Scolding Prince Harry

The royal black sheep's apology for racially tinged jokes on tape

"Has royal rogue Prince Harry finally gone too far?" asked Jonann Brady in ABC News. Harry had to issue an apology over the weekend after a British newspaper released a tape of the prince making racist remarks, including calling a fellow soldier "our little Paki friend," and using the term "raghead" while serving in the military in 2006. His grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II probably wasn't amused, but historians say "these royal screw-ups" usually just make the public love the royal black sheep more.

It's certainly not news that Prince Harry is a "royal dimwit," said Tracy Quan in The Daily Beast. And it's perfectly believable that, as a member of the generation that has made "queer" a politically correct synonym for gay, he intended nothing mean by his remarks. But one thing's clear—he appears to have "inherited an unlucky combination of Diana's legendary dimness and the undiplomatic DNA of the Prince of Edinburgh."

Prince Harry's knuckleheaded past makes him an easy target, said Gerard Henderson in The Sydney Morning Herald. Who can forget his last big "error of judgment"—dressing as a Nazi at a costume party four years ago. But this latest is the kind of "gotcha moment" that could happen to anybody in this digital age, where recorders and video cameras can give any casual remark "a degree of permanence previously only found in the written word."

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"All this may make Prince Harry look like a scapegoat for an unspoken double standard," said Caroline Frost in Australia's Herald Sun, because plenty of people say worse, but he was the one who got caught. Still, at a time when Western soldiers are facing danger abroad, it would be nice if someone in Harry's unique position would set a better example.

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