‘I felt so ashamed’: Prince Harry opens up about one of the ‘biggest mistakes of his life’ in Netflix documentary

Royal, who was 20 at the time, apologised amid widespread public condemnation

Isobel Lewis
Thursday 08 December 2022 10:24 GMT
Prince Harry says wearing Nazi costume was 'probably biggest mistakes’ of his life

Prince Harry has described his choice to dress up in a Nazi uniform as “probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life”.

In January 2005, the Duke of Sussex attended a friend’s fancy dress-themed birthday party in a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika armband.

The royal, who was 20 at the time, later apologised, saying that he was “very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone”, adding: “It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise.”

Harry was widely criticised at the time, with the Board of Deputies of British Jews commenting on his “ill-judged actions”.

The scandal is discussed in the third episode ofHarry and Meghan, Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s new documentary series for Netflix.

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In the episode, Harry discussed how unconscious bias played out within the royal family and wider society.

“In this family, sometimes you’re part of the problem rather than part of the solution,” Harry said. “There is a huge level of unconscious bias… It’s actually no one’s fault, but once it’s been pointed out or identified within yourself, you then need to make it right.

“It’s education, it’s awareness. And it’s a constant work in progress for everybody, including me.”

King Charles and Prince Harry in 2005
King Charles and Prince Harry in 2005 (AFP via Getty Images)

Footage was then shown of newspaper covers criticising the royal, with a voiceover from a news report at the time describing how “British headline writers have been salivating today” over the images. The image of Harry in the uniform was not shown.

"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,” he said.

Harry then spoke about the work he did in an attempt to “learn” from his mistake.

"We sat down and spoke to the chief rabbi in London which had a profound impact on me. I went to Berlin and spoke to a Holocaust survivor. I could’ve just ignored it and probably made the same mistakes in my life over and over again in my life, but I learnt from that.”

Harry and Meghan is on Netflix now.

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