Citizen of nowhere
Looking from askance, the Irish writer Fintan O’Toole, said what was more remarkable was how uncomfortable, in all the “orgy of coverage”, commentators had been to address the very European nature of Prince Philip’s story.
“He was a ‘rootless cosmopolitan’, one of Theresa May’s citizens of nowhere: Greek, Danish, German . . . British. He changed his name, his religion, his citizenship, his identity,” said O’Toole.
“In that there’s this deep contradiction of Englishness. The monarchy, guarantor of the ‘island nation’, is a multinational firm. No one embodied this more than Philip.”
And I guess he didn’t shop at John Lewis, either.
Whereas the Economist throws in some historical asides:
A royal marriage could reshape international alliances. Hilary Mantel describes the politics of Henry VIII’s reign as “graphically gynaecological” because it was dominated by the king’s desire to produce a son. Modernity is built on the negation of all of this.
The theatre of monarchy is not primarily a theatre of works performed and duties fulfilled. It is a theatre of majesty. The only way to fully modernise the monarchy is to abolish it: the point of the institution is to act as a counterbalance to the everyday world of value for money and performance targets. Monarchy is romance or it is nothing.