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Prince Harry and the wardrobe malfunction - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Prince Harry and the wardrobe malfunction
Prince Charles needs to have a serious talk with his wayward son. Seriously. What a dumb-ass thing to do (for the one person left on Earth who doesn't know, Prince Harry went to a costume party as a Nazi and got his picture snapped), especially when you have good reason to know that people are going to be taking pictures of you.

But that's a family matter.

Folks, it was a costume party, not a march through Skokie or a neo-Hitler-Youth rally. It was a horrendous idea for a costume, but it was a costume. If he were just wandering around on the street saying "Sieg Heil" to random folks, I'd see the vast international uproar, and particularly a huge uproar in Britain, which would (rightly) see him as allying with a regime that tried to, you know, wipe them out. That would border on treason. But it was a costume party. Apparently a badly thought out and poorly-themed one, but easily chalked up under, "G-d, people do stupid things sometimes." But of course, Harry decked a reporter awhile back. After what the press did to his mother, I'm thinking, "Go, Harry." But that's got to be rankling, so the first major gaffe, boom.

It has, as I understand it, been used as a basis to attack the royalty from. Oh, dear. Prince Harry did something stupid. Wipe them out, all of them. :eyeroll:
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Comments
liwy From: liwy Date: January 18th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
And here I was thinking I wouldn't be seeing anymore posts on the whole affair...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 18th, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, but no issue is closed until I've had my say, silly. ;) It was either that or a hyper-serious post about a documentary I watched about the French Revolution.
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: January 18th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel sorry for him to be honest. I mean, troubled is not the word if he seriously thinks he can get away with something like that without it causing a rumpus. But I really wish our media could find something else to talk about. This morning we had someone on making a serious suggestion that it should be illegal to display a swastika throughout the whole of Europe (rather than just in Germany which I understand is currently the case).

*insert rant about freedom of speech and education rather than censorship being the route to civilised behaviour here (although I have to say that under the circs I can understand why the Germans might have chosen to ban it)*

I really don't know how I'm going to watch the news for the next few months. If it's not Prince Harry it's the start of the election campaign with the consequent ass-hattery and spin that seems to be inextricably linked to it. I'll be lucky if my head hasn't exploded by May (sigh).
ashtur From: ashtur Date: January 18th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
That does raise an interseting (and more serious) contrast between Europe and the USA.

In Europe, no one would have blinked an eye about a performer flashing a bare breast (for just an instant) as happened here last year, that created a first tier frenzy.

On the other hand, in Germany already, and perhaps soon across the EU, all Nazi signs and symbols are banned but for "artistic or historical" purposes.

On our side of the pond, while many people would be more than a tad upset if one of the Bush twins started going around in brownshirts and jackboots, any thought of banning that sort of thing would be thrown out the door within seconds...

Interesting contrasts
zoepaleologa From: zoepaleologa Date: January 18th, 2005 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but then we British taxpayers fund this bunch of inbred clowns to the tune of several millions via the Civil List.

I'm not personally interested in the lack of intelligence shown by British royalty, however, a little bit of remembering the very old saw, "Noblesse Oblige" might not come in wrong. Royalty tends to be trained for the job from childhood. it would be nice to think some of the teaching has sunk in with young Harry by now.

And personally, I find the idea of anyone wearing Nazi insignia for fun most offensive. Royalty should know better - they are paid enough to.
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: January 18th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Had LJ been working, I would probably have posted on this myself last week after I walked by the CNN building and saw the story on the building's news ticker. I can understand why Britons are upset about this - as a member of the royal family, Harry does represent the nation, and this was embarrassing for the country. And when someone supported by the taxpayers does something so collosally stupid, it's going to raise hackles. But I don't understand why it generated quite so much attention here. A member of the British royal family is an idiot. That's not news.

Personally, I think some of the reason is the cheap use of the word "Nazi." The news media know that "Nazi" grabs our attention, sort of like "sex" does, and they use it to attract readers/viewers. Plus it gets used casually to mean "a harsh person," like the soup Nazi in that Seinfeld episode. I think overuse of the word belittles the very real horror the Nazis perpetrated, but apparently I'm in the minority here.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 18th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, not at all. Phrases like "grammar Nazi" or "canon Nazi" or anything like that...

:shudder:

It gets press here because despite overthrowing British royal rule, we're still bizarrely obsessed with British royalty. It wouldn't be covered if it had been the Spanish royal family.

Plus, of course, they've got celeb status. We'd probably have seen it if it had been Hugh Grant, too.
nymphgalatea From: nymphgalatea Date: January 18th, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the thing most people are amazed at is that the boy is 20 years old, has attended probably about 18 WWII memorials, has talked to surviving British soldiers of that war in pursuit of his military career...and still thinks dressing up like a Nazi is a great idea.

He's roughly six months younger than me. I remember very vividly the 1995 celebrations of the 50-year anniversary of the end of the war. Every single school, be it comprehensive or private, did something to mark that day. Surely some of it must have penetrated?

