LONDON - BRITAIN'S Prince Harry apologised on Saturday after a newspaper reported he had filmed himself calling an Asian army colleague a 'Paki' but he said he had used the potentially racist term without malice.
The News of the World said the recording was made in 2006, a year after the prince was pilloried for wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party, a gaffe that sparked international outcry.
The paper said Prince Harry, 24, and third in line to the British throne, could be heard saying: 'Anyone else here ... ah, our little Paki friend ... Ahmed' as he zoomed onto the face of an Asian cadet while waiting at an airport to fly to Cyprus.
A royal spokesman said there had been no racist intent in Prince Harry's words.
'Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term (Paki) can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause,' the spokesman said.
'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.' The paper said the film also showed the prince telling another officer cadet wearing a camouflage veil while off duty 'You look like a raghead", an offensive term for an Arab.
The royal spokesman said Prince Harry had used 'raghead' to mean a Taliban or Iraqi insurgent.
In May, Harry, grandson of British monarch Queen Elizabeth, was awarded a military service medal for 10 weeks of frontline service in Afghanistan.
His tour of duty there with the Household Cavalry Regiment had been cut short after a media blackout collapsed, sparking fears worldwide coverage of his deployment could make him a target for pro-Taliban insurgents. -- REUTERS