Charles calls Indian polo player ‘Sooty’ | world | Hindustan Times
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Charles calls Indian polo player ‘Sooty’

A wealthy Indian property developer and polo player said he didn’t mind Prince Charles and his family calling him ‘Sooty’ in the second race row in a week involving members of the British royalty, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Jan 14, 2009 23:26 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times

Another racism row, soon after the furore over Prince Harry’s racist remark, hit the Royals when it was revealed that Prince Charles and his two sons called a polo-playing Indian-origin friend Kuldip Dhillon by the nickname Sooty (in reference to his black colour).

Dhillon, 58, a wealthy property developer, plays with the Princes at the Cirencester Polo Club near Charles’s Highgrove estate.

His son Satnam, 31, is a professional polo player who has represented England and also played alongside Charles, William and Harry, and is also a former chairman of the Schools and Universities Polo Association.

A spokesman for Give Racism the Red Card, a charity dedicated to eradicating racism in sport, said: “In our view there’s no friendly banter where racism is concerned. The members of the Royal Family, with all the money that’s been spent on their education, should be aware that calling people ‘Sooty’ is unacceptable.”

But, Dhillon himself averred that the nickname was “a term of affection”.

He said: “I have to say that you know you have arrived when you acquire a nickname. 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.”

First Published: Jan 14, 2009 15:58 IST