Monday, January 12, 2009

PRINCE OF GAFFES

Guardian Wrap, UK - Prince Harry's attempts to steal Prince Philip's crown as most gaffe-prone royal were given a boost over the weekend as it emerged that he had filmed himself calling a fellow cadet at Sandhurst a "Paki" and another a "raghead".

As the Guardian put it: "The extracts were greeted with exasperation in palace circles, where huge efforts have been made to improve the prince's image, emphasizing his charity work and service in Afghanistan last year, after previous apologies for other incidents, such as the fancy dress party four years ago when he dressed as a Nazi soldier." . . .

The Times cites "military sources" who say that Lieutenant-Colonel Harry Fullerton, Harry's commanding officer of the Household Cavalry, could fine or demote the Prince. "The general view, however, was that the commanding officer would give him a sharp talking to and remind him of the standard of behavior expected of an officer in the British Army," says the paper.

Broadsheets and tabloids alike had a field day analyzing just how serious a gaffe Harry had actually made. Was it on a par with dressing as a Nazi at a friend's birthday party? Did it heap more shame on the royal family than that 2004 scuffle with a photographer outside the Pangaea nightclub in London?

For those arguing that Harry's comments were mere lighthearted army banter, the Mirror provides an interesting insight into life as an Asian soldier in a first-person piece from former Lance Bombardier Nasar Khan, 44, who served in the 1990 Gulf war. . .

He explains that he was called "a 'black s**t Muslim bastard' and all the names under the sun". He was not alone, he says. "Everyone I've met in the army from an ethnic minority says they've been abused." . . .

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