Prince Harry: Wearing a Nazi uniform was ‘one of the biggest mistakes of my life’

In general, I enjoy the pacing of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan a lot. There have only been a couple of moments where I’ve felt like “wow, they could have used a tighter edit here” or “how many times are we going to hear this story?” As I’m writing this, I’m up to the point in Episode 3 where the history of Britain’s involvement in the slave trade is being explained, as well as the sweeping immigration into Britain from its “colonies.” It’s implicitly critical of the British royal family’s historic ties to the slave trade and the awful crimes committed against the Windrush generation. I wondered if Harry would use the platform of this Netflix show to talk about his own big screwup, the time in 2005 when he wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party. He absolutely addressed it:

Prince Harry is expressing deep remorse over wearing a Nazi uniform to a 2005 costume party. The Duke of Sussex opens up about the incident in the new Harry & Meghan docuseries, which premiered Thursday morning on Netflix and sees Harry and wife Meghan Markle tell their story in their own words.

Calling the decision “one of the biggest mistakes of my life,” Harry, who was 20 at the time, went on to say he “felt so ashamed afterwards.”

“All I wanted to do was make it right,” he added. And while he “could’ve just ignored it and probably made the same mistakes over and over again,” Harry, now 38, “learnt from” the experience.

“I sat down and spoke to the chief rabbi in London, which had a profound impact on me,” he recalled on the series. “I went to Berlin and spoke to a Holocaust survivor.”

The royal also addressed the idea of “unconscious bias” in his family, noting that while “it’s actually no one’s fault,” that doesn’t absolve one of responsibility.

“Once it’s been pointed out or identified within yourself you then need to make it right,” he said. “It’s education, it’s awareness and it’s a constant work in progress for everyone ― including me.”

[From People]

Yeah. The larger point is “people make mistakes, but it’s important to do the work of trying to learn and be better.” While the Nazi uniform was a huge f–king mistake – and a global embarrassment – Harry has continued to do the work. I think his point about “making the same mistakes over and over again” is pointed too, especially within the context of the conversations about race, Windrush, Brexit and the British slave trade. People who don’t do the work, people who don’t take the time to unlearn the blood-soaked history of British colonialism end up wearing colonialist cosplay and greeting Jamaicans kept behind a chain link fence on the Caribbean Flop Tour.

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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148 Responses to “Prince Harry: Wearing a Nazi uniform was ‘one of the biggest mistakes of my life’”

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  1. Brit says:

    Prince Harry was the crown jewel of that monarchy and that’s exactly why people have lost their entire minds over this couple and them leaving. His humanity, empathy and kindness is what makes him so popular. His willingness to adapt and grow is what makes him stand out. It was a blessing Harry met Meghan and got out of there because that family is too ingrained and absorbed within that institution to really talk about the reality of the world they live in. Meghan wasn’t going to stand a chance.

  2. SarahCS says:

    I’m so pleased you covered this! I nearly mentioned it in a comment elsewhere but held back.

    The biggest theme throughout the first three episodes is how in telling their story they make the rest of the BRF look SO BAD. The fact that at the time Harry went away and educated himself (and I’m somewhat of a believer in the theory that William talked him into wearing it) speaks volumes to the man he always has been, even at a young age. He’s so far from the ‘never put a foot wrong’ crowd who could say that up was down and never admit that’s incorrect because royalty that it’s just glaring. It’s truly shocking how his own brother is just the polar opposite of all this.

    • SAS says:

      Yes! Was it reported at the time that he met with the head Rabbi of London and travelled to Germany to meet with holocaust survivors? If only every privileged little shit who dons an offensive costume would undertake such self-education.

      Also, wasn’t it reported that Wills had worn blackface to the same/another party?

      • Rnot says:

        I had a fantasy that when they covered the Nazi uniform incident they’d include a snapshot of Harry and William both in costume. I’d also heard that his “Zulu chief” costume included blackface. I don’t think Harry would take such direct action to expose his brother though. At least he hasn’t so far.

        William’s “Out of Africa” 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle surely provides a bounty of photos to illustrate the concept of unconscious bias without being quite as pointed as blackface. Seriously, look them up. The one of him drumming in front of the statue of Queen Victoria is going to end up in textbooks. Some of the costumes that his invited guests wore are genuinely jaw-dropping.

      • SomeChick says:

        oh, William absolutely put him up to it. the theme was “colonials and natives” and it was Wiliam’s party. and yes, this is just one of the parties where William dressed as an “African chief.” there were photos of both of them in costume at the time. (ofc William’s photos have been scrubbed from the net.)

        before I heard the backstory, I truly wondered if Harry wore it as a swipe to the family history of nazi connections, but alas. it was just youthful stupidity and blindness to privilege.

        Harry is taking responsibility and not deflecting blame. he’s definitely the bigger person here, in so many ways.

      • Dena says:

        I loved Meg’s story so far. She is relatable, self-made and just someone you could imagine enjoying having for a friend.

        I did not find H to be the same as M. I am glad he spoke about this god damn awful decision, and if he was someone else, he would’ve been forgotten long time ago.

        I do not agree that it was his place to talk about Will. Or even show a photo. People are aware of it, he does not care. And i do not think H would care if he had never met M.

        Meg seems to see the best in people, she has to be bigger person than me.

    • Nic919 says:

      Bare minimum William approved the costume because he went to the same party and didn’t exactly stop Harry from doing this. And of course no one asks what William was wearing at that same party. The references of his tribal outfit in blackface have been carefully removed in most places.

      They were both entitled racist jerks but only one got called out internationally.

      William also had a colonials and natives party as the theme for his 21st birthday which was heavily covered by the media and no one was questioning that which would have been in 2003.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Exactly to everything you said. Harry went away and did the work to become anti-racist. William did no work yet claimed he couldn’t be racist because he’s been anointed by G*d.

        I feel like there needs to be a remake of The Blues Brothers based on the Royal Family, where they go around terrorizing the Earth, but always excuse their own behavior because G*d.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Am pretty sure that it was also reported at the time that William pushed him into wearing it and then leaked it to divert away from his costume. Not that I’m making excuses for Harry as he owned it.

