By Jim Poling Sr.
There are clues, but the sensational British royalty whodunnit remains unsolved.
Would-be detectives are poring over statements, reading between lines, sifting the clues but no one has found any solid evidence of who did the deed.
Who is the bozo who worried aloud about how dark would be the skin of Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s baby Archie? Implied in the question, of course, is worry of having a person of colour in the royal family.
Harry has said the villain was not his grandmother the Queen, or his grandfather Prince Philip. His brother, William, has said the Royal family is not racist. The Queen has said the family will look into the mystery privately.
There are clues pointing to what real police detectives call “persons of interest.” The royal family has a history of saying goofy things, some of them racist, or close to it.
Harry himself apologized in 2009 for calling an Asian army colleague a racist slur. A few years earlier he apologized for wearing a Nazi uniform to a costume party.
The two biggest offenders of saying stupid or racist things are Philip and son Charles, the aging prince waiting to become king.
On a trip to China, Philip told a group of British students: “You’ll get slitty eyes if you stay too long.”
Visiting a company in Scotland he noticed a poorly-wired electrical box and remarked: “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.”
And, during a visit to Australia he asked an Aborigine if they still threw spears at each other.
Like father, like son, Charles has stunned people with dumb comments. During a visit to India just before he married Diana, he was asked by a local reporter about his marriage prospects.
His reply: “I’m encouraged by the fact that if I were to become a Muslim, I could have lots of wives.”
One of Charles’ dumbest comments was revealed in 1993 when a newspaper intercepted his telephone call to Camilla Parker Bowles, then his lover. Charles told her that he wished to be reincarnated as her tampon.
Any number of the royals could have asked the question about Archie’s potential skin colour because most of them have been caught out doing or saying insensitive things.
Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter, encountered a pensioner waiting for her outside a church on Christmas Day back in 2000. The pensioner, a Royal admirer, wanted to present a basket of flowers she made for the Queen Mother.
“What a ridiculous thing to do,” a grumpy Anne huffed as she snatched the basket from the woman.
In 1992 Sarah Ferguson, ex-wife of Prince Andrew, was seen in photographs kissing and having her toes sucked by her “financial advisor.”
As comedian-commentator John Oliver said of the royal family recently:
“They’re an emotionally stunted group of fundamentally flawed people doing a very silly pseudo-job.”
But are they racist? Possibly not. Maybe just plain stupid.
Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, said recently that he does not think the British royal family is racist and he hopes the question about his grandson’s skin colour was just a “dumb question.”
We all hope so, although what the royals do or say has little to do with us.
Canada is a constitutional democracy in which the Queen is the head of state. We don’t need her permission to do anything, however. The prime minister and his or her cabinet make all the country’s decisions, with the Queen and her family simply figureheads.
The royals do continue to offer us excellent examples of how not to behave, and remind us of the dangers of putting the mouth in gear without checking with the brain.
If we learn from the royals’ bad examples, we can avoid situations like Prince Philip often found himself in – like the time he was talking to a Briton about his experience travelling in Papua New Guinea.
“You managed not to get eaten then?” said the prince.
Or, insulting an entire country by telling reporters during a visit to Canada:
“We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.”
The Queen, investigating whodunnit, should not have far to look.