The Establishment is closing ranks around their Prince. He has apologised for his remarks, so that is OK, they say.
I am troubled by the gap between the official explanation and the actual video footage. On the “Paki” remark, an official statement from St James Palace says that it was a nickname for a friend. I therefore expected the video to show Harry joshing with his friend and calling him Paki.
But that is not what the video shows at all. From across a waiting area littered with soldiers, Harry focusses his camera on a distant Asian and says “And there is our little Paki friend”.
It is very plain that the Asian soldier cannot hear what Harry is saying. And while Harry’s voice is good-humoured in that he is enjoying his own jibe, do I imagine a slight sneer to the tone? It is certainly by no means evident that Harry would call the man that to his face, or that it is a nickname. “Our little Paki friend” is an unbelievably long nickname anyway.
On his “raghead” remark, I am familar with the use of raghead as a chiefly American term of racist abuse for an Arab or Muslim. Harry served in Afghanistan. If our officers are going around using the term “raghead”, that is no joke. There is no doubt that in the Army it is a disciplinary offence.
Sky News this morning noted that it would be an uncomfortable breakfast for Prince Harry with his father at Highgrove.
I thought how remarkably sporting Prince Charles must be, to invite Prince Harry’s father to Highgrove!