      • Louisa says:

        “William also had a colonials and natives party as the theme for his 21st”
        …. he did what?!!

      • C says:

        You can still read articles about it. People came dressed as colonials, “witch doctors”, etc. Back then William laughed because they had a “joke menu” of “African food”:
        “‘Lots of people will be wondering if we’re actually going to be eating crocodile, but obviously we won’t be doing that,’ he said with a wide grin.
        ‘It’s not going to be African food, even though it will be hilarious to see everyone’s faces when they read the menu!'”

        There are also still pics existing of William as a “cowboy” and Kate as his “squaw”.

      • SomeChick says:

        I didn’t find the squaw photos, but check out this insane puff piece about Kate from 2011, by Jan Moir. it’s bonkers! and they never did anything close to this for Meghan. bonus: weightless hem runway flash!

      • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

        I remember the reporting at that time (photographic memory for old news stories is like my superpower), and there were at least two ‘natives and colonials’ parties reported in the ladymags. Like it was a standard theme in those circles, alongside Tarts and Vicars. Bill and others definitely in blackface and every other form of offensive racist costume, but the rest of them were allowed to get away with it.

        Eton is well known for instilling astounding levels of entitlement, sexism, arrogance, snobbery and racism, and I think Harry’s done a great job at unlearning and rejecting that conditioning, but 2005 was real early days in that learning process.

      • candy says:

        What?! This isn’t William’s fault. Harry made a mistake and he owned up to it.

      • windyriver says:

        @C, I remembered seeing the squaw costume picture a few years back, glad someone mentioned it, and Kate.

      • Mtl.ex.Pat says:

        @somechick – clicked the link – Wow – racist & patronizing much? From the linked article:

        “Look at Kate on Canada Day in the Canadian capital, attending a Canadian citizenship ceremony wearing the Canadian national colours, accessorised by a hat fluttering with maple leaves (the Canadian emblem) and a maple leaf diamond brooch.

        She couldn’t have tried harder if she had donned buckskins, flung herself at the feet of the Governor General and begged to be called Squaw Who Dances With Willie.”

  3. Eurydice says:

    Yes, how does one learn to do better – that’s the point. BP could have followed his example with the recent racist incident instead of issuing a bland and generic apology.

    And yes, the 2nd episode dragged a bit in the middle

  4. Jillian says:

    He had to speak to a rabbi and a holocaust survivor to understand what he did was wrong? Wild. Harry seems like a good guy but that royal inbreeding…

    • Kels says:

      Isn’t that what most celebs do now? They may or may not know what they did was wrong but their PR people direct them to do things like this.
      In Harry’s case he seemed genuine about it and obviously now we can really see the fruits of his work.
      For others it really is just a PR exercise..

    • Eurydice says:

      It’s one thing to know you did wrong, like “Nazi = Bad.” It’s another to understand the history behind it. And everyone learns differently – I would be reading a dozen books, but Harry seems to learn best by talking to people.

      • TikiChica says:

        He had the most expensive education money can buy. I’m sure at Eton he learnt more than “Nazi = Bad”. He would also have heard stories about WWII in his family, and the liberation of the concentration camps, so no.

      • C says:

        TikiChica- you are incorrect. These people are insular and often extremely anti-Semitic. For royal examples alone I suggest you google examples like Charlie Coburg who was Hitler’s representative and yet still invited to family gatherings at Windsor or the rumors of Nazi collaboration from the Duke of Kent. The Queen and Prince Charles were better than the rest, but the circles Harry was educated in would absolutely not have been.

      • Eurydice says:

        @TikiChica – Harry has already said what he did was indefensible. Evidently, whatever it was he learned in school and whatever examples were set at home weren’t enough to keep him from thinking that wearing a Nazi uniform was a fun idea. So, he got rightfully slammed and humiliated and decided to go elsewhere for more information and perspective. I don’t know what else you want from the guy.

      • Flowerlake says:

        I wouldn’t exactly think Eton is the place where they go indepth in those topics.

        Can see that happening more at normal schools with well-meaning teachers that are not from a priviliged background. We talked a lot about the Holocaust in primary school and that was thanks to having teachers that were very outspoken about being anti-racist

      • TigerMcQueen says:

        @Tikichica, I’m not sure he learned more at Eton that “Nazi = Bad.” Look at the people who COME from Eton. The school teaches its students about elitism more than anything, and I’ll bet good money that it spits out Tories at much larger number than more progressive types. Harry’s fellow students at Eton were the same people who threw the “Colonials and Natives” party. So, no, I sincerely doubt he was learning anything in depth about how truly atrocious the Nazis were.

        Nor would he have necessarily heard stories about WWII in his family. They weren’t exactly on the front lines liberating concentration camps, and veterans of that generation in my experience aren’t the types to go on about their experiences in the war.

        He made a mistake and by all accounts, he tried to learn from it. His father and brohter could learn a thing or two from him.

      • Tessa says:

        Unless you are royal and went to Eton, don’t you think it’s a little condescending to tell someone that they are “incorrect”? Your guess is as good as anybody else’s here.

      • C says:

        Not a royal, but lived in the UK and worked in archives of those circles, and it’s well-documented if you would care to research. You mentioned his education. Who do you think went to those schools with him? All this information is readily available.

    • C says:

      He didn’t talk to them to know why it was wrong, he spoke to them to get an understanding of Judaism and Jewish history which it’s not like his family was teaching him. As a Jew I admire it.

    • Shawna says:

      Maybe because that’s documentable and external, this could be shown to the public, unlike claims that he just looked inside himself or read a book.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Julian: But most people who are publicly antisemitic and are invited to synagogues and Jewish centres to learn about antisemitism. So I’m not get why Harry is being criticism for doing the same. He did the right thing.

    • susan says:

      It’s exactly the right thing. One can learn from books, but in this case, humbling oneself and going to the source, not just to apologize but to have a conversation and gain a deeper understanding of the personal impact that his behaviour would have had.

      WILLIAM would have claimed to have read a history book. Harry, just like his mother, would have gone deeper and sought to understand.