There's also the fact that he must know that his actions will be scrutinised in the British press. He knows what happened to his mother, he's watched his brother attempt to deal with it...and he still thinks he can do something so monumentally stupid and get away with it?

Really, inbreeding has a lot to answer for.

Mind you, there's also the lovely fact that this party had a "colonials and natives" theme. Some of his mates reportedly blacked up their faces and went as African tribesmen.
hughroe From: hughroe Date: January 18th, 2005 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
What I find as most interesting, is that there in London there ia a happening nightclub called the KGB, filled with Soviet memorabilia, and at one of the Tres Chic restaurants, the diners eat under the smiling face of Chairman Mao.
hughroe From: hughroe Date: January 18th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also in reply to myself, Harry was dressed as a member of the Afrika Korps, an organization that the British 8th Army, that fought against them, had high praise for. And who's leader, Erwin Rommel,
had a rather lauditory movie made about him, in England.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 18th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, since you more or less just repeated what I said (it was stupid, it's a family matter, etc), why would I delete your post? :)

I'm not defending his decision to wear it, which was so exquisitely stupid that it almost doesn't need to be mentioned. I just think that it doesn't go beyond stupidity, and certainly isn't a grand proof that it's the end of the British monarchy!
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: January 18th, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is definitely being blown out of proportion. It was a bad decision on his part, but honestly not that important in the grand scheme of things.
sabrinanymph From: sabrinanymph Date: January 18th, 2005 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
The irony is, I doubt anyone would have gotten worked up if he dressed himself up as the Devil, OR if you want to disqualify potentially mythological creatures of evil and only go with historical ones, let's try a Roman centurion - The Romans did their fair share of culture dominance and wiping out of innocent populations as well.

If Prince Harry were really showing signs of being secret neo-Nazi, I would be extremely alarmed. As it was, it's a costume party. Perhaps it was a bad idea on his part, but people dress in all sorts of costumes for all sorts of reasons. And really, if one wants to dress up 'evil' I think a Nazi qualifies.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: January 19th, 2005 02:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Any time the royals publicly screw up, there's yet another outcry to end the monarchy.

What would the tabloids of the world do without the British royal family? The Japanese royal family is boring. Nobody cares about the "bicycle" royalty of Scandinavia. The only whiff of scandal from that crew is the ex-party girl/single mom who married Norway's crown prince. The Spanish royal family is on the straight and narrow. The Windsors' only competitor is Monaco's royal family, and even Caroline's kids have yet to cause too much trouble.

Nope, we have to keep the Windsors right where they are.

Harry did the equivalent of a frat boy showing up at a reggae-themed kegger in blackface. It's tasteless, it's appalling, and you wonder how anyone with a brain in this day and age could do such a thing. The difference is, the frat boy leaves college, grows up, and everyone forgets about his stupidity. This will follow Harry to his grave and that is unfortunate for him. I don't think he's a Nazi, an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier, or anything. He's an immature young man doing dumb things. Maybe boot camp at Sandhurst will straighten him out.
prettyveela From: prettyveela Date: January 19th, 2005 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
In my opinion it was beyond just something "stupid". Stupid is getting drunk and letting the photographers take a picture of you passed out on the floor, not this.

I refuse to believe that this young man, who is the son of one of the most famous women in the world to ever be photographed, thought putting on that costume would not get the outcry it did but a simple "har har funny Harry!" Sorry I don't buy it, it's the same as if Mel Gibson's son went to a party as a KKK member, I'd feel the same way.

I'm glad he got the outcry he got about it because I seriously believe that some people are so sheltered that they just either don't know or think they are so "important" in the world that they can do what they want and get no backlash. I'm glad that I was proven wrong.
prettyveela From: prettyveela Date: January 19th, 2005 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh as for ending the british monarchy I hope they never do. I've always liked the British Royals because at least they are interesting.
danel4d From: danel4d Date: January 19th, 2005 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Worse than that - some idiots are using it as a basis to attack his - and my - entire generation, on the grounds that obviously none of us can really understand the horror of the Nazis, we ain't got no respect for the great heroes, when they were your age they were fighting and dying, reintroduce National Service, etc, etc.

Which is stupid on several grounds:
a) This is Harry's first major gaffe, compared to - how many again? - from his grandfather. I don't recall anyone ever suggesting that his claiming a poorly installed fusebox as being "put in by an Indian", or many of his other stupid and intolerant comments, reflected on his whole generation.

b) Need to learn more about the Nazis? We learn very little else! I recall a recent report pointing out that we perhaps over-focused on the Nazis in history classes, to the exclusion of everything else that had ever happened. It's understandable - WW2 was our finest hour, us standing alone against evil, none of that nasty imperialism business.

And some commentators have just been confused - it certainly doesn't mean that Harry is a Nazi, but merely that he thinks they're something funny, like an awful lot of newspaper editors. There's more than a little hypocrisy involved here, IMO.
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