King’s College London forced to apologise after staff outrage over Prince Philip email

·2-min read
<p>Prince Philip</p> (Getty Images)

Prince Philip

(Getty Images)

King’s College London has been forced to apologise after an email bulletin featuring a picture of Prince Philip upset staff.

Following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, employees were sent an email which showed a picture of Philip opening university’s Maughan Library with the Queen in 2002.

The duke had been a governor of the university since 1955.

However despite the seemingly innocuous content, staff reacted with fury because of the duke’s “historical racism”.

Associate director Joleen Clarke issued an apology after receiving a number of complaints.

She told staff: “The picture was included as a historical reference point following his death.

“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.”

The original email was sent following the duke’s death, aged 99, last month with the caption: “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.”

But complaints were made by the university’s Anti-Racism Community of Practice, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Before his death, Prince Philip had drawn criticism for making racially insensitive comments.

In 1986, while on a visit to China, he told British students: “If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed”.

In the same year, he commented: “If it has four legs and is not a chair, has wings and is not an airplane, or swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”

Two years later, he asked a student in Papua New Guinea: “You managed not to get eaten then?”

The duke also had a reputation for his outdated views on women.

He once asked a Kenyan woman, in 1984, when she gave him a gift: “You are a woman, aren't you?”

On other occasions, he commented “I don't think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing.”

He also asked a woman who worked at a nightclub: “Is it a strip club?”

King’s College London commented: “As we previously highlighted in an official university statement, Prince Philip had a long and valued association with King’s.

“We valued immensely, and remain very proud, of his friendship and support for King’s.”

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