Prince Harry felt ‘self-loathing’ after meeting with chief rabbi over Nazi costume

Duke of Sussex expresses admiration for late UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks although the meeting left him feeling intense “self-loathing.” 

By World Israel News Staff

Prince Harry revealed details of a much-reported scandal nearly two decades ago, including his meeting with Britain’s top rabbi.

In January 2005, the then-20-year-old prince was spotted wearing a Nazi uniform – complete with swastika armband – to a costume party.

The young royal came under fire after photographs from the event surfaced, fueling a tabloid frenzy which had already targeted Prince Harry over his recreational drug use and underage drinking.

Days after the infamous party, Prince Harry issued a statement apologizing for his choice of costume.

“I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize.”

Now, in his new book, Spare, the Duke of Sussex revealed details from the aftermath of the scandal, including a meeting with then-Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, which left the young prince both inspired and deeply humbled.

“Pa sent me to a holy man. 51. Bearded, bespectacled, with a deeply lined face and dark, wise eyes, he was Chief Rabbi of Britain, that much I’d been told.”

“But right away I could see he was much more. An eminent scholar, a religious philosopher, a prolific writer with more than two dozen books to his name, he’d spent many of his days staring out of windows and thinking about the root causes of sorrow, of evil, of hate.”

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“He didn’t mince words. He condemned my actions. He wasn’t unkind, but it had to be done.,” the prince wrote.

“There was no way round it. He also placed my stupidity in historical context. He spoke about the six million, the annihilated. Jews, Poles, dissenters, intellectuals, homosexuals. Children, babies, old people, turned to ash and smoke. A few short decades ago.”

Despite the shame he felt during and after the meeting, Prince Harry wrote that he developed a sense of admiration for the rabbi.

“I’d arrived at his house feeling shame. I now felt something else, a bottomless self-loathing.”

“But that wasn’t the rabbi’s aim,” he added. “That certainly wasn’t how he wanted me to leave him. He urged me not to be devastated by my mistake, but instead to be motivated. He spoke to me with the quality one often encounters in truly wise people–forgiveness.

“He assured me that people do stupid things, say stupid things, but it doesn’t need to be their intrinsic nature. I was showing my true nature, he said, by seeking to atone.

“Seeking absolution. To the extent that he was able, and qualified, he absolved me. He gave me grace. He told me to lift my head, go forth, use this experience to make the world better.”

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Prince Harry also claimed that his brother, Prince William, and William’s then-girlfriend Kate Middleton suggested he wear the Nazi uniform to the party.