Early on Friday morning news broke that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died at the age of 99. Following the announcement, Canada's prime minister released a statement early in the day on Friday.
It was with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh today. A man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others, Prince Philip contributed so much to the social fabric of our country - and the world.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 9, 2021
"A man of great service to others – first as a decorated naval officer and later as a dedicated leader in the areas of community engagement and philanthropy – the Duke always sought out the best in people and challenged them to strive for greater heights," a statement from the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reads.
Other Canadian leaders also took to social media to comment on his passing.
The passing of HRH Prince Philip is a significant loss for the Royal Family, for Canada, and for the world. Prince Philip was a dedicated philanthropist, and a decorated naval officer who supported The Queen throughout his life. My thoughts are with the Royal Family.
— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) April 9, 2021
Our sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen on the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. pic.twitter.com/kCAxBQ6dVO
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) April 9, 2021
On behalf of all British Columbians, I offer my deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and all members of the Royal Family on the passing of Prince Philip.https://t.co/CZOPRFcWOD
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) April 9, 2021
On behalf of all Ontarians, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the entire Royal Family. Prince Philip was a devoted husband, father, war hero and public servant and he will be missed by many around the world. https://t.co/MFGZHZqTA4
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) April 9, 2021
All flags at Toronto City Hall and City of Toronto facilities will be flown at half-mast from today, Friday, April 9, 2021, to Saturday April 17, 2021 to mark the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. pic.twitter.com/54bGzESqWD
— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 9, 2021
Gaffes and racist comments cloud legacy
While many people around the world shared their condolences to the royal family, several also highlighted Prince Philip's past racist, sexist, discriminatory comments. In many circumstances, his comments have simply been reported as "gaffes" throughout his life.
Over the years, he's made off-colour remarks that have left royal watchers baffled. In 1986 during a royal visitt to China, he described Beijing as 'ghastly' and suggested British students staying in the country would make them 'slitty-eyed'.
Prince Philip also once told the President of Nigeria, who was dressed in a traditional outfit, that he looked "ready for bed." Back in 1965 he was accused of comparing Ethiopian art to "the kind of thing my daughter would bring back from school art lessons.”
Racism in the royal family was most recently brought forward in public discourse following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.
If it's "too soon" to discuss Prince Philip's racism, then it's "too soon" to pretend it didn't exist. Or, is the argument that whitewashing racism is less offensive than bringing it up? https://t.co/s86TTni35O
— Christian Christensen (@ChrChristensen) April 9, 2021
The intense focus on Prince Philip’s masculinity in these various news interviews about his passing, and the dismissing of his “gaffes” as overt racism, is really gross, TBH. In 2021, knowing what we know now, it’s also super bizarre. @CBSNews
— Phil Jimenez (@Philjimeneznyc) April 9, 2021
Notwithstanding his decades of casual racism and sexism, and notwithstanding that I am a firm supporter of an Australian republic, RIP Prince Phillip.
— Kevin Yam 任建峰 (@kevinkfyam) April 9, 2021
Only thing I'm gonna tweet about Prince Phillip is that you cannot do an honest appraisal of his life without talking about his racism.
— Ben Saunders (@BSaundersSport) April 9, 2021
The Royal Family may be a mess of an organization, but they are still a family, and today a wife lost her husband, children lost their father, grandchildren lost their grandpa, etc.
RIP Prince Phillip, you did your duty and served the Queen and the people of the commonwealth.
— Ryan William 🎧 (@xRyWilliamCM) April 9, 2021