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Prince Harry’s shameful Nazi costume scandal recreated by The Crown

The Duke of Sussex – played by Luther Ford in Netflix’s popular royal drama – sparked a wave of outrage when he wore a rented swastika outfit to one of his chum’s fancy dress parties in 2005

Isobel Lewis
Friday 15 December 2023 07:51 GMT
The Crown rakes up Harry’s fancy dress scandal

Prince Harry’s Nazi costume disgrace is the latest royal scandal to be recreated by Netflix’s The Crown.

The Duke of Sussex, 39, was 20 when he turned up to a fancy dress party in 2005 hosted by Olympic showjumper Richard Meade dressed in a shirt bearing a swastika.

He had arrived with his elder brother Prince William, 41, who reportedly dressed in a skin-tight black leotard with a leopardskin pattern and matching tail and paws.

Now Netflix’s royal drama has raked up the scandal for the second part of its final series.The last episodes of the show see the younger generation of royals – William (played by Ed McVey), his wife Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy), and Prince Harry (Luther Ford) – take centre stage.

They also feature on Prince Charles (Dominic West) marrying Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams), along with the planning of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral arrangements as the monarch, played by Imelda Staunton, repares to turn 80.

Episode 10 of The Crown’s sixth season, titled “Sleep, Dearie Sleep”, sees Harry’s Nazi costume scandal erupt.It shows him dressing in a rented Nazi costume for his chum’s “colonials and natives”-themed fancy dress party.

After photos leaked from the event, the shame-faced royal ended up apologising for what he would go on to call “probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life”.

The Crown shows Harry with William and Kate trying on costumes at Gloucestershire fancy dress emporium Cotswold Costumes.

Pulling a beige jacket – complete with the controversial swastika armband – off its hanger, Harry is seen saying: “Germany had an empire, didn’t they? What about this?”

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A wary Kate, 41, tells him: “I don’t know. Maybe cover the swastika?”

Harry (Luther Ford) tries on his costume in front of William (Ed McVey) and Kate (Meg Bellamy) (Netflix)

William argues: “Oh come on, wearing the outfit doesn’t make him a Nazi.”

The trio then go to the heavily attended party, where Harry wears another beige jacket over his costume.

When he removes it on the dance floor, two other attendees spot the red-headed royal in the costume and take photos using a phone camera.The next day, William spots the photos splashed over the front covers of the morning papers, declaring: “Oh, s***.”

Earlier in the episode, William is shown voicing concern about the “offensive theme” to Harry and their friends.

In response, Harry calls his brother a “cliché”, telling him: “Mate, you’re such an undergraduate now. You’d have never said that before you went to uni.”

After the photos of Harry wearing the outfit were met with a wave of public condemnation when they emerged in 2008, the royal apologised for his “poor choice of costume” and said he was “very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone”.

A younger Harry is seen trying on the outrageous costume in the final season of The Crown (Netflix)

But in his tell-all 2023 memoir Spare, Harry claimed his brother and future sister-in-law were far more supportive of his costume.

He wrote: “I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said. They both howled. Worse than Willy’s leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point.”

Harry initially returned to the subject in Harry and Meghan, his 2022 Netflix documentary series with wife Meghan Markle, 42.

While discussing the topic of unconscious racial bias, Harry said “in this family, sometimes you’re part of the problem rather than part of the solution”, adding: “It’s a constant work in progress for everybody, including me.”

As headlines from the original 2005 reports were shown, Harry explained: “It was probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I felt so ashamed afterwards. All I wanted to do was make it right.”

The Crown season six part two is on Netflix now.

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