Consorting with royalty
So, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Member of the Order of Merit, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Knight of the Order of Australia, Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, Extra Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu, Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada, Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Lord of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Privy Councillor of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom …
… has died at the age of 99.
I’m not a monarchist, but I did once meet him in the line of duty when I staffed a display stand about the scientific fish stock assessments of North Sea demersal gadoids (ie, cod, haddock and whiting). My first reaction was how small he was; très petit.
The display boards were mounted on the old Fisheries Research Vessel Clupea that was berthed in Aberdeen harbour for the occasion. Our comms person of the time had decided it would be a good idea if the Clupea could be filmed by the TV news media whilst on the move, so we did a partial tour of the harbour whilst I tried to explain to HRH, in as few words as possible, what was meant by “when we’ve caught them all, we know how many there were”.
HRH wasn’t at all interested in such plebian fish and simply commented with a pithy “I prefer salmon”. Perhaps I should have replied with “and I prefer republics!”.
Here’s the limerick:
There once was a monarchist clique
That maintained a royalist mystique
But it’s all come to nought
For our Queen’s prince consort
‘Cos it’s ‘αντιο σας, Phil the Greek’
(from Dr Google, αντιο σας [antio sas] is Greek for ‘goodbye’)