Scott Morrison – Prince Philip was ‘so appealing in Australia as he was monstrously politically incorrect’ says country’s PM
The Australian Prime Minister has said Prince Philip was popular Down Under because of his political incorrectness.
Scott Morrison was one of the many world leaders who paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh after he died at the age of 99 on Friday 9 April.
He said he ‘embodied a generation that we will never see again’ and on Monday spoke about why the prince was also a popular figure in his country.
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Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said he wasn’t a “correct Royal from central casting” and it didn’t matter whether you were a monarchist or a republican, he had an “ability to deal with people and engage them”.
Mr Morrison recalled a time when the “very funny” duke told him a story about a state visit to Queensland in 1954.
He said: “As it happens with the royals, you get trotted around to witness all sorts of strange events. In this case, it was an exhibition of Queensland wood chopping, who chops through the piece of timber first – it’s a thing we do in rural Queensland, my father used to do it as well.
“He and the Queen were observing this and they get to present the sash to the chap who wins and the duke says something like, ‘well, you must be able to chop a lot with shoulders like that’, to which the winner said, ‘ah well, duke, I can chop a ton a bloody hour’.
“Prince Philip says ‘steady on, old chap, Her Majesty the Queen’s here’. [The winner] then said, ‘OK, I can actually chop half a bloody ton an hour’.”
Mr Morrison added: “This gives you a fair sense of the guy. He was monstrously politically incorrect, which is probably why he was in so many parts of Australian life, so appealing.”
On Friday, Mr Morrison paid tribute to the duke and said: “For nearly 80 years, Prince Philip served his Crown, his country and the Commonwealth.
“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was, in the words of Her Majesty, her ‘strength and stay’.
“He embodied a generation that we will never see again.
“Australians send our love and deepest condolences to her Majesty and all the Royal Family. The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia.”