    • equality says:

      You are aware that there is a difference between thinking wearing a uniform for a fancy dress party is okay and being an actual nazi or thinking that genocide is fine? He obtained the costume somewhere. That source should be explored also. His family cosplays white supremacy in uniforms all the time, how would he have seen a difference?

      • Oya says:

        Not to mention his family WERE nazis. Did everyone forget the pictures of the royal family doing a Nazi salute on the cover of a tabloid ?

    • ecsmom says:

      Knowing Nazi’s are bad is very different than understanding that dressing up as one is offensive. Werewolves are considered bad yet we dress up as one for costume parties. Not sure most 20 y/o would have that understanding. I am sure when I was young at some point dressed as a Native American, as well as cow girl. One is offensive the other not. It was not considered offensive 50 years ago when I was a child, but it was and is. I know better and I try to do better.

    • Concern Fae says:

      I remember when it happened. It was Harry and some other guys in the uniforms. So we don’t even know if it was his idea in the first place. What you come up with on your own and what you go along with can be two very different things. Some of his learning here was probably about how he wouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt. Also, realizing that his friends were maybe kinda assholes.

  5. JJ McClay says:

    I think he had to address this, or dumbass haters would be like, “You think you’re so great Harry? What about that time when…”
    I think it was strategically smart to address it, and also the right thing to do.

    Also, as an aside, I am loving this series.

    • Green girl says:

      It’s annoying when people bring up the costume as a sort of “gotcha”! Harry has atoned for the costume in so many ways that it’s clear he’s not the same person he was in 2005. He has learned and grown from it. So yes I agree with you on this.

  6. Laura D says:

    I thought he did the right thing by addressing this issue. It also showed that he is still loyal to his brother because he could have quite easily told the world it was William who told him to wear it.

    Harry has owned his mistake, apologised and has worked on making himself more aware about his unconscious bias. If the palace had taken their own advice and employed a Diversity Tzar then maybe (just maybe) the whole problem with Lady Hussey could have been avoided.

    • Polo says:

      I don’t think that means he’s loyal to William.
      He’s just not making excuses for himself and he doesn’t seem like a vindictive person.
      Though he would have every right to say something.

      • Becks1 says:

        Exactly. I don’t think he wanted to say anything that made it seem like he was making excuses for his behavior.

      • L4Frimaire says:

        I also think he didn’t mention William because when it comes down to it no one forced him to wear the uniform. I think in that group of people these offensive costumes are just partying and dress up, a big joke. I’m glad he addressed it and the steps he took to remedy it and learn from it. Those saying he should know better because he went to Eton , that school is so elitist. They were called out in the news recently for jeering local girls from a nearby state school who were invited to a presentation at the school.

  7. ML says:

    After speaking to Jewish friends, I heard this: it’s great Harry apologized because what he did was awful. And it’s great that he spoke to a rabbi and Holocaust survivor. However, what was said and what changed his mind? What has he done going forward?

    • OliveFull says:

      Perhaps he’ll go more in depth in his memoir, I feel like this is just scratching the surface of his personal journey and we will get so much more.

    • Kipp says:

      I think his life choices since then are pretty indicative of a changed man.
      Not everything has to have an in depth explanation.

    • Anna says:

      I imagine his discussion with both the rabbi and the Holocaust survivor was more than just “do something publically for the community to show you’ve learned something” which I think could still be seen as insincere, and people will never be happy with what contrition looks like from one person to another. That said, that he mentioned it at all, expressed remorse and did work on it (without the public knowing prior to this episode, mind you) says a lot.

      If he’ll do “more” re: openly tackling antisemitism is contingent on whether the specific people he spoke to think it’s a good idea, and if they don’t, I imagine he’ll respect their wishes about what is/isn’t helpful to the community they’re part of.

    • Petra (Brazen Archetyped Phenomenal Woman) says:

      I’m sure SPARE will have more details. This series is about the start of their relationship to their leaving the RF.

      • Lauren says:

        Right, the first episode increased my interest in Spare which I expect will go into more depth about how he broke out of the elitist white bubble he was born into

    • MrsBanjo says:

      He spoke with them as a start. It’s pretty obvious to anyone watching him over the last 20 years since, that he’s been doing the work to unlearn all of the bigotry. And considering his grandmother was taught the sieg heil as a child by her own mother, her uncle who abdicated was a card-carrying N*zi friend of H*tler, and considering Princess Michael and her own history and behaviour, there was a lot to unlearn. Good on Harry for not just ignoring it and moving on.

    • NCWoman says:

      What has he done? Well, at a minimum he has openly shared that experience on a global platform of millions–an experience that many people outside of royal watchers were completely unaware of or had dismissed as “boyish antics”–and expressed deep regret of his anti-Semitic behavior at a time when a lot of people are being silent about anti-Semitic behavior that is currently spiking in the US and elsewhere. So there’s that.

    • L4Frimaire says:

      He said it was an ongoing process to tackle one’s unconscious bias and he’s still learning. He didn’t act like it was a one and done scenario.

      • QuiteContrary says:

        Which is how we know Harry really took what he learned onboard. It’s the people who say they made a mistake once, but really aren’t racist — swear! — we have to worry about. It’s an ongoing process for everyone who’s committed to being and doing better.

  8. Tessa says:

    I don’t recall prince philip apologizing for his offensive comments. Good for harry for publicly apologizing

    • Alexandria says:

      Right? He never apologized and he never changed.

      Look at the causes he champions, for the past 10 years and counting. He has learnt. Do folks want him to champion jewish-centric causes to show remorse though?

      • KFG says:

        The queen mother was a nazi sympathizer, antisemitic, and racist. Liz and Chuck have both said some horribly racist things and didn’t see anything wrong. Just think, when Liz toured Jamaica and SA and Kenya in the 50s and 60s, those countries were segregated and the majority black and brown populations weren’t allowed in any space deemed white. Harry has done a lot of inner work.

  9. girl_ninja says:

    He really came out of that awful incident wanting to be better and wanting to change. I am glad he saw this and didn’t make any excuses for his horrible choice.

  10. Zazzoo says:

    It was handled so well. I liked the bit from his Eton mate that they’d lived in a privileged echo chamber, not as an excuse but an explanation and frankly a searing indictment of that privileged bubble.

