A political and media feeding frenzy is brewing over the News of the World's scoop of an army video of Prince Harry using racist language.
Clearly, his stupid comments will embarrass to Harry, the Army and the Royal Family.
The Prince has apologised, though suggesting that 'our little Paki friend' was being used affectionately as a nickname. (The use of "f--- me, you look like a raghead" could well be thought worse). It should be little consolation that 'Yeah, God Save You' in his mock phone call to the Queen was not a bad joke.
Watch it at the News of the World site to make up your own mind.
The Observer quotes a Ministry of Defence spokesman saying: "This sort of language is not acceptable in a modern army."
I think the watchword for the Army should be to be clear they will treat this exactly as they would that of any other soldier, for example if something similar ended up on Facebook rather than a best-selling newspaper. Harry's Royal status and high profile ought not to be the cause of either a more punitive or more lenient approach.
If that were done, perhaps everybody else could calm down just a little.
I agree with Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome who criticises Patrick Mercer's reported comment in the NOTW that the Prince's comments are "unforgivable".
Perhaps Mercer, who lost a frontbench role over somewhat similar comments, is just trying to say that he does not think Harry should remain in the army.
But, if this is 'unforgivable', then I struggle to see what meaning the word 'forgivable' can retain.