Tuesday, May 31, 2011

OPINION: Prince Philip, Racist Idiot or Oscar Wilde?

I'm still not sure what to think. Take, for instance, this amazing list of 90 gaffes in 90 years. On the one hand, you have:

36. "And what exotic part of the world do you come from?" Asked in 1999 of Tory politician Lord Taylor of Warwick, whose parents are Jamaican. He replied: "Birmingham."

On the other hand, you have this purely brilliant exchange:

49. Philip: "Who are you?"

Simon Kelner: "I'm the editor-in-chief of The Independent, Sir."

Philip: "What are you doing here?"

Kelner: "You invited me."

Philip: "Well, you didn't have to come!"

An exchange at a press reception to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Or this absolute GEM:

34. "If you travel as much as we do you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort – provided you don't travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly." To the Aircraft Research Association in 2002.

I can't tell how much of this is just him saying stupid things because he can't stop himself, and how much is him being really sardonic about what it means to be the Queen's Consort in this day and age. After all, it really has to be the latter to say something like:

50. "No, I would probably end up spitting it out over everybody." Prince Philip declines the offer of some fish from Rick Stein's seafood deli in 2000.

51. "Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy." Discussing his role in an interview with Jeremy Paxman.