Thursday, 11 March 2010


It’s been a while since there was a republican item on this republican blog. So it was with the usual sense of embarrassment that I heard on the “silly bastard” slot on the ITV news today the His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has yet again opened his mouth and put his foot in it.

While visiting sea and army cadets with his wife the Duke asked a female sea cadet what she did as a day job. She replied that she worked in a club. To which he quipped “a strip club”. She replied “no” and he said “well it’s too cold today anyway”. Well there you are, the unelected husband of our unelected head of state, thinks that all women that work in clubs are strippers. Doubtless before going home and preparing the men folk a delicious lunch, changing into a party frock and waiting at the bedroom door.

The Duke does this sort of thing so regularly that it set me to wondering: why? Is he so stupid that he just does not think about what he is going to say before blurting it out? Or is it that he considers himself and presumably the rest of his brood to be above the ordinary norms of decent and polite society? If I had been a person of similar standing and had said something equally offensive would it have all been laughed off in the ‘amusing idiot’ section of the news? Surely not, would the Queen have married a man with so little savoir faire? I really find that hard to believe.

Which lead me to conclude that he is doing it on purpose because he thinks that it endears him to us. Perhaps the people who feel that these royals are such a huge asset to UK plc abroad would like to explain how HRH Duke could be considered an asset when everywhere he goes he manages to offend anybody who is not an English speaking white man?


  1. It's a good question Munguin.

    He's clearly an intelligent man. He modernised the royal family totally when the old king died.

    So it's not that he's stupid.... I imagine he's just insensitive and pompous.

  2. Tbh it's all a storm in a teacup and I suspect if he weren't the Queens hubby he'd just be ignored.

  3. QM, very true, but the fact is it is one storm after another after another and that amounts to one huge tea cup. Also it seems that his offensive and often racist remarks are now being celebrated in the "cat stuck up a tree" slot on the news, with all the presenters laughing at yet another foible. Worst of all is that he is only the husband of an unelected personage and this means that we have to have him piped into our living rooms.

  4. Tris: you forgot racist and sexist as well there. As I said if Alex Salmond had said that where would it be on the ITV news? If he is just a nobody why bother us at all with it? Who cares?

  5. An elderly old man with views ill at ease in a modern world probably showing a bit of dementia.
    says something barking like what old batty people do.

    sounds like me dad before he died........mind he did want to put the royal family up against a wall and shot

  6. I think that might be their problem Munguin. Who cares? Now that the big 'crises' of the 80's and 90's have passed, the royals have become just a background hum. Daft old codger, grumpy auld granny, nice young boys. They've lost the power to shock and awe us.

    So dinnae be sae hard oan the auld man. Ah'm no excusin' his eedjitness, but ye widnae want his life.

    Remember, Monarchy is a prison of the past for Britain, but a prison of the present for the Royal Family.

    Up the Republic!

  7. Niko: as the Royals get the best possible medical care available, I am sure they are not denied dementia drugs as part of a postcode lottery, I really don't think that is an excuse.

    And also Prince Philip has been doing it since time immemorial, so are you saying he had dementia since he was 20?

  8. Hey Sophia, I am pretty much inclined to agree with that, but they can walk away if they want. Remember that the Queen's uncle did when he wanted to marry a divorcee. Now our heir to the throne has done just that but will he be expected to forgo the crown?

    The implication in what you say is that they don't enjoy it, but I don't buy that for a minute. Prince Charles just loves the cringing sycophancy, titles, honours and baubles that come with the inherited job. There was no danger of him walking away, he just got the rules changed so that he could marry Mrs Parker-Bowles.

  9. I find it refreshing that people can speak their mind. Why do so many people find offense in everything? Life is short, have fun with it. The only demographic that don't complain are white, straight males. Everyone else: Get over yourselves.


  10. I'm inclined to agree AJ that we should all try to find less offense in stuff people say.

    I thought, though, that the point in the piece was that Phil the Greek (ouch) I mean, of course, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh could get away with saying what he wanted because he is who he is.

    If I made a reference like that to a member of staff or a client of my organisation, I would undoubtedly be in the ‘soup’, with an official warning and a lecture that it is possible for a woman to work in a club without talking off her clothes, and would I have asked the same question of a man who said he worked in a club.....

    Further, His Royal Highness has a host of people (whom we pay) to tell us how we may behave in his presence; when to bow or stand, how to address him the first time you say something; how to address him thereafter; how mot to speak until you are spoken to; how not to raise any subject yourself, but to allow His Royal Highness to choose the subject.... you’d think by his age he could manage to reciprocate a wee bit....

    Personally, as I say, I agree with you. Everyone should lighten up a bit. Soon we won’t be able to say anything to anyone.... It’s a matter of people having the good taste not to say things that are genuinely offensive, and other people having the common sense not to take offence at the least little thing.

    Fat chance of any of that happening.

  11. AJ are you Scottish? Because the Duke if I remember correctly asked how a driving school kept us Scots sober enough to pass our tests, I am assuming he meant the white male ones as well. In fact the only demographic I can’t remember him insulting are gay ones, but I cannot imagine that is because he likes them.

  12. Tris,

    Agreed Phil the Greek (hahaha) could show a little restraint but I'm pleased he doesn't. I'm unsure as to why its offensive though. The woman in question may be attractive hence the Duke pointing out that she could work in a strip club.

    Disclaimer: I'm sure many unattractive women work in strip clubs and this comment in no way aims to discriminate against them.

    In fact, it's really a compliment, it's the royal way of saying, "Hey, you're fit."

    Seriously though, the original article didn't mention whether the cadet felt offended or if is it just someone else picking up the "politically correct" fight. Munguin maybe?


