Royal watch­ers de­fend Charles over his ‘ racist’ gaffe

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - WORLD -

PRINCE Charles has been la­belled the “Duke of Ed­in­burgh 2.0” after be­ing ac­cused of mak­ing a racist gaffe.

A writer of Guyanese de­scent, who was born in Manch­ester, claimed he told her: “Well, you don’t look like it!” Au­thor Anita Sethi, who was in­tro­duced to the royal at a Com­mon­wealth Peo­ple’s Fo­rum on Tues­day, said she was “stunned” by the re­mark and claimed it proved the prince was not wor­thy of be­ing king or head of the Com­mon­wealth.

There was no re­sponse from Clarence House, which has a pol­icy of not com­ment­ing on what it classes as “pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions”. How­ever, Colleen Har­ris, a for­mer press sec­re­tary to the prince and the first black mem­ber of the Royal House­hold, said Charles was “fully aware of mod­ern Bri­tain and its make-up”.

Vet­eran royal cor­re­spon­dent Robert Hard­man said: “I can only say that the Sethi ver­sion of events bears no re­la­tion to the man I have seen in these situa- tions over more than 25 years. The prince has al­ways seen it as his role to act as a bridge be­tween races and cul­tures, and has done so for longer than per­haps any politi­cian or ‘com­mu­nity leader’ in Bri­tain.

“I fol­lowed him to the Caribbean in 2000. We ended up in Guyana, the coun­try where mem­bers of Miss Sethi’s fam­ily were once in­den­tured work­ers. There were many en­gage­ments in the cap­i­tal, Ge­orge­town.

“(He) met the most de­prived mem­bers of so­ci­ety and went to see a lo­cal ver­sion of his Youth Busi­ness Trust. No gaffes. Ditto in South Africa, Le­sotho, Ja­maica, Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore and Trinidad. He is man­i­festly suited to step in to the Queen’s shoes.”

Prince Charles.

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