  11. Annalise says:

    What is SO infuriating about this unfortunate moment in Harry’s life, is that EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve seen someone criticize Harry for the incident, never ONCE have I seen the person ALSO mention that “oh BTW it was actually William’s idea.” Even though that detail was made public. I’m not saying that the fact that it was Williams idea absolves Harry of any responsibility, I’m just saying it wouldn’t surprise me to find out, based on what (I think) I know about Harry and Williams personalities, that in his youth, Harry might have been easily swayed by his older brother who is also the future king, and who also seemed to have a pushy, aggressive streak.
    More importantly, there is evidence all OVER the place that Harry has done the work to educate and enlighten himself and has been EXTREMELY proactive about stepping WAY outside of the protective, pampered royal bubble in which the rest of his family stays perpetually cocooned. He has sought out environments where his royal status would afford him little benefit (like Afghanistan), and in fact seemed to prefer those environments, and prioritized learning and experiencing life OUTSIDE of the bubble.

    • A says:

      I’m not saying you’re wrong AT ALL. I’m just pointing out we seem to cut Harry a lot of slack insofar as what his reasons behind deciding to wear the costume were and we don’t tend to do that for other public figures when they get caught in similar racist costumes.

      • Steph says:

        I don’t think most public figures get any slack bc usually their racists costumes are brought up/uncovered years later bc they are still behaving in the same way.
        Harry has consistently shown he’s growing. This is a man raised by racist Nazi sympathizers in a bubble. While he has been in public his whole life he actually only made (I think 2) really bad fuck ups like this publicly. And he doesn’t make the mistake twice. I think that’s a pretty clear indication that he’s growing.

      • L4Frimaire says:

        I’m actually glad they never mention Will in this because Harry should completely own it, and he recognizes that at the end of the day he made the decision to wear that disgusting costume.

      • Otterton says:

        I think his reasons for wearing it were because he was a 20 year old white male in a super privileged environment with a whole bunch of other super privileged 20 year old white men trying to out edge lord each other. I mean the whole “colonials and whatever the theme was was idiotic to begin with, and something that whole stupid upperclass twit circle loves (tarts and vicars parties, even over here frats do horrible “pimps & hos” parties) yeah his family has a bad history with anti semitism and various degrees of Nazi admiration, but sometimes the simplest explanation is it – he was a rich dipshit 20 year old white boy who thought it was a shocking thing to do and probably was egged on by his dipshit brother as well.

  12. A says:

    I have never liked calling incidents like this ‘mistakes’. Maybe that’s just me. I don’t think Harry’s lying about educating himself and doing better. I don’t think he would want to upset anybody and I don’t think he’s a fundamentally bad person. Certainly you can’t fault his earnestness now in 2022. But there was thought and time and effort that went into making that ‘mistake’ and I have to wonder how long it would’ve taken for him to get a grip if his ‘mistake’ wasn’t splashed across the tabloids.

    • Alexandria says:

      The other royals’ mistakes are splashed across tabloids too e.g. Mike Tindall, Phillip, Chuck. Diana died and Chuck has never apologized for his treatment of D. Phillip didn’t change. Mike is attacking women. Did they get a grip?

      Not excusing Harry.

      • A says:

        No. You’re right. Like I said, you can’t fault the guy’s willingness to do better. He’s not that guy anymore.
        The word ‘mistake’ always seems to me to be a one-off lapse, though. Maybe that’s only how I read that word, which is possible. Missing an appointment is a mistake. Calling someone by the wrong name is a mistake. Deciding to go to a ‘colonials and natives’ party with a swastika armband seems like at least several lapses in judgement in a row.

    • Annalise says:

      I wonder how likely Harry would have been to wear such a costume, had William not suggested it and encouraged Harry to wear it. I think we should consider that in his youth, it might not have been so easy for Harry to say no to William. Particularly when you consider the whole royal hierarchy, and William and Harrys awareness that William out ranked him.
      And just for the record, this is just my theory. I have no idea if it’s actually true.

      • Nic919 says:

        The question to be asked is would Harry have gone ahead and worn that uniform if William had said he was against him doing so? Yes Harry did a very stupid racist and ignorant thing. But he also felt supported in that stupid racist decision.

    • MsIam says:

      Well when you screw up, what do you do? Nobody has a time machine and can rewind to do the past. And if you compare this to how Lady Hussey has been treated, its amazing how she’s been excused and coddled. Everything from she’s old, to she’s deaf, etc. Ngozi Fulani suggested she needs diversity and sensitivity training along with the rest of the palace and royal family. Lets see if that happens.

    • Ceej says:

      @A I understand what you mean.

      What he should be saying is that it was one of the worst decisions (or choices) he’s ever made.

      It’s hard to know if he actually thinks of it as a mistake versus the accountability of it being his decision to put it on (regardless of who suggested and encouraged it), or if what we’re seeing is a chemtrail of life in the royal family and media who spent ages downplaying things over the years by calling everything a mistake until that seems like the right language to describe it.

    • Anna says:

      I can see how using “mistake” would minimize what Harry did, and to your point, in his case, it did appear to be a “one-off”.
      Certainly he never did it again, or we would’ve hear about it by now, and I don’t think he’s seen reminders of what he did whenever the media or anyone brings it up, as anything for other people to “get over”/”being bored of it” considering he’s willingly brought it up himself and expresses shame for it.

      There could be an endless discussion on how much responsibility he “should” claim (ie: whether it was his idea or not, how much time he actually took to make the discussion to do it, etc) and whether or not he would’ve done the work had, like you said, his “mistake” hadn’t been splashed across the newspapers, but it seems hypothetical at this point.

