Prince Charles affectionately calls Indian polo player Dhillon 'Sooty'

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London, January 14 (ANI): Indian polo player Kolin Dhillon has revealed that friend Prince Charles is a man of 'zero prejudice' and had "affectionately" nicknamed him Sooty.

Dhillon's statement comes after the Royal family came under the scanner in a new race row, with Prince Harry facing probe by Army officials for calling a fellow Asian comrade "Paki" in a 2006 home video.

While the young royal soldier, through Clarence House, apologised for his comments, saying he was "extremely sorry", the incident has evoked serious response from Muslim groups, top politicians, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and anti-racist campaigners.

According to a source, Charles has been referring his Asian friend with the appellation, referring to his skin colour, for years whenever both the members, along with Princes William and Harry, meet at Cirencester Polo club.

However, Dhillon said that the moniker used by the senior royal and other players was a without prejudice.

"I enjoy being called Sooty by my friends who I am sure universally use the name as a term of affection with no offence meant or felt," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"The Prince of Wales is a man of zero prejudice and both his sons have always been most respectful," he added.

But Graham Smith, campaign manager for the organisation Republic, said: "I think it goes to show the royal family are not a symbol of unity, it's not something we can rally around, they're quite divisive.

"People are saying they are not racist but on the evidence in the public domain I think that's to the contrary.

Clarence House later issued a statement that said: "We are not going to comment about a nickname which allegedly is used in a particular club.

"To imply the Princes are racist is ridiculous. Through their charity work all three of them are committed to helping people both in the UK and abroad regardless of who they are." (ANI)

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