Monday, December 08, 2003

Phil the Greek Strikes Again

Prince Philip Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, husband to dear old Queen Elizabeth II, is renowned for his uncanny ability to think of just the wrongest possible thing to say in the course of carrying his official duties, and it appears that he's just done it again.

PRINCE PHILIP made another incredible gaffe yesterday by insulting his hosts during a state visit to Africa.

The Royal consort dropped the clanger just hours before he was due to fly home after a four-day tour of Nigeria.

At a ceremony to celebrate the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in Abuja he was asked by an Australian reporter what he thought of his African visit.

Bungling Philip said after a long pause: "I will pass on that, if you don't mind."

The remark was seen as a snub to his Nigerian hosts, who were staging the event for the first time.

And it overshadowed the Queen's efforts to retain Britain's strong ties with the Commonwealth, made up mainly of former UK colonies.

Philip's refusal to praise his African hosts was in sharp contrast to her diplomatic performance.


A British Council source in Nigeria added: "This kind of thing could set Commonwealth relations back 20 years.

"All he simply had to say was that he had enjoyed his stay in what is an amazing country."

I'm not a republican, partly because of a Burkean conservative streak I have (why mess with something that isn't broken?), and partly because I recognize the allure the British royal family holds as a source of touristic interest, but I must say that the house of Windsor has more than its' fair share of pompous idiots. In fact, other than Queen Elizabeth herself, I can think of hardly a single member of the royal house that isn't in some way a pitiful excuse for a human being. The best thing the whole lot could do would be to emulate the Japanese imperial house, by keeping as low a profile as they can get away with.