    • Annalise says:

      I think that we need to remember that Harry was like 14 when this happened.
      And not just any 14 year old, but one who had been forced to live his entire life on the world stage. I don’t know about everyone else, but if my entire youth, with all its mistakes, lack of judgement, lack of forsight, compulsiveness, selfishness and overall lameness was made public to the whole world, I would look like absolute SHIT.
      Wearing that Nazi uniform was a HORRIFYING thing to do. And Harry has fully acknowledged it many many times, and I think the reason that people aren’t still mad at him is because he has TRULY done the work to make himself a better person. A good person, even.
      It’s like, William never wore a Nazi uniform, and he has less character in his whole being than Harry has in his pinkie toe. We should not villianize people for stupid, hurtful things they did in their youth, if they truly learned from their mistakes and became a better person because of it

      • Annalise says:

        Ok I just did a little research and found out Harry was 20, not 14. Therefore NOT a youth. WHELP, there goes my argument, derp derp

      • A says:

        He was 20. And I’m not ‘villainizing’ him. I’m saying there was a lot more that went into that photo than the word ‘mistake’ implies to me.

      • Nic919 says:

        It’s worth pointing out that William who was 22 at the time didn’t think of yelling at his brother for going to the same party dressed that way.

        Also there were many reports it was William’s idea, which has been dropped from the discourse. While I understand why Harry doesn’t want to shift the blame for doing something so racist and stupid, the context of being encouraged to do so by your older brother should not be ignored either. Harry felt supported in his decision of wearing a massively racist and offensive costume.

      • Angie H says:

        Huge H & M fan & wary of RF. But ‘he went’ to a concentration camp bc his father, visibly furious, hauled his a$$ there. The fury on Chaz’ face is how I knew H would be ok in the long run.

  13. s808 says:

    I wasn’t a royal watcher so before Meghan came so this is one of the first (&few) times I saw H. I remember thinking “wow, what an idiot.”

    who knew he’d be here at the years later? these are one of the few times you see someone put in effort to do better and be better.

  14. C says:

    I admire the work and acknowledgement Harry did on this.
    Much better than the various blackfaces, “African colonization”, cowboy-and-“Indian squaw” costumes both Kate and William have worn over the years that no one has said a word about.

  15. Amy Bee says:

    Harry has shown a tremendous amount of growth and I hope he continues on this path. The Royal Family especially William won’t admit it but it’s this growth that caused the separation between Harry and his family.

  16. Becks1 says:

    I don’t know what he was thinking when he decided to wear it. Maybe he was thinking more of the soldiers and less of the holocaust (like, maybe he thought “these are the guys whose butts we kicked in the 40s” and not “this is the uniform of the people who did horrible things to Jewish people and many others”). Maybe he thought it would be funny, Holocaust or not. Maybe William persuaded him to wear it. At this point who knows. He’s owning it as his choice and his mistake and he learned why it was wrong and why so many people took offense to it and once he wore it, I think that’s the best people can expect from him. Like not wearing it would have been the best choice, obviously, but I like that he addressed his choice/mistake head on in the docuseries.

    I do wonder how it was received at the party though. Like if I had been at a party in college and someone walked in wearing a Nazi party, they probably would have been arrested for a hate crime. no one would have laughed – but my undergrad was almost 50% Jewish. i wonder if someone at a WASPier school in the states wore that if it would be received differently. And I wonder what was the reaction of the rich aristos when harry showed up.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Not excusing Harry, but could one wear a costume like that, because the point of Halloween is to wear something scary? Nazis are scary. Like if someone wore a Klan robe. Yeah, the Klan is scary and the imagery is terrorizing to Black people. Is the offense that just looking at the costume reminds people of the inherent evil of the people who wear those uniforms in real life, and provokes a visceral response? That it harms the people who are/were the intended targets of those people in an active, immediate, present-day way? I’m not trying to be dense, trying to fully understand. (No, I’ve never worn either of those costumes in my life.) Maybe I’ve answered my own question: Nazis are real and vampires and devils aren’t, so the threat and fear evoked by those costumes is real too.

      • C says:

        Reportedly the rest of the partygoers including William thought it was funny.

      • SomeChick says:

        William was wearing an incredibly racist “African chief” costume. and the theme was “Colonials and Natives” so I’m sure they all thought it was a laugh riot.

        I once had to talk a now ex out of wearing a nazi costume to a punk rock Halloween party. the joke is that the punks evicted the nazis from the scene back in the ’80s, and that everyone knows he’s far from actually espousing those ideas. but the reality is that nazis are not funny. and if he had done it, there would forever be photos of his face in a nazi uniform and the context wouldn’t matter. some things aren’t to be joked about and nazis/klan are definitely in that category.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Brilliant analysis and comment, @somechick.

    • Amy Bee says:

      This was a colonials and natives party that William also attended allegedly in black face. But the only person who got condemned was Harry. Every attendee should have been criticized in the same way.

    • AmelieOriginal says:

      I think it depends on the demographics of your surroundings. I live in one of the most Jewish areas in the country: the NYC metro area, NYC has the highest Jewish population (over a million) of any city outside of Israel (Tel Aviv is first).You wear a Nazi symbol anywhere in the NYC metro area, you’re asking to be punched. Many American Jewish people had ancestors that died in the Holocaust.

      The UK’s population is over 68 million so Jewish people are definitely a minority, only about 150,000 of them live in London (they make up about 0.5% of the UK’s overall population). There were probably no Jewish people at that party, are there even any Jewish people that are part of the British aristocracy? None of this excuses Harry’s behavior but all these white, Christian, aristo people probably rarely interact with Jewish people and when you’re young and stupid and hanging with that crowd, wearing the Nazi symbol probably seems like a hilarious gag. In middle school, I heard things that were super offensive, especially from boys, all the time. No Nazi symbols in my circles, but homophobic slurs flew around on a regular basis.

  17. Jayne says:

    Harry DIDNT say that William did. That’s the point.

    But it’s long been rumored that the cause was William. Never spoken about though. You know, like rose bushes.

  18. Nevertamedshrew says:

    I was very happy he addressed it. To not have would have been glaringly obvious. I also liked that he spoke of the work he did to understand. It doesn’t absolve him at all because that was such a f*** up but doing the work to learn is half the battle.

    • C says:

      No, it’s not. So it’s interesting that we are focusing on Harry, who apologized and has done work, and not examining why the costume was apparently a hit with everyone else who attended that party (because reportedly it was and William was among them).

