By Helena Hanson
Last week, the Queen called her staff from across Britain to an unscheduled, highly unusual meeting at Buckingham Palace. A meeting, which led a number of publications, namely The Sun, to assume that there is no other explanation for the assemblage apart from that Prince Philip must be dead.
As such meetings are fairly uncommon, the supposition that it concerned the ill health of Philip, or the Queen, was expected. But, as everybody knows, the Queen, like Mary Berry, does not age, wrinkle or die, it was assumed that it must be Philip, and he must be dead.
Unscheduled meeting? Philip is dead! Quiet news day? Philip is dead! Lizzie looking unusually chipper? Philip must be dead!
As hundreds of people crossed their fingers and hoped that finally that racist, sexist, 300-year-old arsehole was dead, and as The Sun interns hoped and prayed that their hunch was true to avoid being sent to the chokey in the morning, I was on my knees asking Jesus to spare Philip’s withered soul. The world is not yet tired of his one liners, I pleaded, poor Philip has not yet been appreciated in all his marvellousness.
By the grace of God alone, the palace has since confirmed that the Queen is definitely not dead, and fortunately for all of us, and for the future of mankind, neither is Philip.
Instead, they have simply announced that Prince Philip will retire from royal duties in autumn, which, incase you haven’t yet mourned, is a monstrous shame for all of us.
I mean, Prince Philip is awful. Not Charles-awful (we know you orchestrated it, Charles) but still pretty damn bad. But he’s also kind of brilliant.
Yes, he’s racist, but you know, not bad racist. Nice and traditional racism; just like in the good old days.
He’s like your racist uncle at Christmas, but instead of driving a 2001 Renault Megane and working in Ryman’s, he’s sort of really rich and quite important. Fortunately, nobody’s actually listening to him.
He once said; “I would like to go to Russia very much, although the bastards murdered half my family,” and also noted that “The Philippines must be half empty, because you’re all here running the NHS.” If that wasn’t enough, he also once told the President of Nigeria (who was dressed in traditional robes) “you look like you’re ready for bed!”
He’s also sexist, but in that so-is-grandad-but-we-let-him-off, kind of way. He once asked a group of women at the Chadwell Heath Asian Women’s Network “who do you sponge off? and said to Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Conservative leader, when welcoming Benedict XVI to Edinburgh in 2010, “that’s a nice tie … do you have any knickers in that material?”
You’re smiling now aren’t you? Because, somehow, it is hilarious and brilliant. He’s simply a product of his time, but they are seldom seen. Rare creatures of historical interest that we never see because usually they, you know, die before this stage. He’s pretty standard of old men though- racist, offended by almost everything and really, really upset when TV listings change unexpectedly and when teenagers work in the corner shop. He also once wrote a children’s book about an old man living in a cave and eating underwater haggis and says really posh words like “lordy!” and “tiffin” and “ghastly”.
We’ve got to have a little sympathy for Phil, he’s caught in the crossfire of being an incredibly important, and an incredibly useless man. Too old to ever realistically have a meaningful reign, too young to be excused from flower shows and awards ceremonies, too rich to die, he’s lingering in purgatory.
A man who asked Tom Jones “what do you gargle with? Pebbles?” and who asked a 60-year old disabled man in a wheelchair “how many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?” A man who literally does not give a shit about anything.
Thank you, Philip, for being the physical embodiment of the middle finger, and for being so old, rich and repulsive that you get away with it. Thank you for always saying literally, whatever the fuck you want.
Thank you for slowly but surely, single hardly running the royal family into the ground.
Long live the prince!