Prince Harry: I was a bigot before I met Meghan - 'Incredibly naive'

Prince Harry says he was
Prince Harry says he was "bigoted" before he met Meghan Markle

Prince Harry claims he was “bigoted” and "naive" before meeting Meghan Markle

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In an interview with US broadcaster CBS, Prince Harry said he was “bigoted” and “naive” about how Meghan’s ethnicity would affect media coverage of their relationship.

His claims once again draw up the sensitive subject of race within the Royal Family after he expressed regret over calling a South Asian cadet a racist slur while at Sandhurst.

Spare was leaked ahead of its official release date on January 10 when some copies went on sale early in Spain.

During an interview before the release of his book, Harry said: "I went into this incredibly naive. I had no idea the British press were so bigoted. Hell, I was probably bigoted before the relationship with Meghan."

Interviewer Anderson Cooper asked: "You think you were bigoted before the relationship with Meghan?"

Royal Family: Prince Harry's book was leaked when it went on sale early in Spain
Royal Family: Prince Harry's book was leaked when it went on sale early in Spain

To which Harry replied: "I don't know. Put it this way, I didn't see what I now see."

In his book Prince Harry also claims that a racist slur was used by “lots of people” when he was growing up.

While discussing an incident from 2009 when footage emerged of him calling fellow Sandhurst cadet Ahmed Raza Khan "my little [P-word] friend", he said: "I didn't know [it] was an insult.”

"When I was little, I'd heard lots of people use that word and had never seen anyone scowl or seem upset, and I'd never considered those people [using the word] to be racists," he said.

"I was 21, I'd grown up isolated from the real world and surrounded by privileges, and I believed that word was like saying 'Yankee'. Innocuous."

Harry said his father’s office released a statement on his behalf, but he wanted to make his own statement, which staff advised against.

He wrote: "In any case, Ahmed was the person who mattered. I contacted him directly and asked for his forgiveness.

“He said he knew I wasn't a racist, that it was alright. But it wasn't alright. And his forgiveness, his natural deference, only made me feel worse."

Another infamous incident from 2005 is recounted in the book when Prince Harry was 21 and wore a Nazi uniform to a "Natives and Colonials" themed party.

Footage emerged of Prince Harry calling Sandhurst cadet Ahmed Raza Khan a racist slur
Footage emerged of Prince Harry calling Sandhurst cadet Ahmed Raza Khan a racist slur

He claims that his brother Prince William and Kate had encouraged him to wear the costume.

He said: "I tried it on. Willy and Kate started roaring with laughter."

Last month, racism was also one of the key issues of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary.

Harry said there was a was "unconscious bias" in the family; the royal institution in general was linked to Britain's history of slavery and violent imperial conquest.

The Royal Family have declined to comment.