  19. Linder says:

    My understanding of that incident, and I remember it very well is that his father forced him to speak with a Rabbi and forced him to educate himself about the Holocaust. I can’t give a pass to him on this no matter that he feels remorse now. He should! Of all things to pass yourself off as at a costume party this is disgusting and at his age when he did this I would have known better.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Charles doesn’t get any credit for this. He’s the same person threw Harry under the bus when the Sun found out about Harry was taking drugs. Its more than likely the chief rabbi made contact with the Palace and invited Harry for a talk.

    • sevenblue says:

      lol. I don’t think you have grown up in one of the most racist institution in the world. I think the racism he showed perfectly reflects the family he grew up in, the social circles he was spending time in. I believe his father would only force him to educate himself because of the bad publicity. If his father was such a sensible man, his young son would not wear a Nazi uniform in the first place. Also, what did Charles do when a black woman was harrassed racially by one of his close family friends just last week? What did Charles do when his biracial DIL was harrassed racially by media and all these “palace sources”?

      • C says:

        Yeah, it particularly irritates me when people try to paint Harry as the only person who ever did anything problematic in the family when Princess Michael has black sheep named Venus and Serena and wears blackamoor brooches, William and Kate have Negro page paintings, Philip was racist every day, etc.

    • equality says:

      I don’t think he is asking for a “pass”, just forgiveness. That is the point of apologizing for something, which he has done many times. Forgiveness is a mitzvah in Judaism and a concept in most religions and philosophies.

    • D says:

      I don’t think he’s asking for a pass. He’s explaining that he screwed up, was made to do things to make amends and learned a lot from the jewish people who spoke with him. He then made a conscious decision to start doing worthwhile work, focusing much of that work in Africa and has continued that to this day. It’s not forgiveness that he’s asking for, he’s just telling the viewers that he knows it was wrong and he has tried to learn from it and that learning extends to this day.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Linder, seriously? You really believe that C-Rex did any such thing? No. I will never believe that. There’s all of the press about C-Rex taking Harry to a rehab facility–but didn’t we find out that C-Rex wasn’t there. Chuck just wanted to look like a good parent. Don’t believe this crap. You’re giving Chuck way too much credit.

  20. Maxine Branch says:

    Liz Garbus did an amazing job directing a story re someone’s life, especially Meghan and Harry’s, folks that many have an interest in knowing more about. Happy she left all parts in, hard to imagine editing out something the subjects feel is important enough to repeat multiple times. I enjoyed the entirety of the episodes and am looking forward to the final 3 episodes.

  21. Becks1 says:

    So if you didn’t watch it, how do you know what the whole series is like?

  22. Chaine says:

    To me this shows how uninvolved the royal family are in one another’s lives. Any ordinary parent, their kid is leaving for a party, the parent is sitting in the living room looking away from the TV for a few secs asking “where are you headed and when will you be back,” and “WAIT ARE YOU WEARING A NAZI UNIFORM HELLLL NAAAWWW DO NOT LEAVE THIS HOUSE IN THAT!” In Harry’s case, he just finished school, hadn’t started in the military yet, was probably living in one palace and Charles maybe there, maybe in another palace somewhere else, but in any case whatever it was probably had hundreds of rooms and they saw each other once a week if that for a pre-scheduled calendared meal and otherwise Charles had no clue or dare where his kid was or what he was doing.

    • equality says:

      There would have been security and advisors around you would think. Did they all find it amusing also or did they help Will set Harry up to be exposed? He didn’t just obtain the uniform out of thin air, it had to have been rented or made by someone for him.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        I read an article where the owner of the costume shop was reporting that William was also with Harry (and perhaps others) and I think Fails is the one to bring this one of Harry’s attention. I read that a while ago, and this is all I remember.

        I find it reprehensible that a 20 year old wouldn’t know about the holocaust. There’s a problem in the school system for this to be ignored. Perhaps it’s because I’m in my 60s and I will go to my grave with the images of the movies I saw of the prisoners when they were released. I saw those in school. Can someone tell me if they’re still teaching about the two WWs and then specifically about the concentration camps?

    • HeyKay says:

      Chaine, I agree.
      Charles probably was nowhere around.
      But, I would have thought that somebody would have said something. But, I bet a staffer/whoever rented the damn thing with out giving it a second thought.
      Bunch of blockheads.

    • Nic919 says:

      It’s possible Charles didn’t know he did this until after. But William went to the same party and didn’t exactly stop him. He was fine with it and thought it was funny. So did the other guests.

  23. Diamond Rottweiler says:

    I think two things are true at once here: wearing that Nazi uniform was breathtakingly awful. Full stop. And Harry clearly knows it. Also, in 25 yrs working with college students, I’ve been part of university disciplinary actions regarding several incidents when people that age made the same terrible choice at campus parties. Because wearing a Nazi uniform as a “joke” is one of the very most transgressive, f*ck you statements a person can make, a GIGANTIC middle finger to everyone and everything (even inside his white privilege bubble, and maybe specifically given the hagiography around his great grandparents in WWII). Considering how incredibly angry and lost that period in his life seems to have been, it doesn’t entirely surprise me that he went for the burn-it-all-down, nuclear option. Again, not excusing it in anyway, just recognizing in him a certain kind of screwed up young person I’ve worked with more than once. Glad he’s owned it and seems to be doing the anti-racist/Semitic work in public, influencing others to join him. Of the public good he wants to do, this might end up being his greatest legacy.

  24. ChillinginDC says:

    At that time I was disgusted when this came out. I was also grossed out by people saying well he’s only 20. People try to act like white men are not the age they are and do this was just a kids things. So, I was happy at the time when it came out that Charles wasn’t happy and then Harry did express remorse in public. I am glad he went and educated himself because frankly too many other white men would have been like people just don’t have a sense of humor and should get over it.

    In the US right now we got the freaking Proud Boys (WHO ARE NAZIS) running around and people have them on tv shows and act like they are cool. We have way too many people right now questioning whether the Holocaust even happened (thanks Kanye you POS) so I hope this brings up a larger conversation of why this wasn’t funny, why people shouldn’t do it, and I am glad that Harry owned it and actually educated himself.

