Age has not diminished nor custom staled his infinite variety to put his foot in his mouth, to mangle Shakespeare’s Cleopatra. Yes, we are talking of Prince Philip whose ability to say it like it is comes as a breath of fresh air in these ennui-inducing politically correct days. The latest? When a sea cadet said that she worked as a barmaid in a nightclub, old Phil asked her if it was a strip club. When the poor girl said it was not, he said that it was a bit too cold anyway.
Unlike the other boring royals, his eldest son, the not too Bonnie Prince Charlie being one, Prince Philip does not shy away from racial, ethnic or even personal slurs. From asking Australian aborigines whether they were still throwing spears, to telling a little boy that his dream of flying in a spacecraft would not take off since he was too fat, the Prince has clearly missed his calling as the royal Art Buchwald of our times. When he called the Chinese slitty-eyed, we were amused. But when he said that a wonky fuse box must have been made by an Indian, we erupted in a pillar of flame. Did the royal think that we were still under the yoke of the British, we thundered.
But let’s face it, while Diana brought a welcome glamour to the dowdy House of Windsor, the Prince has provided the entertainment quotient. If the British taxpayers are shelling out so many shekels for the royals, they are entitled a few laughs at the all too common failings of the Queen’s bunch. This penchant to speak his mind must be due to years of having to say all the right things six steps behind his stately spouse. While we may be rolling in the aisles at the Prince saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, many who have put royalty on a pedestal may express the sentiment God save the Queen.