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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 16:31 GMT
Harry 'will not apologise again'
Prince Harry
Prince Harry has earned a reputation as the 'party prince'
Clarence House has tried to draw a line under the row over Prince Harry's Nazi soldier party costume, insisting there will be no more statements.

The prince apologised in a statement after being photographed in the desert uniform and swastika armband.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said he would not be making a further, public apology despite calls for him to do so.

Prince Charles twice refused to comment on his son's conduct during a visit to flood-hit Carlisle.

The photograph, taken at a friend's birthday party in Wiltshire last weekend, has prompted outrage from politicians and anti-fascist campaigners, who accused the prince of insensitivity.

Earlier on Friday, a Clarence House spokesman said: "Prince Harry has apologised immediately and in a heartfelt fashion for making a very bad mistake.

"His apology has been accepted by a number of Jewish groups."
Duchess of York
It is time for the press to back off
The Duchess of York

In his statement on Wednesday, the prince said: "I am very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise."

On Friday, Prince Harry received the public backing of his aunt, Sarah Ferguson.

The Duchess of York 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."

Tory leader Michael Howard and Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy have led calls for a personal public apology.

Foreign criticism

Unusually, Prince Harry's actions have also been criticised by foreign politicians.

Israel's foreign minister Silvan Shalom said the prince had been wrong to wear the costume and had a lot to learn.

And veteran forces sweetheart Vera Lynn has added her voice to calls for him to visit a former death camp.

Some critics have said the prince should join a British delegation which is visiting the Auschwitz death camp for the 60th anniversary of its liberation later this month.

THE HOLOCAUST
The Nazis' final assault on the Jews from 1933-1945
Estimated 15m civilians killed by regime
6m Jews murdered
1942: Gas chambers built at Birkenau concentration camp, mass transports begin
Majority who arrive gassed immediately
About 900,000 gassed at Birkenau
1.1m died at Auschwitz-Birkenau and its sub-camps
1m of them were Jewish

The Foreign Office has announced that Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will join the delegation to the camp.

Prince Harry should see for himself "the results of the hated symbol he so foolishly and brazenly chose to wear", said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The UK's Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said it was imperative that the lessons of the Holocaust and World War II were not only taught, but understood.

He went on to say that wearing a swastika was in extremely poor taste but added: "I note that Prince Harry has recognised this."

Prince Harry's costume gaffe has also prompted suggestions from some that he should not be allowed to enrol at Sandhurst military academy.

The Ministry of Defence has said it will not affect his place.

It is the latest in a series of stories involving Prince Harry - who is third in line to the throne - which have earned him a media reputation as the "party prince".




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Prince Charles sidesteps questions about Harry



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