Prince Harry has blamed older brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton for his Nazi uniform at a costume party in 2005 for which he was widely criticized. The Duke of Sussex has claimed in his memoir that the Prince and Princess of Wales "howled with laughter" when they saw him dressed up in Nazi uniform for the party.
The Duke of Sussex says in his new memoir - where he is expected to detail resigning from royal duties along with wife Meghan Markle â that both William and Kate thought it was funny. Harry was just 20 years old when a front-page photograph of him in Nazi army garb with a red armband bearing a large swastika appeared in The Sun.
Harry claims that he called his brother and sister-in-law to ask their opinion before wearing either the Nazi uniform or a pilot's suit to a "Native and Colonial"-themed event. "I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said," Harry wrote in his memoir, according to Page Six.
"They both howled. Worse than Willy's leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point."
The photo was taken at a costume party with a "Native and Colonial" theme. William was a also a guest at the party and was wearing a homemade lion costume. The party hosted by Richard Meade, an Olympic show jumper.
The party, which was held to celebrate Meade's son Harry's birthday, had "native and colonial" as its subject. Harry donned the Afrika Korps' desert outfit of General Erwin Rommel.
Earlier in the evening, he had been sporting a German flag-adorned army jacket.
Prince William, who was wearing a skin-tight black leotard with a leopardskin design and a matching leopardskin tail and paws, had accompanied Harry when they arrived.
The outfit caused a huge scandal when Harry, who was 20 at the time, was photographed donning the Nazi regalia.
In fact, after being published in The Sun, the story gained international attention.
Growing Distance Between Brothers
Harry issued a groveling apology shortly after the photo was published but that didn't help much. "If this was his idea of a joke then it went down like a lead balloon," on eguest had reportedly told the Daily Mail at that time.
"I am very sorry if I have caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize," Harry had previously told as he apologized for his outfit.
Harry previously admitted that dressing like a Nazi was one of his life's "biggest mistakes" in his new Netflix series.
In the third episode of his and his wife Meghan Markle's new Netflix series, the Duke of Sussex expressed regret for his 2005 faux pas. Harry, who is now 38, is expected to detail his fallout with his older brother as a result of the ensuing storm in full for the first time. There is also a "good chunk" regarding Kate and his stepmother, Queen Consort Camilla Parker-Bowles, according to additional book sources.
Although both Harry and Meghan have called the Nazi incident "one of the biggest mistakes in my life," one senior publishing source who has read Harry's "Spare" told Page Six, "It's strange as you would think that Harry would take ownership of this and just move on and not drag his brother into it, but he makes it clear that he feels strongly about William's role in the scandal."
The first evidence of conflict between the brothers, according to Royal Historian Robert Lacey, was when Harry had to take the brunt of criticism for his Nazi costume, despite the fact that William helped him in choosing the outfit.
"Harry chose his costume in conjunction with his elder brother â the future King William V, then 22, who had laughed all the way back to Highgrove (Charles' country home) with the younger sibling he was supposed to be mentoring â and then onwards to the party together," Lacey wrote in his 2020 book "Battle of Brothers."
In fact, Lacy mentions in his book that the incident was one of the first occasions from when the two brothers started moving apart. "The young prince began re-evaluating his elder brother's involvement and the unfairness of William's subsequent emergence smelling of roses."
"It made Harry feel resentful and even alienated," Lacey wrote, claiming that William was the one who would "coax" Harry into his "errant and self-destructive ways."
"For the first time, their relationship really suffered and they barely spoke," one former aide told Lacey. "Harry resented the fact that William got away so lightly."
According to the book, Harry constantly complained about being portrayed as the "comical fall guy" to his brother's "glittering hero" as a result of the aftermath, which led to "no speaks" between the two in the years that followed. Therefore, Lacey concluded, Harry and his family's problems were not caused by Harry's wife.