Socialist Worker

Queen mourns as another racist bites the dust

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2750

Prince Philip (pictured on the right) died on Friday

Prince Philip (pictured on the right) died on Friday (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Prince Philip looked like the living dead whenever he left hospital during recent health scares. On Friday, he was just dead.

The racist royal finally snuffed it after 99 years of privilege, triggering “Operation Forth Bridge”, the British government’s plans for the funeral. In line with his wishes for “minimal fuss”, there will only be eight days of official mourning for the queen’s husband.

The mainstream media loved Philip for his “famous quips”, “wit” and “gaffes”, with the BBC once saying he had an “outspoken nature”.

This amounted to a slew of racist and sexist bilge.

On a state visit to China in 1986, Philip told a group of British students from Xi'an's North West University, “If you stay here much longer, you'll go slit-eyed.”

At a Buckingham Palace reception of 400 influential British Indians, he told chef Atul Patel, “There’s a lot of your family in tonight.”

But insulting people from Britain’s former empire was a pastime for Philip. He said to a group of Aboriginals on a visit to Australia in 2002, “Do you still throw spears at each other?”

And told the Nigeria president, who was dressed in traditional robes, “You look like you're ready for bed.”

He even asked Tory peer, Baron Taylor of Warwick, “What exotic part of the world do you come from?” The black then MP replied, “Birmingham.”

Alongside racism, Philip was a notorious sexist.

He told a woman, who was wearing a dress with a zip running down the front, “I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress.”

He asked fashion writer Serena French at a World Wildlife Fund gathering in 1993, “You’re not wearing mink knickers, are you?” He also asked a female Sea Cadet, who said she worked in a nightclub, whether it was a strip club.

Labelled 

And Philip labelled MPs with name badges reading “Ms” at Bucking Palace the “feminist corner”.

Philip’s racism, sexism and contempt for ordinary people reflected the prejudices of his class.

He was born into royalty in June 1921 in Corfu. His father was a prince of both the Greek and Danish royal families while his mother belonged to the royal family of Hesse, in Germany.

The Greek royal family was deposed, and exiled in 1924, after fighting a losing war against Turkey. After fleeing Greece when he was a baby, he was educated at public schools in France, Germany and Britain.

All four of his elder sisters married aristocratic Nazis in the 1930s—and one name her son Adolf.

Philip married Queen Elizabeth II in 1947 and was the longest-reigning consort.

Why do the royals still reign?
Why do the royals still reign?
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From the 1960s, he was part of attempts to “modernise” the royal family to make them seem less distant from society. This was in order to keep their legitimacy and entrench their wealth and privilege.

But Philip’s and the royal family’s hypocrisy shone through.

During an economic squeeze in 1969, Philip whinged on US television that he may have to give up polo.

In 1981 during the recession, he said, “A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone’s working too much. Now that everybody’s got more leisure time they are complaining they are unemployed.”

On Friday Tory prime minister Boris Johnson said we are a “kingdom united” in “gratitude for his decades of selfless serving to the country.”

And ever the patriot, Labour leader Keir Starmer, said, “The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip. For more than seven decades, he has been at the Queen’s side.

“It was a partnership that inspired millions in Britain and beyond.”

All we’ve has lost is a royal waste of space who sponged off working class people. It’s about time we got rid of the rest.


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