prince philip Prince Philip. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Duke of Edinburgh is an insufferable bigot who represents the acceptable face of racism

Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip’s imminent retirement from public engagements. But before the wall-to-wall coverage of media fawning begins and we all get bleary-eyed, it is worth considering the undeniable fact that the man who has represented Queen and Country on public engagements around the world for more than half a century, is in reality no more than an insufferable bigot.

Deference to the antiquated institution of the Royal Family has allowed HRH to avoid legitimate scrutiny. His racist and insulting comments all too often are passed off by the media as mere ‘gaffes.’

Even the odious Katie Hopkins is called out on her racist comments, recently invoking the wrath of social media users resulting in a petition for her dismissal from LBC following a tweet suggesting that if black lives mattered they would stop shooting each other.

On a 1986 state visit to China the Duke of Edinburgh quipped to some British students, “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.” His shocking racism and lack of diplomacy does not make him a national treasure but a national embarrassment.

A long and comprehensive back catalogue of bigoted, racist and deeply offensive comments the Duke has made over the years, for which he has never been held accountable nor made to apologise, make Donald Trump look like a legitimate statesman.

Prince Philip and the Royal Family as an institution legitimises vast unearned wealth and privilege by virtue of a simple lottery of birth over ability and hard work, and normalises inequality.

But a life of privilege surrounded by servants and ‘subjects’ has done nothing to temper the Duke’s snooty manner in his old age. Only last year he asked a group of women at a Dagenham community centre ‘Who do you sponge off?’ Pretty audacious for one of the biggest spongers in Britain.

No, the Duke of Edinburgh is not a ‘national treasure with a penchant for plain speaking’, he is a spoiled, insufferable bigot who by virtue of his position represents the acceptable face of normalised racism.

Kara Bryan

Kara Bryan is a writer and activist and regular contributor to the Counterfire website. She is a member of Counterfire and Stop the War