The Duke of Edinburgh yesterday arrived at the South Lynn Women's Institute in Norfolk to cheers and a plethora of union jacks, but rather than being on an official visit he was there to learn how to change his behaviour.
Following a recent court case, which the Royal Household have done well to keep from the media, a local magistrate ordered the Duke to take a six week course on Multicultural Awareness following a complaint by a local head teacher, Mrs. June Underwood, that on a visit to the Busland Secondary school in Fatham, Norfolk he used inappropriate racist language when addressing the staff.
Mrs. Underwood quoted the Duke in court as asking '... the brown ones, you know with the head scarves, do they lag behind the locals?' and said he made reference to 'refugees' and 'radicals' when in conversation with the deputy head and the schools racial awareness specialist Hugh Grainger.
The Duke admitted to his error of judgement, apologised and accepted the judge's ruling that he should attend the course, run by a Kings Lynn based charity called Norfolk Against Bigotry which has funding from the local council and has received awards for its courses.
Ironically, the charity was one of a number of local charities endorsed by the Queen in a recent speech to war veterans at the Sandringham Golf Club.
Mrs. Underwood said she was still a supporter of the monarchy but hoped that important lessons had been learned.
Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on the case, stating that it is a private matter.