NPR logo Royal Racism: Prince Charles Gets A Pass

Royal Racism: Prince Charles Gets A Pass

It's not easy being prince. The unfortunate racial "isms" that other people get to make in private have a way of being put on blast when you're heir to the throne. The word on Fleet Street is that Prince Charles used a racial slur against a member of his polo club.

Polo club. Right.

This coming after his son, Prince Harry, having been outed for using the slur "Paki" to describe one of his military mates.

Kolin Dhillon, an immigrant to Britain from Punjab and a member of the exclusive Cirencester Park Polo Club, was apparently referred to as "Sooty" by both Charles and other members of the club.

However, knowing which side his crumpet is buttered on, Dhillon says he sees no racism in the crack. "I enjoy being called Sooty by my friends who I am sure universally use the name as a term of affection with no offence meant or felt," he says.

Really, who doesn't like having the color of his skin mocked by elite polo-playing colonialists? When my plantation owner calls me "monkey face" I just roll on the floor with laughter.

You know, here's the thing. Even if Mr. Dhillon doesn't take offense at the remark — and I take him at his word — the prince ought to know better than to reduce a person to the color of his skin (as opposed to, say, the content of his character). Especially when that individual is one of a few within an exclusive group. When we read about young Prince Harry using slurs and wonder where he gets it from ...

Well, even royal apples don't fall far from their tree.