Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Prince Charles no bigot, says pal he calls ‘Sooty’

The Prince of Wales was described as a man of “zero prejudice” by the Asian friend he calls Sooty.

Kolin Dhillon said the nickname used by Charles and other players at the Cirencester polo club where they are members was “a term of affection”.

Charles has been branded “out of touch” for using the nickname, which refers to Mr Dhillon’s skin colour, but the Prince’s friend insisted he was not offended by it.

Mr Dhillon attempted to play down the criticism Charles received after it was revealed the heir to the throne had been calling him by the nickname for years.

He said in a short statement: “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 Prince of Wales is a man of zero prejudice and both his sons have always been most respectful.”

Mr Dhillon, who is originally from the Punjab and emigrated to Britain in 1955, is a longstanding member of his polo club. Over the years he would have become clubmates with Charles, 60, whose Highgrove home in Gloucestershire is near to the club.

The race row comes a few days after Harry was condemned for calling a former Army colleague “Paki”.

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