We're guessing that Matt McCarten doesn't have a lot of time for the Royal Family; he opines:
Is it just me or does everyone feel embarrassed about how pathetically cynical our Prime Minister is by bestowing our country's highest honour on the spouse of the Queen?Prince Philip is known for only two things: wandering two steps behind his wife at public engagements, and frequently embarrassing everyone with his moronic mutterings that have at times bordered on racist and sexist.I bet the increasingly doddery 90-year-old doesn't even know what his new trinket is, let alone the name of the guy who gave it to him.Assuming John Key is not a revolutionary republican deliberately undermining our imperial pretensions, he certainly has achieved turning our honours system into a joke.How crass, edging a minor Greek noble on to the same table reserved for our country's top 20 New Zealanders. We are told these spots are reserved only for a few because of their exceptional selfless dedication and contribution to our nation.
That may be McCarten's opinion, and he is of course entitled to it. But the lack of widespread condemnation of the decision to make Prince Philip an Additional Member of the NZ Order of Merit suggests that he is in the minority. With Prince Philip being an Additional member, he is NOT occupying a space which could be given to one of McCarten's "few"; we wonder who they might be; John Minto maybe?
On Prince Philip's 90th birthday last year, we blogged this:
HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh turns 90 today.
Philip has been a constant at the side of his wife, Queen Elizxabeth II since her ascension to the throne in 1952. He is the longest-living consort to a monarch. Whilst he is best known for his foot-in-mouth moments, he is one of the hardest-working of the royals, with only Princess Anne attending more official engagements each year.
The qualification for inclusion to the New Zealand Order of Merit is based on "service to the Crown and to New Zealand". One could hardly argue that Prince Philip has not devoted his life to serving the Crown, and all the countries over which his wife is sovereign. McCarten's rant this morning seems to be more an anti-John Key one.
And today is Prince Philip's 91st birthday. We wish him a far happier one than it would seem that Matt McCarten does.