Nazi costume was 'one of the biggest mistakes of my life,' says Prince Harry

In 2005, Prince Harry was photographed holding a drink and cigarette while wearing a Nazi uniform while at a costume party.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (photo credit: REUTERS)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, opened up and expressed his feelings about his costume of choice in January 2005 in his new docuseries with Meghan Markle.

In the docuseries Harry & Meghan, which premiered on Thursday on Netflix, Harry spoke about the Nazi costume that he wore to a costume party. 

"It was one of the biggest mistakes in my life," Harry said. "I felt so ashamed afterward."

During the docuseries, Harry admitted that he spoke to London's then-Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks to talk about what he had done.

"I could've just ignored it and probably made the same mistakes over and over again in my life. But I learned from that,"

Prince Harry
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in this undated handout photo. (credit: HARPO PRODUCTIONS/JOE PUGLIESE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in this undated handout photo. (credit: HARPO PRODUCTIONS/JOE PUGLIESE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

"I spoke to the chief rabbi in London, which had a profound impact on me," Harry said.

The paparazzi photographed Harry holding a drink and cigarette while wearing the Nazi costume in 2005.

"I could've just ignored it and probably made the same mistakes over and over again in my life. But I learned from that," Harry recalled during the docuseries. "I went to Berlin and spoke to a Holocaust survivor."

In 2005, Harry released a statement apologizing for his poor costume choice. "I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize."

A lot of Jewish groups in Britain had their say in his apology

At the time, the Board of Deputies of British Jews said in a statement, "It's not a joke to dress up as a Nazi, especially as we come up to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It is important that everybody remembers the evil that the Nazis were responsible for."

"I hope that on reflection Prince Harry will regret what was an insensitive and tasteless act," the Labour peer Lord Janner, a former chair for the Holocaust Education Trust told the Daily Mail, at the time.

According to The Guardian, Rabbi Sacks was a little more forgiving, saying, "The fact that the palace has issued an apology indicates that this was a mistake by the prince. But having been given, the apology should now be accepted."

Why did Harry bring it up now?

The conversation was brought up after talking about an "unconscious bias" within the royal family. The docuseries mentioned the incident in which Princess Michael of Kent wore a Blackamoor-style broach to an event in 2017.

"In this family, sometimes you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution," Harry stated. "There is a huge level of unconscious bias. The thing with unconscious bias, it is actually no one's fault. But once it has been pointed out, or identified within yourself you then need to make it right.

"It is education. It is awareness," he continues. "It is a constant work in progress for everybody, including me."