Harry is an over-privileged dickhead with royal jelly for brains. No-one in their right mind would deny that. But most probably, he isn't a genuine Nazi. His mother was, of course, which is why the Queen killed her. But with Harry it's just high spirits. And too many drugs. One thing is for sure though: if something hideous should happen to William, Harry is going to make such a fun king.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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