Man In The Shadows

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on June 10, 2015 in Immoral Conversations |

Not many people get to celebrate it, and certainly not many people have their birthday mentioned in the news media around the world. Prince Philip, Prince Consort, the Duke of Edinburgh (and so on) is ninety-four years old.

The only reason that I mention this, since I have nothing to do with the British royal family and this is not, for me, a particularly special birthday, is because of the wonderful description in the local newspaper which, I suppose, could describe so many marriages in modern times.

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

Photo Source: Michael Gwyther-JonesCreative Commons

The dpa (German press association) sent out a general news item for all the local newspapers to print, should they so wish or if it happened to be a slow news day. As it happens, my local newspaper took up the story and, along with a photograph of the Prince wearing a grey top hat, printed the text exactly as received.

What I love about it is that the fact of their marriage – sixty-eight years – is brought out as the second part of a sentence. The first, if you believe all the stories about their marriage, the ups and downs, the problems between them – hearsay, of course – and the many branches of their family, seems to sum up what many people believe the Prince to be: merely a consort, someone in the background, a man in the shadows. Of course, if you also read the many stories about what he has said in public, about the many times he has really put his foot in it, you’d be hard pressed to believe that he really is just a man in the background.

The dpa opened their sentence describing the Prince as a man who has been in ‘contact with his wife’ for seventy-five years. They could have termed it better but, then again, perhaps they hit the nail on the head too.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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