Royal Family in Another Flap Over Nickname

Princes call Indian friend 'Sooty,' deny charges of racism
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2009 9:16 PM CST
Britain's Prince Charles smiles while visiting east London on his 60th birthday, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Another mini-scandal is brewing over a royal nickname. It seems that Prince Charles and his two sons call an Indian member of their polo club by the moniker of "Sooty," an apparent reference to his dark skin. The object of the nickname, however, says he takes no offense, the Telegraph reports. "The Prince of Wales is a man of zero prejudice and both his sons have always been most respectful."

Other members of the club also refer to him by the nickname: "I enjoy being called Sooty by my friends, who I am sure universally use the name as a term of affection with no offense meant of felt." A statement from the royal family dismisses the controversy. "To suggest that the princes are racist is ridiculous." Harry had to apologize over the weekend for using a derogatory term ("Paki") to refer to a member of his military outfit.