The Army has said it will not launch a formal investigation into Prince Harry’s use of the word ‘Paki’ in a video leaked to the News of the World – because no complaint has been made.
The prince’s use of the term to describe an Asian colleague will, however, be looked at by his commanding officer in line with “normal Army procedures”, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday.
The third in line to the throne was caught on film referring to a comrade as “our little Paki friend”.
The video footage was shot by the Prince while he was a cadet at Sandhurst three years ago and released by the News of the World on Saturday night.
An Army spokesman said: “The Army does not tolerate inappropriate behaviour in any shape or form. The Army takes all allegations of inappropriate behaviour very seriously and all substantive allegations are investigated. This specific case will be dealt with in line with normal Army procedures.”
It is understood that the Prince’s swift apology and the length of time since the offence will be taken into account and the Prince could face nothing worse than a dressing down.
St James’s Palace was quick to apologise when the footage was released by the paper and stressed that it was a “nickname about a very popular member of the platoon” used without malice.
But family of the young soldier who Harry is thought to be describing in the film said that he had never mentioned the phrase being used by his comrades.
Ahmed Raza Khan, a Pakistani, trained with Harry and won the Sword of Honour for the best overseas cadet at Sandhurst Military College.
His uncle, Iftakhar Raja, told BBC Radio Five Live: “I myself am a British subject, I am proud to be British and if someone called me Pakistani I would be proud to be called that, but Paki is definitely a derogatory remark.”