    I saw some Jewish people commenting online how privileged he was in being able to take the steps that he did, and yeah he was, but he didn’t have to, which I think is the bigger point. He could have paid some BS lipservice like the rest of his family usually does and or ignores it (hey just recent racist incident that happened where the RF is doing the Blame the Black Woman thing, it usually works).

  25. [insert_catchy_name] says:

    At least he addressed it frankly, and discussed it. Many who behave badly just avoid the topic and pretend it never happened.

    And not making excuses for him- a 20 year old should know it is a mistake to wear that, but British history is not… that nuanced. It is Allies = good, Germans = bad, Blitz spirit, Churchill speeches, etc. Almost all of my education on WW2 is from personal study- books, visiting museums, going to Auschwitz, etc. Nothing I learned in school really gave a sense of the true horror of it.

    And as is unfortunately still apparent, many white people are unable to even begin to understand what it is like to be a minority.

    • ChillinginDC says:


      I am glad he addressed it. You can’t talk about the history of racism in the RF and skirt over something you did which was pretty big news at the time. I am glad he owned it. And didn’t excuse it. I remember at the time people were like he’s sad because his mom died when he was X age. I was like, I am sad about my dad dying and didn’t wear a Nazi uniform.

  26. ME says:

    Are we really that surprised a white guy who grew up in a very racist institution thought it was perfectly fine to wear a Nazi uniform as a Halloween costume? I’m not surprised but it’s nice to hear him say it was something he truly regrets. He seems sincere.

  27. Freddy says:

    But does he address the naked billiard game in Las Vegas scandal?

    • Otterton says:

      Address it how? He was naked and drunk at a pool party in Vegas, no one else seems to have been hurt in any way and Vegas is known for being a place where people do stupid shit. So why is it anything that need to be addressed?

    • Dee says:

      Invasion of his privacy, but why should he address it? When Bill and Kathy were photographed naked sunbathing and smoking, they were treated as victims, correct?

    • C says:

      Didn’t that happen because the partygoers were supposed to have left their phones with security and someone sneaked one in and took pics of him? No different from Kate’s topless sunbathing photos, which yes in my opinion also were an invasion of privacy.

    • AmelieOriginal says:

      Lol I remember that! He made out with some girl in a closet or something, I remember the girl gave a full account of her experience with Harry in an interview. However she made him sound like a gentleman so nothing scandalous there if everything was consensual.

    • Emily_C says:

      He did absolutely nothing wrong by playing naked billiards with other happily participating adults in Las Vegas. Nothing. Period, end of story. I’m glad he had some fun.

  28. Winny says:

    Yes it was Harry… Something I will never forgive. I am just glad he is trying to make ammends through charity work.

  29. Swan Lake says:

    The Nazi episode is why I don’t like him. His great-grandfather was head of the British armed forces that fought Hitler and the Nazis, and I’ve always thought this action of Harry’s was reprehensible. I have no interest in his sob stories.

    • C says:

      He admitted it was terrible and explained what he did to try to come forward. That is not a sob story. You should examine also why there was a shop that sold it to him in the first place, and why the other partygoers and his brother had no issue with it.

    • equality says:

      And Philip’s sisters were members of the Nazi party at one time but he still associated with them. You know, actual nazis and not just dressing up in a fake uniform.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Swan Lake, oh, please. That’s a nice story. Now let’s talk about the abdicated King. You know the one. He and his wife were Nazi collaborators. What did the brf do? They sent people out to get hold of any and all documents that showed this, so that they could scrub history. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t get all of them. He grew up in a that family. I find it difficult to believe that C-Rex was upset about what Harry did. If he was upset at all, C-Rex was upset that it might reflect poorly on him.

      I believe that Harry did the least he could do by owning this. By educating himself and continuing to educate himself it shows that he broke out of that particular bubble that his family raised him in. I also appreciate it that he said that he’s a work in progress. That sums up who I am, too. The way forward is to educate ourselves, and to speak up.

  30. ChillinginDC says:

    Also, I don’t think many of the commenters mean to be doing this, but let’s not excuse Nazism by saying it was Halloween, why did people sell him the outfit, etc. It was a terrible thing to have done and other members of the RF have done X. He went and did something terrible that he rightfully got criticize for and went about making amends for by not just meeting with member of the Jewish community, but studying it and realizing it wasn’t just this thing that happened decades ago.

    Also, the whatabout Will is just doing the same thing. I am so glad that Harry owned that and didn’t drag anyone else into it.

    • C says:

      No, whataboutism is when you try to distract from the issue with something irrelevant. Nobody here is saying it’s ok because it was a costume party or that this was ok. I feel strongly that it’s important to examine the other influences because a lot of people use this episode to try to paint Harry as a bad person to excuse the rest of the RF. There were a bunch of horrible comments under the Ripple of Hope post on Instagram from the RFK Foundation, that were saying Harry is a Nazi and they shouldn’t have given the award to him and that he is the real racist, not William or any of the ones who hurt Meghan. It was his fault alone in wearing it, but it’s a subject that bears closer inspection.

    • ME says:

      Yeah. Ultimately it was Harry’s choice to wear that Nazi uniform. He should get sole blame for it. I think he is taking full responsiblity for it, which is good.

      • ChillinginDC says:

        Exactly. He’s owning it and not excusing it. I am definitely not going to make excuses for him. He should have known better.

    • ChillinginDC says:

      Hey C,

      No. Absolutely not. Cause you are trying to conflate two things. I don’t care if people are bringing this up to slam Harry and people are then trying to excuse it. I would honestly ignore it and or say, yep he shouldn’t have done it. I am not as a Black woman going to pop up on social media and be like, yeah other people did worse in the RF. It’s not about them. Period. He did this. He owned it. Full stop. And he got this award with the full knowledge he did this so why go around defending it? He did the work and continues to do the work.

      • C says:

        “Why go around defending it?” Defending what? A Nazi costume? No, that’s not what’s happening here. The whole family is horrible, courtiers and Churchill literally had to cover up how involved some of their members were in Nazi activities at the time. It’s fine to say Harry did a horrible thing, he did. But we know about it because of that rota contract which protects the shittiness of the others and normalizes their bigotry. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are still Nazi sympathizers in the family to this day but we’ll never hear about it. Two things can be true at the same time.

