Saturday, 11 June 2011

Lord High Everything else!

Am I alone in thinking of Gilbert and Sullivan's delightful comic opera, The Mikado, when reading the news this week that Prince Philip has been appointed 'Lord High Admiral of The Navy' to celebrate his 90th birthday?

If you remember the story from the Victorian era, one of the characters, named Pooh Bah is appointed to the highest office that a citizen can attain, namely Lord High Executioner.  As the story unfolds, we find that he is 'Lord High everything else' at the same time.

With typical flair for satire, W S Gilbert also touched on the contemporary controversy of evolution, which is a topic that often comes up in my blog posts.  Pooh Bah describes himself as "a particularly haughty and exclusive person of pre-Adamite ancestral descent.  You will understand this when I tell you that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule." 

As if Prince Philip was not capable of Ninety gaffes in ninety years, I can't help but feel that the British Establishment is now making itself even more of a laughing-stock.  Instituting (or perhaps resurrecting?) trumped up titles for members of the monarchy seems nothing short of risible.

Alleged sayings by the dear old 'man of the people' incude:

"How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?" Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.


"A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone's working too much. Now that everybody's got more leisure time they are complaining they are unemployed. People don't seem to make up their minds what they want."  1981.

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