'Paki' jibe set to infuriate army chiefs aiming to recruit Muslims into forces
A secret video showing Prince Harry making racist remarks and mocking his late grandmother has been discovered.
The prince, who is third in line to the throne, made the comments in footage shot while training as an officer at the Sandhurst military academy in 2006, a year after being forced to make a public apology for wearing a Nazi swastika at a fancy dress party.
In the film, the 24-year-old prince calls an officer from the Pakistani army, who was on the course with him, "our little Paki friend" and, when he sees another officer cadet wearing a camouflage veil, exclaims: "Fuck me, you look like a raghead." He also mocks the Queen - the commander-in-chief of the British army - during a pretend mobile phone call to the late Queen Mother.
Last night, St James's Palace issued an apology for Harry's behaviour in the film, obtained by the News of the World. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said last night: "This sort of language is not acceptable in a modern army."
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has demanded a formal inquiry into Harry's behaviour, and Muslim groups and leading MPs have warned the comments could increase tensions with Islamic groups in the UK.
The film will infuriate army chiefs, who are actively trying to recruit Muslims as intelligence officers and translators for the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Staff officers have insisted the Army's policy must be "zero tolerance to all forms of discrimination". But the casual use of racist terms by Harry, who was promoted to lieutenant last year, appears to add weight to recent claims by a Jamaican-born soldier that he faced regular racist abuse from non-commissioned and senior officers.
In September, three army instructors were suspended after an undercover BBC investigation into the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick, in Yorkshire. During the programme, one recruit was secretly filmed yelling "Paki" as he plunged his bayonet into a target dummy.
The video begins as the prince joins other cadets gathering at an airport for their flight to Cyprus. Harry is behind the camcorder, panning over snoozing soldiers when he zooms in on the face of a Pakistani soldier. "Ah, our little Paki friend ... Ahmed," he whispers.
The second remark comes after arriving in Cyprus. Harry is again filming his comrades when one puts what appears to be some camouflage over his head. Harry says: "It's Dan the Man ... Fuck me, you look like a raghead."
Later, Harry is filmed pretending to finish a call to the Queen. "I've got to go, got to go. Send my love to the corgis. Send my love to the corgis and Grandpa. God Save You... yeah, that's great."
In another piece of footage, Harry gives orders to his comrades on an upcoming exercise. When he asks if there are any questions, one says: "Are your pubes ginger too?" Harry replies: "Yes, they are," to laughter from the rest.
Later Harry, again wielding the camera, asks another member of the squad to talk through the exercise they have just done. He asks for "your ups and downs in the exercise. Highs and lows ... Good points, bad points." Off camera, he adds: "How do you feel? Gay? Queer on the side?"