      • SomeChick says:

        literally no one is defending it. providing context isn’t the same as making excuses. it’s really obvious who the royalists are in these comments. there isn’t much that Harry can be legit dragged for. this is one of the few things they can point at to criticize him, so they cling to it. William and the rest of the family have always been just as bad, and none of them have done any personal work to be better. and they’re still out there doing awful things. but only Harry gets thrown under the bus, and blamed for the systemic racism in the BRF. this is a great example of how that dynamic plays out.

      • ChillinginDC says:

        You guys are excusing it though! I don’t care what was happening or who else did other terrible things. It’s like saying well that guy ended up being a Proud Boy because his dad said the N word all the time around him. It’s not okay. You become an adult and you own it. He’s owning it. Why everyone feels the need to swoop in and act like this is 1) something Harry shouldn’t have talked about at all and 2) well William was there and did something too is baffling.

      • C says:

        What? *Nobody* said he shouldn’t talk about it, nobody is saying it’s ok. We’re saying it’s good he did and also pointing to the surrounding influences because they are still in power. Again, Harry can be guilty of something bad and the fact nobody around him found fault with it can be true. Two things true at once. Harry basically escaped from a cult. Should we not examine why?

  31. Well Wisher says:

    I saw images of the event, all of which was offensive to some group or other.

    I will not lay this on only Harry’s shoulderd , if all of the inappropiately dressed others were unscathed, why should he continue to be the only one burdened with the fallout?

    I hope this puts it to rest.

  32. Sam says:

    Uhh what about the time harry called someone a racist slur, he should apologise for that.

    • L4Frimaire says:

      That was really gross but he did apologize for that. Now he gets criticized for being too “ woke”. I think at least he is trying to own it and going beyond the “ mistakes were made” half apology. It was never acceptable and he should have known better, especially given his position. A lot of those people who criticize Harry for this will never call out the institutionalized racism of the Firm, or see how going after Meghan for her “ behavior” is racist.

    • ME says:

      Wait what? When was this? Who did he say it to and what was said?

      • AmelieOriginal says:

        I believe it’s the slur aimed at people of Indian descent in the UK, I think supposed to originally target people of Pakistani descent but now encompasses all brown people. It’s not a slur in the USA so I didn’t know about it until I saw the movie Bend It Like Beckham as a kid which is how I came to know it. I’m not going to repeat it but you can google it.

      • PunkPrincessPhD says:


        It’s considered a slur in Canada, as is “squ@w” which has been referred to on this thread a few times.

        They are words whose sole purpose is to Other and demean.

      • ME says:

        @ AmelieOrigina

        Oh I KNOW that word because I’ve been called it by racists my whole life. I had no idea Harry used that term. Very disappointing. Growing up in the UK he knows that word is racist. How could he? But then again he also knew wearing a Nazi uniform was absolutely disgusting but still did it. I really hope he learned and grew and is no longer that person.

  33. equality says:

    It’s interesting how people want PH to apologize over and over for racist things but didn’t deman the first apology for Phil’s “gaffes”, KC’s comments or any of PW’s. Even Lady Hussey isn’t being pressured to apologize.

  34. Deering24 says:

    Awww, that pix of Archie is adorable!!

  35. Saucy&Sassy says:

    I find it interesting that the pro monarchists or Meghan haters keep bringing the same things up time and time again when it comes to Harry. Do you suppose that’s because he’s been working to understand and do better? Why don’t we start putting a close look at the others in the brf. Are there any more recent times for them? Of, that’s right–lots. I believe this is how the work Harry has been doing shows. You don’t talk to a black person in London they way Chuck did to the woman (of nigerian descent?), or W&K on their commonwealth tour, or Sophie & Edward on their commonwealth tour. Do I go on?

  36. MicMack says:

    I will say, it hurts when these documentaries that explore Britain’s legacy of empire ignore the colonial destruction they wrought in Ireland. We aren’t British, we don’t appreciate being called the British Isles, and have a language, history, and religion completely different from those in England. They nearly erased us from this planet on three separate occasions.

  37. Emily_C says:

    The Nazis murdered disabled people too. (And Roma and people who weren’t straight and, of course, their political enemies.) And now Harry is doing a lot for disabled veterans. Nazis would have killed me both for being disabled and for being closely related to Jewish people. I forgive Harry.

    I do not forgive the Tories, who have murdered and are murdering thousands of disabled people in Britain. This gets constantly swept under the rug because it’s incredibly difficult to get others to care about disabled people, even in left-wing circles. Even The Guardian, supposed left-wing British paper, never brings up Invictus when talking about Harry. Harry is walking the walk and doing good. I believe this obsession over something he truly regrets and apologized for is a purposeful distraction from the Tories’ current, real, evil policies.

  38. Kate says:

    I don’t love the way he’s acting like he did the work back then. He just did the usual celeb thing of having a few high profile meetings with important figures in the community he’d been racist towards and then went along with the Firm brushing it off as the kind of youthful mistake anyone could make. Up until very recently he would be very visibly annoyed if it was referenced up or he thought it was about to be.

    Given his position, he should have at least put in a few hundred hours volunteering within the Jewish community and used his profile to support Jewish charities and anti-semitism campaigns.

  39. Ellipse Kirk says:

    I find it curious that it is a modern (21st century) assumption that Halloween Costumes reflect only people or characters the wearer aspires to be. I have never costumed myself as a Nazi (spendy accessories are required), but I have done myself up as the devil himself, and once as a pirate. A Halloween Costume is just that, a costume. For the record, I do not want to be a real Nazi, pirate, nor lord of the (fictional) underworld. The 21st century is astonishingly puritanical, even with respect to truly trivial matters.

  40. Lisa says:

    Well after reading the comments I will assume Harry started to wake up when they used his innocent custome as a way to divert attention from William. Years before Harry’s costume people wore joke Hitler costumes. I assumed that wad the vein of Harry costume. But the press blew it up to deflect from. Williams party. That’s low.