Sunday, May 6, 2007

HRH Prince Philip, the Puncturer of Protocol

I've said many times that I have a dirty little secret, very lowbrow and unacademic: I follow the British Royal family religiously, or almost. Anything royal in the newspapers or bookstores, I'm there--except, of course, for Princess Diana the Ditz. I have absolutely no interest in her.

It goes without saying that I would treasure an invitation to lunch or dinner or--best of all--a weekend at Windsor or Balmoral with the Queen. But it might be even more interesting to spend some with the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, because he seems to believe that his duty is to unstuff any stuffy, protocol-bound occasion. Here's a sampling of the Prince's work:

Chatting with a blind woman outside Exeter Cathedral in England, the Prince joked, "Do you know they now do eating dogs for the anorexic?"

On a visit with aborigines in New Zealand, HRH asked them if they still threw spears at one another.

Inspecting a DMV office in Scotland, Philip asked one examiner, "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them past the test?!"

I don't know what it is about bad boys, crazy uncles, let-er-rip oldsters and damn-the-torpedoes professional outrages, but I'm drawn to them. I'll be scouring the papers for news of HRH's antics at the state dinner President Bush is giving for the royals early this week in Washington. Maybe the Prince has a tablecloth trick or two up his sleeve? We can only hope.


german said...

i use to speak like that but then i never have attained much rank in life. maybe that is the reason or maybe he can just get away with it i am not sure

buckarooskidoo said...

i think it's the only way he has any identity, except as the guy who has to walk two paces behind his wife. as i understand it, philip gave up a successful career in the military to marry the future queen, and he really has no function save accompanying her to events as prince-consort. i guess it's better to be a gadfly than just a cypher.

Anonymous said...

I admit to being a long-term Anglophobe. But I did watch The Queen recently, and... well I'm still an Anglophobe. But I did enjoy the movie, although I did from time to time sympathize a bit more with Blair's wife's view of the royal family ;).

It was interesting having Queenie here for a bit. People who got to be in her presence were quite excited about it, even those whose wives or friends had the honor were bragging about it.

And each time I would smile and nod and then gently remind them that we kicked the brits out in the 18th century :).