Some people's desperation to defame the monarchy knows no bounds:
Prince Philip reportedly made one of his notorious gaffes by joking with a British-Indian business leader about his name. During a reception at Buckingham Palace for 400 influential British Indians, Prince Philip, pictured, greeted Atul Patel by glancing at his name tag and saying, "There's a lot of your family in tonight."
My guess is that the Duke had probably greeted several Patels by that point in the evening, thus the joke. How on earth is that even remotely racist? Patel is an extremely common Indians surname. It's a small talk joke. He could easily have made the same one about people named Smith. The gentleman in question was not offended. Being modern Britain others are offended on his behalf. We used to call these people busybodies. Naturally, the usual suspects are trying to get as much mileage out of this as possible.
But Republic, a group campaigning to abolish the monarchy, said it was "deeply embarrassing." "Making a joke about people called Patel is deeply embarrassing.... At best it's a comment that shows he's out of touch and out of date," said its spokesman, Graham Smith.
Sorry. Not buying it. Embarrassing it is not. What is embarrassing is the existence, in Britain, of a group that makes political hay out of small talk. It's not the sort of thing gentlemen and ladies do, distorting chat into character assassination. In the unlikely event that Graham Smith is interested in how actual ladies and gentlemen conduct themselves, we ask that Mr Smith pay attention to the life and manners of Her Majesty and her consort. At times I wonder what the Duke makes of all this. A sailor from the days when so much of the world was still pink. Decency and sense, England hath need of thee.