The Associated Press received a great deal of pushback on Friday for writing in its obituary of England’s late Prince Phillip that he used “racist” and “sexist” language in decades past.
“He was known for his occasionally racist and sexist remarks — and for gamely fulfilling more than 20,000 royal engagements to boost British interests at home and abroad,” the AP noted in the third paragraph of the obit. “He headed hundreds of charities, founded programs that helped British schoolchildren participate in challenging outdoor adventures, and played a prominent part in raising his four children, including his eldest son, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.”
Meanwhile, the liberal-leaning BBC only referred to Phillip’s sometimes “off-color” remarks and his “politically incorrect” humor in the network’s obituary.
Phillip, 99, Queen Elizabeth’s husband and the Duke of Edinburgh, was known for being brusque and for appearing to be disinterested during Royal affairs, Fox News noted. Nevertheless, the AP’s character assassination was not well received on social media, with many users sharing much better opinions of him.
“Serve your country for nearly a century and fight for the Allies in World War II, and the 3rd paragraph of your AP obit will note, ‘He was known for his occasionally racist and sexist remarks,’” wrote The First TV contributor Tiana Lowe.
Serve your country for nearly a century and fight for the Allies in World War II, and the 3rd paragraph of your AP obit will note, “He was known for his occasionally racist and sexist remarks“ https://t.co/sCabY42GTw
— Tiana Lowe (@TianaTheFirst) April 9, 2021
“Prince Phillip will be mourned as a good man and a friend of Israel and the Jewish people. His mother, Princess Alice, saved a Jewish family from the Nazis in wartime Athens and she is buried in Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mount of Olives. May his memory be blessed,” author Annika H. Rothstein added.
Prince Phillip will be mourned as a good man and a friend of Israel and the Jewish people. His mother, Princess Alice, saved a Jewish family from the Nazis in wartime Athens and she is buried in Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mount of Olives. May his memory be blessed https://t.co/2nsWzgfmOk
— Annika H Rothstein (@truthandfiction) April 9, 2021
Others offered similar praise.
I love this photo! The best one of the Queen & Prince Philip together I think I’ve ever seen. https://t.co/6ecTh8UqSI
— Tom Holland (@holland_tom) April 9, 2021
Prince Philip and the Queen – and their pit pony – when they lived in Ashington in the 1960s. pic.twitter.com/Y8uM1RaaPP
— Dan Jackson (@northumbriana) April 9, 2021
Happiest days of their lives. Often saw them in the Co op.
— Steve (@SteveGoldsmith5) April 9, 2021
For your humour and positivity, your years of military service, for all the young people you inspired and for the dedication to your duty, the whole nation thanks you. https://t.co/aD2KQ3AXri
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) April 9, 2021
Other American media outlets, meanwhile, continued along the AP’s line of attack.
“The intensely private prince will likely be remembered for his early efforts to help modernize the royal family’s image during a time of great change for Britain and the world, especially at the outset of Elizabeth’s reign in 1952,” NBC News reported. “He also developed a reputation for the occasional brusque comment and crass, if not racist jokes.”
The characterizations come weeks after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah Winfrey and claimed that a member of the Royal family asked how “dark” their son Archie would be since Markle is of mixed race.
Shortly thereafter, a Sky News reporter asked Harry’s brother, Prince William, if the family was racist as they both visited School21 in Stratford, east London, to mark its reopening following the COVID pandemic.
“We are very much not a racist family,” William responded.
As for the queen, she frequently referred to Phillip as her “strength and stay.” And upon learning of his passing, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa U.S. Sixth Fleet” offered her condolences while directing “fair winds & following seas” to Phillip, who served for decades in the Royal Navy including during World War II.
Our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen & the whole Royal Family.#PrincePhilip was a Naval Officer in the @RoyalNavy who served with honor during WWII in both the #European & Pacific theaters of the war!
To a fellow Sailor, fair winds & following seas. https://t.co/PXqEWDAJfS
— U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet (@USNavyEurope) April 9, 2021
Reports noted that Phillip had been ill for weeks and was frequently hospitalized. He died Friday at Windsor Castle.
He and then-Princess Elizabeth were married in 1947. He joined the Royal Navy in 1939, going on to weather Germany’s onslaught against England in 1940 and participating in battles at Cape Matapan and Crete, as well as the invasion of Sicily.
Phillip was also present in Tokyo Bay in August 1945 for the surrender of Imperial Japan.
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