Thursday, 9 June 2011

Happy 90th birthday to my grandpa Prince Philip.

Prince Philip is 90 years old tomorrow (happy birthday, sir - in case (highly unlikely obviously) you are reading this).  Tonight BBC1 have been showing a program about him which I've seen a little bit of, and quite enjoyed.  I think whether someone is royal or not, if they have lived for nine decades they merit our respect and their stories are almost automatically interesting.  Fiona Bruce was the journalist with the tricky job of interviewing him for the program - and it was tricky.  He's clearly the master of avoiding talking about himself, even though his childhood, for one thing, was so strange and difficult that it alone raises a lot of interest.

It's funny, but what I was mainly struck by whilst watching the program was that my emotional reaction to Prince Philip was the sort of warmth I would feel towards any elderly relative.  But he is not a relative.  I've never met him and don't expect to. 

I am not particularly a royalist.  Nor am I definitely anti-royalist.  I am currently in an "undecided" category politically.  Do I want Scottish independence?  Don't know.  I quite like Alex Salmond but would I like President Salmond?  Don't know.  

The warmth that I felt towards Prince Philip as I watched the bit of the program that I saw seems to me to be evidence that the royal family have, for many of us, become in our minds like our relatives.   I don't watch soap operas (I'm sixth of six in line for the remote control in our house but I'm not sure I'd watch them anyway so don't weep for me) but I gather that people have the same feeling towards the soap characters.

It's interesting, this feeling.  We become so familiar with characters on television and in the magazines that they become like our family members. 

Isn't it strange that we can feel a family feeling towards people we've never even met? 

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