British Prince Harry Dresses Like Nazi for Costume Party

British Prince Harry Dresses Like Nazi for Costume Party (AP)

Photo: Britain’s Prince Harry is apologizing for going to a costume party dressed like a Nazi. The prince’s apology came after a photo of him wearing a Nazi uniform appeared in today’s edition of the British tabloid “The Sun.” The picture shows the prince wearing a swastika arm band. As you can imagine, Jewish groups are outraged. The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles suggests the 20-year-old prince visit the Auschwitz death camp to see the results of the symbols he wore.

The prince has apologized in a statement, saying he was “very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone.” “It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize,” he added.

Harry, who plans to enroll this year at a military college, has long been known as the wilder of Charles and Diana’s two sons, in contrast to his university-student brother Prince William, 22. Harry, third in line to the throne, has been photographed drinking in London’s trendiest nightclubs and three years ago was sent by his father to observe a drug rehabilitation center after being caught smoking marijuana. In October, he scuffled with a paparazzi photographer outside a London nightclub.

The Sun, tabloid that it is, has lots of hysterial coverage :

Sun newspaper reactions to Prince Harry Nazi costume flap
Click for stories.

This is clearly a case of “What was he thinking?” Frankly, I’m not sure it’s that big of a deal. People wear costumes to costume parties–hence the name–and seldom think through the social-cultural ramifications of their ensemble. Unless Harry is a skinhead or something–highly unlikely–this certainly does not render him unfit for service.* Given that the royals live in a fishbowl, though, he should have gone with a safer choice.

*”. . .you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.â€

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Zed says:

    The media took the bait on this one. the royal family is not dumb, they have people that tell them what not to do in public, they are used to living under the public eye, this stunt was obviously intentional.

    either a, he needed the attention for some reason

    or b, he is trying to get out of the military.

    completely intentional

  2. Kent says:

    If I was going to a costume party, and wanted to dress as the scariest thing I could think of, I would be hindered by my unwillingness to wear a dress and a blond wig and look Senatorial. Second choice might well be a Nazi stormtrooper uniform.

    I’m having a hard time seeing what the big deal is. Well – no – I’m not really that stupid. The right way to say it is that I’m sorry this has to be a big deal.

  3. DC Loser says:

    Well, given the historical baggage the royals had before and during WWII, with a great number of British establishment members who were closet or overt nazi sympathizers, I can see the uproar. Don’t forget at one point the Nazis wanted to make Edward VII the king of a rump England after it had surrendered. And who exactly was Rudolph Hess hoping to talk to when he flew to England?

  4. Ursula says:

    That costume was definitely in poor taste.

  5. Director Mitch says:

    Yeah, poor taste, but let’s say he dressed up as as a devil (a popular constume every year) and then there was outpouring of rage from some religous nuts. We would call those people nutjobs since it was only a costume not to be taken seriously, so I put this episode in the same category.

    A better decision would have been to come in something else, but I see no reason for histronics over a Halloween constume.

  6. Bill K says:

    Yes, people where costumes to costume parties, but rarely is it a white sheet with a pointed top or a man holding a whip following a chained african-american around. This was stupid and ridiculous. I can’t even imagine a normal person doing it, the fact that somebody on Harry’s level did is incomprehensible.

  7. McGehee says:

    I’m actually with DCL and Bill K on this, at least somewhat. It’s more than “just a costume” — but as long as he manages not to do anything nearly this stupid ever again, he’ll still be less of an embarrassment to the British than his dad.

  8. Paul says:

    The problem here is that the party was in England.

    – If the party had been in France they would have welcomed him and given him the keys to the place.

  9. Nadia says:

    I at once want to apologize for my bad English… But I simple can not to express my opinion . I think it was silly to concentrate attention on that Prince Harry has dressed. Everyone has the right to dress that they want. I do not think that he wanted to offend people. I jew myself and my family have suffered from nazists however I simply have not paid to this attention. I think that Prince Harry needs attention from his family and someone who love him instead of constant persecution and shadowing his each step. He behaves as the typical teenager to which everyone forbid to do that he likes… And as is known ” the forbidden fruit is sweet “. So it is not necessary to condemn him.