Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years, died on April 9 at the age of 99. England is in mourning and everyone is wondering how the Drafts will go. If the Duke of Edinburgh had already communicated what he wanted for his funeral, all eyes are on His Majesty.

The news of his death comes at a contentious time for the Royal Family, who have been accused of the racist treatment of Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and wife to Prince Harry. In a March 8 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle described how members of the Royal Family were concerned with her son Archie's skin color. 

Though Prince Philip was never named as a perpetrator, the patriarch of Buckingham Palace was known to have his qualms about Markle, reportedly calling her a "destructive" presence within the Royal Family.

The late Duke made headlines over the years for making blunt and often offensive comments during official royal engagements, some of which have been criticized as being racist.

In 1969, he reportedly asked singer Tom Jones 1969 “what do you gargle with, pebbles?”

In 2001, he told 13-year-old Andrew Adams, who aspired to become an astronaut, that he should "lose weight."

In 2002, he shocked a Bangladeshi teenager at a London youth club by saying the 14-year-old "looks as if he is on drugs." The same year, he is reported to have asked Australian Aborigines: "Do you still throw spears at each other?"

On another occasion, the prince asked a Scottish politician in 2010, after pointing to a tartan, whether she had underwear made from the same material.

A year later, the Queen and Prince Philip went to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Nigeria. It was the Queen's first visit in 47 years. Greeted by Nigeria's then-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who was wearing traditional robes, Philip quipped: "You look like you're ready for bed."

Of course, countless more people long spoke publicly about the detrimental effect of Philip's "occasional frank comments" — and also took him to task for representing a strain of colonialist thinking that is not a relic of the past, but very much a pervasive influence to this day.
Acknowledging the true nature of Philip's many offensive comments doesn't negate the rest of his character or, for example, his charitable actions; instead, it gives a fuller portrait of a man who was born into almost inconceivable privilege and only saw his wealth and influence grow when he married into one of Europe's last remaining monarchies.

 

The late Duke is guilty of much more than an occasional "frank" comment and has a storied history of perpetuating harmful, racist ideas from his platform in the Royal Family.