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The Crown Finale Revisits Prince Harry’s Nazi-Costume Scandal

The Crown creator Peter Morgan closes out his luxurious six-season ode to Queen Elizabeth with a poignant storyline concerning the almost 80-year-old monarch planning her funeral and a long-awaited marriage ceremony celebration for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles—neither of which comes as a shock. However the Prince Harry Nazi-costume storyline is much less anticipated, though the occasions line up chronologically; Harry wore the costume to a celebration in January of 2005, simply weeks forward of Prince Charles’s announcement of his engagement to Parker Bowles.

Within the episode, we see Harry (Luther Ford), William (Ed McVey), and Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy) scan the costume store for outfits befitting the “natives and colonials” theme of the occasion they’re about to attend. William and Kate, within the throes of early freshman-year romance, choose a pair’s costume—a lion and a lion tamer—whereas Harry chooses a Nazi uniform. Kate is essentially the most uncertain of the selection, telling Harry, “Possibly cowl the swastika.” However William defends the choice: “Oh come on. Simply because he’s carrying the outfit doesn’t make him a Nazi. It’s one other joke.”

As soon as at costume occasion, The Crown’s Harry removes his jacket to disclose the armband, and a fellow partygoer snaps the image that precipitated a nationwide uproar: Harry speaking to a different partygoer, cigarette and drink in hand, Nazi armband clearly seen.

In actual life, the photograph surfaced about two weeks earlier than the royal household was attributable to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. On the present, Charles is livid concerning the headlines—sufficient to knock china off his desk. William appears deeply aggravated with this newest PR headache. However one other character, Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce)—who in actual life had his personal Nazi-related gaffe— seemingly makes gentle of the incident. “Harry was silly to go to that occasion wearing that costume. However he’s bloody unfortunate {that a} fellow visitor ought to go to the newspapers like that,” Philip tells her, earlier than revealing he referred to as the costume store and gave its workers a bit of his thoughts. Not for renting Harry the costume, however for the outfit’s historic inaccuracy: “The German Africa Korps by no means wore swastikas,” Philip scoffs.

In The Palace Papers, former VF editor in chief Tina Brown wrote of the scandal’s instant aftermath:

An incensed Charles, who was a nervous wreck earlier than the ‘Massive Announcement,’ demanded Harry make correct apologies to Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. Prince Charles additionally blasted William, who’d reportedly wearing a skin-tight black leotard with leopard-skin paws and a tail, for permitting his youthful brother to make such a witless alternative. The Home of Commons Public Accounts Committee launched an inquiry into the requirements and duties of Clarence Home advisors.

Following the actual incident, Harry apologized in a press release, saying, “I’m very sorry if I precipitated any offense or embarrassment to anybody. It was a poor alternative of costume and I apologize.”

The true Harry has spoken concerning the incident considerably lately on a number of events. In Netflix’s Harry & Meghan docuseries, the prince mentioned, “It was one of many largest errors of my life. I felt so ashamed afterwards… All I wished to do was make it proper.”

However in his bombshell memoir Spare, Harry gives extra element—describing how he had been trying to find a final minute costume to suit the “cringey theme” picked by one among “Willy’s associates.” He additionally claims William and Kate inspired the costume.