Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 27 October 2007

"Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy"

Yes, your Royal Highness, but nobody does it with quite the touch of elegance and gentlemanly demeanor as you have consistently done for the past 60 years.

Having long enjoyed a high profile and immensely successful role on the world stage since your marriage to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, we nonetheless understand why you are now taking a conscious decision to step back from public life so as to save yourself from media exposure. We know that the media criticisms (of which there are all too many) cut deep enough personally that you are purposely retreating from the spotlight: "I reckon I have done something right if I don't appear in the media. So I've retreated — quite consciously — so as not to be an embarrassment."

But you are no embarrassment, Prince Philip. Someone who approaches his public duties with such outward grace and dignity all these years, someone who epitomizes the twin virtues of what it means to be a perfect gentleman - gentleness and manliness - cannot possibly contain an ounce of shame. Your blunt sense of humour may have occasionally erred on the manly side, and not the gentle or sensitive side, but let us never forget that it is the modern media and their conduct that is the monumental embarrassment here. As you yourself have pointed out, they have deliberately promoted an anti-establishment attitude. You are certainly correct to blame television and the tabloids for eroding relations between royalty and the media, and for dispensing with basic standards of decency, respect and truth in reporting. They simply have no honour.

We also share your animosity towards Rupert Murdoch. The king of sleazy publishing whose hired tabloid instincts for low level popular culture, for pushing the envelope and pushing it downward, is an exemplar of much that we detest in this modern world. You are right to single this truly loathsome republican degenerate out for particular condemnation. Much of the decline in royal reporting and the way the Royal family are portrayed can be attributed to his business newspaper empire and him personally. As you say, the man's anti-establishment views have "really pulled the plug on an awful lot of things that we hold to be quite reasonable and sensible institutions". As a symbol of the all-powerful media, he is perfectly representative of everything that has gone wrong in society since the 1960s.

It goes without saying that compared with this man and his tabloidish ilk, you are a genuine contemporary hero. Your lifetime record of service and achievement stands up well against their record of disgrace. Any bloody fool can write a foul thingamy, but only a gentleman can lay a wreath.

Highly worthwhile further reading: Happy 85th birthday to our Victor Meldrew in gold braid, by Gerald Warner.

UPDATE: Bollocks! The Duke of Edinburgh in Fine Form via Ian Dale