Harry, You Don’t Sound Like A Royal

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Prince Harry, third-in-line to the British throne, is going back to school. His record of non-PC utterances that have escaped to public scrutiny has now lengthened to the point that a place has been hastily reserved for him in the British Army’s “Equality and Diversity” course, designed to instill in its students some sort of self-restraint for when they otherwise might be tempted to use insensitive language when referring to (or addressing directly, for that matter) minority groups.

As you might expect, amused coverage of this latest stage in the young prince’s education can be found in a number of Europe’s on-line papers. I sort of like best, though, the treatment in the Czech Republic’s widest-circulation mainstream daily, Mladá fronta dnes (Prince Harry gains himself a behavior-course for his racist utterances). If you want to click on that link you can see one reason why right away: the photo there shows the prince on duty in Afghanistan, to be sure, but he’s revving through the desert on a motorcycle (wearing no helmet, naturally – but that’s just the old fart in me speaking), in front of two heavily-laden personnel-carriers and a couple of his soldier-mates who presumably must content themselves with such steerage-class transportation. Let me add now a couple more observations based upon having had the same sort of experience (i.e. deployed in wartime to the desert with armored vehicles) in my own life: what with the red coloring and what seems to be an abundance of other shiny metal, that motorcycle is for sure not “tactical,” i.e. does not belong in an environment where other people, somewhere out there, are authorized to shoot you and your companions if they can just find you, aim, and fire. Also, Harry lives fully up to his name (and I don’t mean “Windsor,” he’s not wearing a tie): the officer that I was back during my own desert deployment (1991) would immediately send him straight off to some sergeant to get a proper military haircut.

But the MFD article is a winner in a couple other ways, too. It turns out that this will in fact be the second time Harry is sent to such a course; the article notes that “the present course should however be more intensive.” And one’s curiosity is satisfied here about just how it is that you say “Paki” and “black guy” in Czech. (Respectively, it’s Pakoše and černouš; the latter stems from Harry’s remark of a few months ago to British comedian Stephen Amos, “You don’t sound like a black chap.”)

For the record, EuroSavant is much more on Harry’s case for his evident tactical shortcomings, as newly-revealed in this Profimedia.cz photo, than his remarks, which actually seem a certain cut above what we were used to hearing from fellow British and American officers back-in-the-day. But he’s a royal, a British state employee of a very unique sort, so he can’t be allowed to talk like any other 24-year-old British Army officer would be naturally inclined to speak.

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