26 January 2019

"Philip"

Recently, the spouse of our Head of State was involved in a minor traffic accident. Neither he nor anybody else was seriously hurt. He is 97 years old.

One of our newspapers ... oops ... perhaps I'd better break off here with terminological explanations.

We used to distinguish between 'broadsheet' newspapers and 'tabloids'. The former were reckoned to be more literate than the latter, and their pages were twice the size. However, The Times adopted the tabloid page-size, which confused the lucid antinomies of yesteryear. I think the more proletariate papers are now called 'red-tops' because it is in that colour that they print their names at the tops of their front pages. I think I have heard that the middle-class papers are are sometimes called 'Quality papers'. But I may have got all this wrong. (What I think people should call the Daly Mail is perhaps better left unexpressed.)

Anyway, back to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.

One of the Red Tops had a front page banner headline ordering him to give up driving, and addressing him as "Philip".

I have no particular sentimental rapport with the House of Battenberg. My own historical sympathies incline towards Jacobitism. And thus to the happy cities of Munich and Vaduz.

But the aged gentleman concerned did serve with distinction in the last World War. It seems to me moderately outrageous that some crass journalist or editor, probably some dim, sniggering adolescent, should take the liberty of addressing him with such impertinent familiarity.

I have been similarly outraged in hospitals, hearing silly little bits of junior nurses addressing working class men old enough to be their great grandfathers ... "Come along, Billy, take your pills like a good boy". Men who fought in wars and brought up large families and worked all their lives ...

I was rather glad to see that the Earl of Merioneth promptly acquired a car just like the one he had smashed, and made sure he was seen next day by the journalists, driving it around.

It's the only sort of language these people understand.


11 comments:

Et Expecto said...

Perhaps, Fr Hunwicke, you would like to comment on bishops being called by familiar names. My bishop likes to be referred to Bishop Terry. Of course I would never do that.

Michael Leahy said...

I agree with you. However, in general I find that the concept of 'quality' in newspapers has in recent years become upended. I would believe what little is in a red-top now very much over the liberal fake news of the dying 'quality' newspapers.

The red-tops will always be needed to carry our chips.

Anacharsis said...

Battenberg by adoption, the Duke of Edinburgh is an agnate of the House of Gluecksburg, which itself is a branch of the House of Oldenburg. This means that all future Kings of the United Kingdom who will descend from Prince Philip in the direct male line will also be agnates of the House of Gluecksburg.

In other news, the Count of Paris and Duke of France, Henry VII is dead. He is a descendant of Mary, Queen of Scots, mainly through Elizabeth Charlotte, "Madame Palatine", grand-daughter of Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, and great-grand-daughter of James VI/I.

Bill said...

‘I have no particular sentimental rapport with the House of Battenberg. My own historical sympathies incline towards Jacobitism. And thus to the happy cities of Munich and Vaduz.’ Amen to that. And to this post as a whole.

Woody said...

Is it true that Her Majesty offered to let Prince Philip drive the Prime Minister back to No. 10 Downing Street after their regular meeting?

Tony V said...

He was not only seen driving his spanking new Range Rover, but photographed driving without a seat belt!
But then, do 97 year olds really need to wear seat belts? They've already beaten the odds.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

My sentimentsl rapport is with the House of Plantagenet.

AvB

Banshee said...

I have noticed that seatbelts are not designed for the comfort or easy use of older people.

Mr Grumpy said...

Well, I'm as allergic as anyone to Red Top hysteria, but as a Chestertonian democrat I don't think much of the notion that breaking a lady's wrist constitutes some kind of latter-day droit de seigneur.

Catharine said...

My late mother was an emergency room nurse and I cannot bear to recall the hours without end she worked, trying to patch up the damage caused by drunken drivers, distracted drivers, people of all kinds who had no business getting behind the wheel.
Prince Philip is 97 years old. He could have caused some serious carnage, but fortunately, the lady he hit only sustained a broken wrist.
If there is something funny or humorous about cavalierly causing this kind of damage, I would like to know what it is.
Methinks it's time for Prince Philip to give up driving altogether.
The next person he hits may not be so fortunate.

Mariana said...

Prince Henri, Count of Paris, died on the 21st of January, the same day Louis XVI was beheaded...