Can Meghan Markle Forgive Prince Harry For His Racist Actions?

Prince Harry seems to be the model royal these days. The 34-year old appears to be a thoughtful husband to Meghan Markle, a devoted father, and a giving humanitarian. But, like many of us, the Prince has a few skeletons in his closet. Perhaps the most insidious of them are the things that Prince Harry has said or done that have been extraordinarily racist in nature. But what does his wife think about these hurtful and prejudice choices? And can the Duchess of Sussex ever forgive him for them?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/WireImage

The cost of a “costume”

Back in 2005, Prince Harry sparked public outrage when he made an absolutely atrocious judgment call. The then 20-year-old Prince made the decision to wear a Nazi uniform to a party complete with a swastika. Rightfully people were hurt and completely offended by his “costume” and shortly after, he issued a public statement of apology. “I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize” Prince Harry stated.

Public outrage

Of course, this extremely poor decision was not something that was going to blow over with a standard, run-of-the-mill apology. Though a few loyal fans rushed to Prince Harry’s defense, citing youth as an excuse for his terrible choice in costume, others were neither ready nor willing to forgive. Outraged politicians and citizens everywhere gave the argument that Prince Harry knew the awful history behind Nazis and that his education and the extreme privilege that accompanied his wealth meant that he should know better than most how hurtful and disgusting his actions were.

The government gets involved

Eventually, the scandal got so bad that the Prime Minister’s office had to get involved to try to neutralize the backlash. A spokesperson for Tony Blair’s office issued the following statement following the scandal. “Clearly an error was made that has been recognized by Harry, and I think it is better that this matter continues to be dealt with by Buckingham Palace.” Still many felt with this statement, the Prime Minister was letting Prince Harry off easy and making excuses for his poor behavior.

Racial slurs

Eventually that particular scandal blew over, but unfortunately, another egregious situation popped up just a few years later. In 2009, a video of Prince Harry surfaced from his time at the Sandhurst military academy back in 2006. In the video, Prince Harry can be heard using slurs as he calls his friend “P*ki” and “r*ghead”, which are both considered to be racial slurs and wildly offensive.

This time Prince Harry chose not to make a personal apology. However, St. James Palace did issue the following statement on his behalf, “Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offense his words might cause. However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon. There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend.”

Learning from his mistakes

Of course, all of these scandals occurred prior to Prince Harry’s marriage to Markle. While she has not addressed the past scandals of her husband, we can only assume that they’ve talked about them and race relations as a whole. Because of the Internet, there’s no way that the former actress is unaware of Prince Harry’s history with racist choices and actions, so she must have forgiven him for them. We can only hope that Prince Harry has learned from the errors of his past and continues to move toward the future in a more positive light.

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Today The Duke of Sussex played in the ninth annual @Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup, held for the first time in Rome, Italy, to raise funds and awareness for Sentebale’s work supporting children and young people affected by HIV in southern Africa. Co- founded by The Duke of Sussex in 2006 with Prince Seeiso, @Sentabale has worked for over a decade in Lesotho, Botswana and Malawi to address the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people affected by HIV, providing them with the tools, peer networks, and education to lead healthy and productive lives. Eastern and southern Africa remain the regions most affected by the HIV epidemic – accounting for 45% of the world’s HIV infections. Lesotho and Botswana have the second and third highest infection rate of HIV in the world – with children often too afraid to access the life-saving treatment and care available, because there is still too much associated stigma. Sentebale’s core programme supporting children living with HIV reaches over 4,600 children and young people each month who are coming to terms with living with HIV through monthly Saturday clubs at local healthcare facilities, and 1,700 youth through residential week-long camps in Lesotho and Botswana. Last year alone, Sentebale’s youth volunteers aged between 18 and 24 delivered sexual and reproductive health education, including topics on HIV prevention in schools and communities to over 100,000 of their peers in Lesotho. Support from today’s match will help @Sentebale to expand these essential and life-transforming initiatives. To learn more about @Sentebale or lend your support, visit www.sentebale.org or if you’re in London on June 11th, please join us for the Sentebale Audi concert at Hampton Court Palace @historicroyalpalaces, more details can be also found on the @Sentebale website Photos: Chris Jackson, Delfina Blaquier

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