[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 13 January, 2005, 11:29 GMT
Q&A: Harry's Nazi costume row
As a photograph of Prince Harry wearing a Nazi costume to a fancy dress party sparked outrage, BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt answers questions about the controversy.

Prince Harry during a fitness test
Prince Harry is due to enter the tough Sandhurst military academy in May
Q: How does this compare with other controversies involving Prince Harry?

In the past we have had some mishaps involving Prince Harry.

There was the smoking of cannabis, underage drinking and a fracas with a photographer.

But those events pale into insignificance compared to this.

Q: How much of a lapse in judgement was this?

To do this at any time would have caused distress to the people that it has upset, but he has acted in this way in a year when veterans in this country will be commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

And this picture has been published just two weeks before an occasion to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz prison camp, which will be led by his grandmother, the Queen.

Q: How much trouble will this cause within Clarence House?

They have admitted that it was an embarrassment and an error of judgement.

Sources close to the prince say that he is a young man who has made a mistake. They have apologised.

It is hoped that Harry's much-delayed entry into Sandhurst can go ahead - he is meant to go to the military academy in May.

His advisers hope that this will provide some breathing space for a year or two, during which he will be subject to some discipline and control.

Q: Is there any explanation as to why he decided to do this?

That is the critical question, but we don't really know. It can't be excused in the way some of his other mishaps have been, as down to the exuberance of youth.

We don't know what was going through his mind or why he did it. He's not a boy any more, he is now a young man. He is 20. He has had a very expensive private education and we don't know why he did it.

We do know that he has apologised if he has caused offence, which he very obviously has.

Q: So is that the end of it?

There has been some political pressure on the royal household for a public apology.

It has come from the Conservative party, from the Conservative leader Michael Howard, who has backed the call for something more than just a written statement.

I think that Harry and his advisors hope that that this is it, that they can draw a line under it, but I think that brutally and frankly, it is something that has the potential to haunt him for the rest of his life.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific