I heard a condescending French Canadian admit on the Wireless that he had once complimented Prince Philip on how well ... for an Englishman ... he spoke French.
In the sweetest and most richly deserved put-down one can possibly imagine, the Prince replied "I'm not an Englishman and I was speaking French before you were born".
I wonder what the Canadian-French is for Pipsqueak. What in Latin? Parviloquax? What might Aristophanes have coined? At least something twice as long as mikropompsologos. For that matter, does anybody know what the Court Language was in the House of Gluecksburg? (Or -borg.)
I am not a 'Royal Watcher', but I think HRH's response is the most splendid bon mot to emerge from the great blether of fatuous verbiage which is floating around like 'untreated' sewage in our dreadful Meejah as unmemorable people compete to think of appropriate platitudes for a man they did not like and who most certainly did not like them.
His death really is the end of an era; of an age when a member of a royal or aristocratic family could be stateless ... a Greek prince without a drop of Greek blood, negotiating border controls with a Danish passport in his school holidays; whose address was No Fixed Abode; whose sisters married Germans and who was addressed as Uncle by the King's Majesty of Spain..
I am reminded of Waugh's Dr Antonic:
"'I have seven children ... all without nationality. If we are sent back to my unhappy country they would hang us all without doubt.'
"'I am a Croat, born under the Habsburg Empire. That was a true League of Nations. As a young man I studied in Zagreb, Budapest, Prague, Vienna -- one was free, one moved where one would; one was a citizen of Europe. Then we were liberated and put under the Serbs. Now we are liberated again and put under the Russians. And always more police, more prisons, more hanging ...'"
Damn the Modern Nation State. And damn the lies of the tricksters who primed little old ladies to repeat like parrots "We want our country back".
"One was free, one moved where one would, one was a citizen of Europe".
"I'm not an Englishman."
May God rest his soul and give him a place in the Byzantine section of Paradise.