  13. Munguin,

    Not Scottish, South African. But the Scots do have a reputation for being able to put it away. As do the Australians and the South Africans.

    We all have to come from somewhere and we all grew up under different cultural banners. Instead of ignoring them, why can't we embrace them? I hear most Britons think South Africans are arrogant. I can't think why, we're wonderful.

    The Italians are bad drivers, the French smell of garlic, the Scots don't wear underwear... You can go on and on. You (I hope) and I both know it's a generalisation. Personally I like to figure out where people come from by their quirks and mannerisms and would you believe I'm more often than not right.

    The world is an exciting place and it would suck if we were all the same. Power to the Duke for pointing out our differences.


  14. My first impression was that the flap about this was all a PC ill-considered and inappropriate quip by an old man.....and that we should all lighten up a bit about this sort of thing.

    But Tris has it right. If I were to make such a comment to a coworker, and she chose to lodge a complaint with management, I would be sternly lectured, and enrolled for a corporate course in sensitivity training. I might be fired for a repeat offense. So, I guess the Duke of Edinburgh should really set a higher standard.

    The Queen has clearly decided to put up with Phil's foot-in-mouth disease. Although I read that she was once heard to say "Oh Philip...DO shut up."

  15. AJ:

    I'm not sure whether the woman was annoyed or not, and I'm sure it was the press making something out of nothing.

    However, as I say, we are strictly lectured in advance of meeting one of this family as tyo what we can and cannot say, and how it may be phrased.

    The girl was not really in a situation, as she would be with a "normal" person where she could tell the dirty old geezer in a raincoat to **** off!!

  16. Danny.... LOL @ the corporate course in sensitivity training.... eeeeuuuuchhhhhh...

    I bet poor old Liz has her ears closed when she has to go anywhere with her old man.

    He's very lucky he wasn't around a few hundred years ago. If she had got fed up with him foot and mouth nonsense then she'd just have had the old duffer's head chopped off...

  17. Danny, not just a PC issue as the prince does it again and again and again and we can't get rid of him because he is the husband of an unelected head of state. So that relegates it to the slot at the end of the news where we get the funny/silly item that makes us feel that the world is not that bad after all (or at least we do in this country). Do you really think that womans struggle for votes, equality and so on ought to be treated so?

  18. Munguin, I definitely take your point about Philip being a prominent unelected public official who is a repeat offender in such matters. And there is no question about the validity of gender equality issues involving voting, employment opportunities and remuneration, etc.

    But I also believe that these important and vaild concerns have morphed into the political correctness crusade which caters to the exquisite sensibilities of feminist crusaders which is beyond all bounds. Philip's comment was certainly inappropriate. But many women make an absolute career of being offended about SOMETHING....ANYTHING that a man has said.

  19. Aye Danny... you have a point there... but here it's any so-called minority (although I stress that its a minority of these so called minorities.... if you get my meaning)

  20. Tris...I definitely get your meaning. From a purely mathematical viewpoint, I've never quite understood the feminist "Minority"....which is in fact a slight majority, the last time I checked.

    And I suppose that the situation there is the same as here. One can be the most vigorous advocate of the human rights of women and racial/ethnic minorities, but if you point out the silliness of the political correctness crusade, you are likely to be branded a sexist or a racist.

    "Political correctness" in its various bizarre forms actually trivializes the very real issues that have, and still do, face women and minorities. That said, HRH's comment was offensive in its implied stereotypical view of women. Even a royal.....especially a royal....should be sensitive to that. No elected official, who wants to STAY elected, would have made such a comment.

  21. It is true that you get members from minorities who jump on the PC band wagon by crying wolf as it were and using their minority status as a stick to tub thump with. You know the sort of thing: telling the police that they are harassing people because they are black or gay and not because your stop light is faulty. That is unfortunate, but it is human nature I guess just the same as its human nature for some not to like black people or foreigners because they are not like “us”.

    A royal should be every bit as sensitive as an elected representative, more so because they cannot be got rid of but they want us all to accept their heirs and successors as our rulers from now to time immemorial. George W Bush was a great laugh and I am sure the Democrats and indeed every American had a good belly laugh at his high jinks and amusing repartee but you can hardly say you did not know what you were getting after all the majority of you voted for him twice. And you all knew that he had a finite shelf life and would be gone soon enough. But what if you had to have him for his entire life and then you had to have his daughter after him whether you liked it or not, and you had to put up with his wife, father, mother, brothers etc etc etc as well. Just be thankful that George Whashington was a man of good sense who refused the crown.

  22. Yep Munguin...complete agreement here. The really nice thing about an elected head of state is that he will be leaving at the next election, or at least when his constitutional term expires.

    But strange things happen. Who would have imagined that DubYa could have even been elected once....much less twice? Makes you wonder a bit about democracy.

    And Americans held their collective breaths when he went abroad representing the nation. Just how would he embarrass us THIS time? The low point may have not been something he said, but rather something he did. He attacked Angela Merkel! Well, not attacked exactly. But he gave her an impromptu, and clearly unwelcome shoulder massage. Fortunately, he kept his hands to himself during the Queen's visit. He simply welcomed her to the White House, noting that her last visit had been in 1776.

  23. Well Danny if nothing else he was good for a laugh, at least from this side of the pond, even if he did have us social democrats tearing our hair out when he implemented Dick Cheney's policies.

  24. Danny,

    I agree with you totally, and the royals have a particular duty, given, as we agree, that they are here for life.

    It's a shame that a small minority of the so-called minorities feel the need to use their minority status to gain personal advantage....