We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

This Britain

Prince to be sent to Holocaust exhibition

Prince Harry is expected to be sent on a private visit to a Holocaust memorial in order to understand the offence given by his wearing of a Nazi uniform at a fancy dress party.

Prince Harry is expected to be sent on a private visit to a Holocaust memorial in order to understand the offence given by his wearing of a Nazi uniform at a fancy dress party.

According to royal sources, any trip would be made after the current furore has died down and could be in the company of his brother, Prince William, who is now said to feel that he should share some blame for the incident. Although there is an extensive display at the Imperial War Museum, the most likely place for such a visit in Britain is the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre in Nottingham, which extended an invitation to the Prince to visit its exhibition and meet survivors yesterday.

A trip to Auschwitz is less likely, although not completely ruled out, and it was made clear that Clarence House would not agree to calls that the Prince should accompany his uncle, the Earl of Wessex, on a pre-planned trip to the death camp later this month for the ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of its liberation. The Queen will be meeting Holocaust survivors in London on the same day.

Meanwhile, Clarence House yesterday attempted to draw a line under the incident, which provoked international outrage and condemnation by politicians from all parties, by firmly rejecting suggestions that the Prince, 20 and third in line to the throne, should make a further apology in person. A statement issued by Clarence House stressed that the "heartfelt" apology issued on Wednesday night had been accepted by Jewish groups. The Prince of Wales made no comment while on an official engagement to meet flood victims in Carlisle.

A Clarence House source said: "We have not ruled anything out and will give consideration to a number of invitations we have received in due course. A trip to something such as a Holocaust centre remains a possibility.

"Prince William feels as any brother would about the matter, that he shares some of the responsibility for what happened."

Dr James Smith, the chief executive of the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre, said yesterday: "We are not demanding that Prince Harry makes a further public statement - we should accept his apology instead of forcing him to face the cameras. I would much rather know that he understood why it was such a lapse of judgement."

He added: "For that reason we will extend an invitation to him to visit the Holocaust Centre, meet with survivors and make a trip to Auschwitz, but only once the attention has died down. His actions have done an enormous amount to generate debate around the issues raised by Holocaust Memorial Day, and that has been very positive. But now it is time to reflect on the lessons the Holocaust has for all of us - and to give Prince Harry the space to do so too."

The centre, which is partly funded by National Lottery money, is the only one of its kind in the country and allows all visitors the chance to meet Holocaust survivors after touring the exhibition.

Jonathan Sacks, the UK's chief Rabbi, said it was imperative that the lessons of the Holocaust and the Second World War were not only taught but understood. He stressed that he believed wearing a swastika was in extremely poor taste but said: "I note that Prince Harry has recognised this."

It was disclosed yesterday that Prince Harry was accompanied in his trip to a Cotswold fancy dress hire shop by his brother, William, 22, where he rented the uniform of the Afrika Corps. His brother hired a leopard outfit. Both attended the Saturday night party given by the family of one of their friends, Harry Meade, son of the showjumper Richard Meade, where the photograph which appeared on the front of The Sun on Wednesday was taken.

The Prince, who was laying low yesterday at his Highgrove home, also received backing from his aunt, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Harry is a fine young man. He needs to be supported now. It is time for the press to back off. I know what it is like to have very bad press and be continually criticised - it is very tiring and unpleasant."

His fathers' advisers are hoping they can now keep a tight rein on the activities of the Prince before he goes to Sandhurst for his one-year officer training course in May, which was postponed because of a bad knee. Although some have suggested he should now withdraw, others believe the training will impose the discipline the Prince needs.