University apologises for sending a photo of Prince Philip in email
University apologises for sending a photo of ‘racist, sexist’ Prince Philip in email after a wave of protest from Left-wing staff
- Left-wingers working at King’s College London were angered by email bulletin
- Featured a photograph of Prince Philip opening the university’s Maughan Library
- Joleen Clarke sent out an extraordinary apology for the ‘harm’ caused
- Said the picture was included as an ‘historical reference point’ after his death
A university has apologised for sending staff a photograph of Prince Philip opening its library after it sparked complaints about the Duke’s ‘history of racist and sexist comments’.
Left-wingers working at King’s College London reacted angrily to an email bulletin they received after the Duke’s death in April, featuring a photograph of him opening the university’s Maughan Library with the Queen in 2002.
Following weeks of simmering tensions, Joleen Clarke, the associate director at King’s College libraries, sent out an extraordinary apology for the ‘harm’ caused by including the photo in her email.
‘The picture was included as a historical reference point following his death,’ she wrote last week. ‘The inclusion of the picture was not intended to commemorate him.
Left-wingers working at King’s College London reacted angrily to an email bulletin they received after the Duke’s death in April, featuring a photograph of him opening the university’s Maughan Library with the Queen in 2002
‘Through feedback and subsequent conversations, we have come to realise the harm that this caused members of our community, because of his history of racist and sexist comments. We are sorry to have caused this harm.’
Free speech campaigners and MPs last night condemned the apology, labelling it the latest example of a ‘cancel culture’ by woke activists on university campuses. Royal experts insisted it was wrong to accuse the Prince of being racist or sexist.
Following the Duke’s death, aged 99, the university’s interim principal, Professor Evelyn Welch, issued a public statement praising his ‘long and valued association with King’s’. He had been a governor since 1955.
But internally there was outrage from the university’s Anti-Racism Community of Practice over Ms Clarke’s email, which accompanied the photo with the explanation: ‘As the nation marks the death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, we thought you might like to see this photo of the Duke at the official opening of the Maughan Library in 2002, which some colleagues will remember.’
Those angered by the message include the college’s head of partnership and liaison, Vanessa Farrier, who was appointed in a new role last June to ‘decolonise’ the library’s collection following Black Lives Matter protests.
The university’s anti-racism group complained of ‘harm’ caused by the email because the Prince had made a number of racist and sexist comments during his lifetime.
The college’s head of partnership and liaison, Vanessa Farrier (pictured)
He infamously referred to ‘slitty eyes’ during a 1986 trip to China, and in 1961 he complained that ‘British women can’t cook’.
A source claimed Ms Clarke had been ‘made to account for herself in a kangaroo court’ by colleagues, despite having played an active role in the university’s anti-racism programme.
Rubbishing accusations that the Duke was racist, Royal expert Hugo Vickers said: ‘Prince Philip and the Queen have spent their whole lives in service helping the Commonwealth.
‘He may have said things at certain times to get a rise out of people, but he was the least racist person. In fact, he was very engaged in questions of equality and multi-racial societies going back to the 1950s.
‘I don’t think these people at King’s College know what they are talking about, frankly.’
Tory MP Sir John Hayes said: ‘King’s College London is at the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to inhibiting free speech.
‘ We need to flush out people in our universities who are determined with an almost Maoist zeal to close minds in places which ought to be bastions of free and open debate.’
Free speech campaigners and MPs last night condemned the apology, labelling it the latest example of a ‘cancel culture’ by woke activists on university campuses. Royal experts insisted it was wrong to accuse the Prince of being racist or sexist. pictured, the Duke with the Queen
Toby Young, of the Free Speech Union, added: ‘The irony is that if it wasn’t for people like Prince Philip putting their lives on the line to defend liberty and democracy, university lecturers wouldn’t now enjoy the freedom to attack people like him.
‘When a war hero dies, shouldn’t these republican firebrands just say “Thank you for your service”, and save the political point-scoring for another day?’
King’s College London said: ‘As we previously highlighted in an official university statement, Prince Philip had a long and valued association with King’s.’
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