Prince Harry enjoyed a somewhat turbulent youth, with numerous scandals, including booze, parties, affairs, and even wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party when he was 20, providing fodder for the tabloids and gossip columns.
Prince Harry has deflected blame for the “Nazi uniform scandal” dating back to when he was 20 years old to his brother, Prince William (now Prince of Wales) and his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, in his new memoir, Spare, as quoted by media outlets.
The Duke of Sussex is cited as claiming he was torn between donning either a Nazi uniform or a pilot’s outfit to wear to a “Native and Colonial”-themed party back in 2005. Unable to decide, he ostensibly called his brother and sister-in-law to glean their opinion.
“I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said,” according to cited excerpts from the memoir, set to drop on January 10.
Prince Harry also reportedly writes that when he went home and tried the costume on before his brother and Kate Middleton, they, “both howled,” adding, “Worse than Willy’s leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point.”
UK media outlets had a field day at the time, many publishing a front-page photo of Prince Harry in what they said was the attire of a member of Nazi General Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps, complete with a red armband emblazoned with a swastika. Prince William was also a guest at the private fancy dress party of a friend on January 8, 2005, wearing a homemade lion outfit.
After the scandalous attire triggered huge backlash, and the Board of Deputies of British Jews denounced the costume as being in “bad taste,” Prince Harry apologized several days later, saying:
“I am very sorry if I have caused any offense. It was a poor choice of costume, and I apologize.”
This comes as Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has been promoting his upcoming book Spare in TV interviews, with teasers of the book making their way into the press in the wake of the Sussex’s Netflix docuseries “Harry & Meghan.”
Interestingly, in the third episode of the documentary series, directed by filmmaker Liz Garbus, the royal addressed the Nazi costume scandal, saying:
“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 effect on me. I went to Berlin and spoke to a Holocaust survivor. I could have just ignored it and made the same mistakes over again in my life. But I learned from that.”