In the magnificent Candide, Voltaire said something about Admirals in Britain…
In this country it is a good thing to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.
The Queen has formally presented the Duke of Edinburgh with the title and office of Lord High Admiral of the Navy to mark his 90th birthday.
The post – the titular head of the Royal Navy – dates back to the 14th Century.
Prince Philip gave up a promising career on the seas to devote his life to royal duty. He had already reached the rank of commander before stepping down from his active role in 1951 as the health of his father-in-law George VI deteriorated.
Some believe he could have been First Sea Lord – the professional head of the Royal Navy – and the Queen’s birthday gift could be seen as an acknowledgement of the sacrifices the Duke has made for his wife
As you can see, the article says that one of the reasons he gave the navy up was to devote his life to his royal duties.
Let’s see, in the light of the meritocratic, inclusive and free society that this appointment speaks loud of, how well he has occasionally done on some of those duties. This is by no means a full list. These are selected ones from here…
- To female sea cadet last year: “Do you work in a strip club?”
- To President of Nigeria, who was in national dress, 2003: “You look like you’re ready for bed!”
- To a British trekker in Papua New Guinea, 1998: “You managed not to get eaten then?”
- Peering at a fuse box in a Scottish factory, he said: “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.” He later backtracked: “I meant to say cowboys.”
- To Lockerbie residents after plane bombing, 1993: “People say after a fire it’s water damage that’s the worst. We’re still drying out Windsor Castle.”
- To a woman solicitor, 1987: “I thought it was against the law for a woman to solicit.”
- To the Aircraft Research Association in 2002: “If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort – provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”
- To then Paraguay dictator General Stroessner: “It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”
- To Susan Edwards and her guide dog in 2002: “They have eating dogs for the anorexic now.”
- To black politician Lord Taylor of Warwick, 1999: “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?”
- “People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.” 2000.
- On being made Chancellor of Edinburgh University in 1953: “Only a Scotsman can really survive a Scottish education.”
- To a British student in China, 1986: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll go home with slitty eyes”