Left-wing faculty members at King’s College in London are up in arms after the school sent out a photo of Prince Philip following his death in April.
In 2002, Philip visited the university to celebrate the opening of the Maughan Library, and after his death, the school issued a photo of the event to staff members to memorialize him.
“As the nation marks the death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, we thought you might like to see this photo of the Duke at the official opening of the Maughan Library in 2002, which some colleagues will remember,” the caption read.
This angered staff members who decried Philip as “racist” and “sexist” for comments he had made in the distant past.
For instance, in 1986, he referred to “slitty eyes” during a trip to China, and in 1961, he said “British women can’t cook.”
In 1984, he asked a Kenyan woman, when she gave him a gift: “You are a woman, aren’t you?”
On another occasion, he said, “I don’t think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing.”
According to the Daily Mail, the primary objection to the Philip photo came from Vanessa Farrier, the school’s head of partnership and liaison, who was hired last June to “decolonize” the library’s collection following Black Lives Matter protests.
Joleen Clarke, the associate director at King’s College libraries, issued an apology for the “harm” caused by including the photo in her email.
“The picture was included as a historical reference point following his death,” Clarke wrote in her apology. “The inclusion of the picture was not intended to commemorate him.”
“Through feedback and subsequent conversations, we have come to realise the harm that this caused members of our community, because of his history of racist and sexist comments. We are sorry to have caused this harm,” she added.
But royal expert Hugo Vickers told the Daily Mail that King’s College has it all wrong.
“Prince Philip and the Queen have spent their whole lives in service helping the Commonwealth,” said Vickers.
“He may have said things at certain times to get a rise out of people, but he was the least racist person. In fact, he was very engaged in questions of equality and multi-racial societies going back to the 1950s.
I don’t think these people at King’s College know what they are talking about, frankly.”
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