The feeding frenzy over Prince Harry’s outfit at a fancy dress party, where another guest passed a photgraph to the press. probably for a considerable sum, continues, even in the foreign press. One letter in the Los Angeles Times was so erroneous I could not let it pass. This was my reply:

Subject: Prince Harry and the Abolition of Our Australian Monarchy

Sent: Monday, January 17, 2005 9:35 PM

" Dear Editor,

To suggest the monarchy be abolished because Prince Harry wore fancy dress parodying Rommel’s Africa Corps, as Sandy Goodman does (17 January), displays an ignorance of the fact that alongside military action, one of the powerful weapons against Nazism utilised by that valiant handful of nations that fought Hitler from the very beginning of the Second World War, was humour.

 This is illustrated by the amusing and powerful British wartime film which reset the Nazi Rally at Nuremburg to a popular dance of the time, the Lambeth Walk. As was The Great Dictator with Charles Chaplin.

And by the way, George VI was the beloved King of almost all of those countries that fought Hitler from the beginning of the war to the end.

The writer also does not seem to be aware of the fact that the abolition of the monarchy would cause a major constitutional upheaval in many countries, and that Elizabeth II is also the Queen of Canada, of Australia (where in 1999 a referendum for a republic was lost in every state and 72% of federal electorates), of New Zealand and fifteen other independent countries (the Realms)-apart from the United Kingdom.

In addition she is Head of The Commonwealth, which contains not only the Realms, but also thirty republics and well as six indigenous monarchies.

 So let us keep a sense of proportion about what was no more than a fancy dress party and where Harry’s censorious critics from the commentariat admit he is clearly, with his charitable and other work, anything but a racist.

Yours etc"

 I suspect that this feeding frenzy has almost worked itself out. The young prince , who has barely left school has apologised, and his father is ensuring he understands why Nazi symbols strike horror into the hearts. of people everywhere.

Until next time,

 David Flint