Prince Philip to retire
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, is stepping down from public life. As of this autumn he will retire from public duties, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. While some commentators lament the loss for the British royal family, others say they would like to see the monarchy go too.
Prince Philip's merits too often go unrecognised
People underestimate the role Prince Philip has played at the Queen's side, La Stampa observes:
“Yesterday Prince Philip was once more portrayed in many online commentaries and on television as an incorrigible blunderer, an endearing happy-go-lucky sort of fellow, a kind of clown who just happened to be lucky enough to marry the woman who would become queen. Nothing could be more wrong than this superficial assessment of a man who has contributed greatly to the fact that his wife has reigned longer than any other British monarch without making a single mistake and without ever losing touch with her subjects. And who on occasion has stepped in to smooth things out when there were problems, without making a big fuss . … Elizabeth doesn't owe him everything, but she does owe him a lot. Philip is the only one who treats her like a human being, who tells her when she makes a mistake or gets angry with her. … Knowing that Philip is no longer beside her may convince Elizabeth that her excellent reign may be coming to an end.”
Time to say farewell to the monarchy
The Independent welcomes Prince Philip's announced retirement and asks whether the British monarchy has had its day:
“It's not the Duke of Edinburgh's retirement that we should be worrying about, however, but rather the question of how he kept his job for as long as he did. Somehow despite his numerous controversial and often xenophobic 'gaffes', this man has continued to be allowed to at least partly represent Britain for more than 50 years. If there were ever a moment to question our own complacency as a nation, this is it. ... The royal family's existence embodies our lack of social mobility and demeans the concept of democracy. ... Let's all take this opportunity to be thankful that Prince Philip is no longer representing our country, but wary of a system which ever allowed him to in the first place. Perhaps now is the time to start phasing out the monarchy.”