A top UK university has apologised to staff following complaints about their tribute to Prince Philip being met with outrage because of his “racist and sexist comments”.
King’s College London sent out an email bulletin in tribute to Prince Philip after the Duke died in April this year.
The email showed a photo of Prince Philip opening the university's own Maughan Library back in 2002.
Professor Evelyn Welch, the university’s interim principal, also issued a public statement on April 9 praising the Duke.
The statement read: “As we mourn the loss of HRH The Prince Philip, we reflect on a long and valued relationship”.
Welch said: “Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had a long and valued association with King’s, dating back to 1955 when he became a Life Governor of King’s College London.
"He gave King’s prestigious Commemoration Oration in 1969, reflecting on his role as a spectator of trends and events and ‘the consequences of indiscriminate progress’.
“As a King's community we mourn the loss of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and our sincere condolences are with HM The Queen, the Royal Family and those close to him during this time.”
However, despite the well-meant gestures made by bosses at the college, staff were reportedly furious about the tribute with the university’s anti-racism group complaining the email caused ‘harm’ due to a number of controversial comments Philip had made in his lifetime.
The complaints prompted Joleen Clarke, the associate director at King’s College libraries, to send out an apology to staff.
According to The Sun, Clarke wrote: "The picture was included as a historical reference point following his death.
"The inclusion of the picture was not intended to commemorate him.
"Through feedback and subsequent conversations, we have come to realise the harm that this caused members of our community, because of his history of racist and sexist comments.
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"We are sorry to have caused this harm."
However, the University also published an official University Tribute to Prince Philip yesterday.
The tribute said: “Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had a long and valued association with King’s, dating back to 1955 when he became a Life Governor of King’s College London. We valued immensely, and remain very proud, of his friendship and support for King’s.
“He accompanied Her Majesty The Queen on her visits to King’s on numerous occasions: most recently in 2012 for the opening of the Somerset House East Wing, home of The Dickson Poon School of Law, and always took an active and friendly interest in King’s and our students.
“He also gave King’s prestigious Commemoration Oration in 1969, reflecting on his role as a spectator of trends and events and ‘the consequences of indiscriminate progress’.
“As a community, we mourned the loss of The Duke of Edinburgh who used his position to make a huge contribution to British life and who’s connections with King’s we are very proud of.”
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