Prince Philip’s death: Condolences for royal laced with stories of racist, offensive comments over the years

Elisabetta Bianchini
·4 min read

Early on Friday morning news broke that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died at the age of 99. Following the announcement, Canada's prime minister released a statement early in the day on Friday.

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"A man of great service to others – first as a decorated naval officer and later as a dedicated leader in the areas of community engagement and philanthropy – the Duke always sought out the best in people and challenged them to strive for greater heights," a statement from the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reads.

Other Canadian leaders also took to social media to comment on his passing.

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Gaffes and racist comments cloud legacy

While many people around the world shared their condolences to the royal family, several also highlighted Prince Philip's past racist, sexist, discriminatory comments. In many circumstances, his comments have simply been reported as "gaffes" throughout his life.

Over the years, he's made off-colour remarks that have left royal watchers baffled. In 1986 during a royal visitt to China, he described Beijing as 'ghastly' and suggested British students staying in the country would make them 'slitty-eyed'.

Prince Philip also once told the President of Nigeria, who was dressed in a traditional outfit, that he looked "ready for bed." Back in 1965 he was accused of comparing Ethiopian art to "the kind of thing my daughter would bring back from school art lessons.”

Racism in the royal family was most recently brought forward in public discourse following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

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