BBC and Channel 5 presenter Jeremy Vine has been panned for asking if it is “a problem” that those attending the Covid-restricted funeral of the Queen’s consort Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, are white.
Vine made the comments not on his long-running BBC Radio 2 show but on his Channel 5 television programme.
“You’ve just made me think of this because of your lovely greeting to the many diverse communities in this brilliant country,” Vine simpered in comments to fellow broadcaster Gursharonjit ‘Shay’ Grewal, who is of South Asian heritage.
“We are gonna see a group of 30 people who are going to be at this very restricted funeral, and I’m imagining it will be 30 people who are white,” he continued.
“I’m just trying to think whether there’s anybody of colour in there and I don’t think so. Is that, do you think that’s a problem?”
The 55-year-old, who previously accepted a pay cut at the BBC after virtue-signalling how “appalled” he was about the so-called gender pay gap on his radio show, was roundly criticised for the “race-baiting” remarks, with one social media user saying they were “genuinely staggered” by them.
“It’s not a problem but let’s ask the question anyway so that we can try to turn it into one,” read another facetious comment on Vine’s antics.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 12, 2021
Grewal immediately told Vine that no, she did not see any issues with the late Second World War veteran’s lockdown-limited funeral being comprised largely of family members who are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the same race as he was.
“Look, at the end of the day, the Royal Family are a family, so if someone passes away you’re going to have your most beloved members of your family there, and that is the case when it comes to this funeral,” she said.
“I think at the moment what we all need to focus on is the fact that a family is mourning; they have lose the patriarch in their family, and this country, of course, we have lost the Duke of Edinburgh, and so for me, I am not focusing on what they are wearing, I’m not focusing on who’s there — I’m thinking about Her Majesty the Queen and the fact that she’s lost her long life partner, and how hard that must be,” she added, going on to praise the 94-year-old monarch for remaining “stoic” and continuing to carry out public duties.
“That just shows the kind of woman that she is,” she said.
Meghan Markle, the mixed-race wife of Prince Philip’s grandson Harry, is not flying in from the United States for the funeral on the advice of her doctors, as she is heavily pregnant.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 10, 2021