Prince Philip's Problematic Past Resurfaces After Meghan And Harry's Oprah Interview

One of the most shocking moments of last night's interview between Oprah and royal couple Harry and Meghan was when Meghan revealed there had been discussion amongst members of the royal family about whether her yet-to-be-born son Archie would have dark skin because of Meghan's mixed race heritage. Immediately, speculation as to which members of the royal family might have said such horrible things abounded. Among the most-suspected was Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth. While Harry made it clear, during the interview with Oprah, that neither the Queen nor Prince Philip were responsible for these remarks, the whole kerfuffle has revitalized conversation surrounding what many have known for a long time to be Prince Philip's history of racist comments and beliefs (via Huffington Post).   

In 2017, when Prince Philip retired from public service, Al Jazeera analyzed the way the BBC covered what it called "Prince Philip's gaffes from decades on royal duty." Al Jazeera mocked the BBC report saying, "So the good Prince's astonishing utterances are not what they are, symptomatic of a deeply racist mind. They are just 'gaffes' – unintentional and unfortunate remarks causing embarrassment, things he should not have said, and did not really mean, but unfortunately did say. That's why they are 'gaffes.'" What these incidents actually are, of course, are indicative of deeply problematic and long-held beliefs by one of the most powerful men in western government and culture. 

Prince Philip has a history of saying racist things

Prince Philip has made many statements which are flat-out intolerable, and his xenophobic rhetoric has been well-documented. For example, as Mashable noted, when visiting British students living in Xian, China in 1986, he said, "If you stay here much longer you will all be slitty-eyed." Or the inappropriate attempt at humor that resulted in this racist joke: "If it has four legs and it is not a chair, if it has two wings and flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it."

If you're still not convinced the Prince could have said something offensive to Markle or in reference to Archie, Mashable points out that in speaking to Indigenous Australians in 2002, he said, "Do you still throw spears at each other?" In 2003, he told the President of Nigeria, who was wearing traditional robes, "You look like you're ready for bed!" And that's to the president of a nation – imagine what he would feel comfortable saying to his grandson's wife.

Prince Philip is also known for his misogynistic comments, which, considering he is married to the Queen is hard to understand, but nonetheless true. In 2009, when meeting a female Sea Cadet who said she worked in a nightclub, Philip asked, "Is it a strip club?" 

While it's entirely possible Prince Philip never "said" anything racially insensitive to Meghan Markle, as Harry insists, but the permissive attitude of the royal family in regards to his obviously racist thinking is not only abominable, but it should not be tolerated.