Harry Makes First Gaffe Within Minutes of Touchdown

Harry just got off to a bad start with the waiting press corps at Belize airport.

03.02.12 11:16 PM ET

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 15:  Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leaves a multi-faith reception at Lambeth Palace on February 15, 2012 in London, England. The event features leaders from the Christian, the Baha'i, the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian communities.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)


BELIZE CITY, BELIZE - MARCH 02:  Prince Harry arrives at Philip Goldson International Airport on March 2, 2012 in Belize City, Belize. The Prince is visiting Belize as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour where he will be visiting Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil as a representative of Queen Elizabeth II. Belize is a Commonwealth realm with a population of around 350,000 and boasts the second longest barrier reef in the world. With much of the country covered in tropical jungle and a diversity of wildlife, Belize relies heavily on tourism. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Spot the difference?

Even by his grandfather’s standards, making your first gaffe within five minutes of touching down on foreign soil is good going.

But that’s exactly what Prince Harry has just done. As he walked past the press who were waiting at Belize airport—the majority of them having clocked up vast amounts of airmiles at huge expense to get there to cover his trip—Harry turned to the Governor General of Belize and said, ‘They’re not with me.’

The incident was eerily reminiscent of the moment when Harry’s father, Prince Charles, muttered under his breath, but within earshot of a microphone, about the BBC royal reporter Nicholas Witchell, ‘These bloody people. I can’t bear that man. I mean, he is so awful, he really is.’

Harry’s remark (unlike Charles’s) may have been made with a jocular intention and a wry smile, but it’s still a damn stupid thing to say, and immediately raises the question of whether or not Harry really has the maturity to be representing Queen and country overseas.

Harry may not be picking a fight with the press, but patronising and belittling men and women who buy ink by the barrel can be equally inadvisable.