A Royal realist

Discriminating against the old is right, says His Royal Highness, Prince Philip on the occasion of his 90th birthday celebrations

Prince Philip has said that he favours discrimination against older people because 'you go downhill' later in life.

In an interview recorded ahead of his 90th birthday today, the notoriously outspoken prince says he is reducing his own workload before he reaches his 'sell-by date'.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who has been the Queen's constant public companion for more than 60 years and is involved with around 800 charities and organisations, says he is looking forward to 'winding down' and enjoying himself.

Prince Philip told interviewer Fiona Bruce that he is 'just winding down' He even claimed he was losing his memory and struggled to remember the names of people he was due to meet.

'There is an ageism in this country, as everywhere, and quite rightly so, because I think you go downhill – physically, mentally and everything,' he said.

In a wide-ranging interview to mark his birthday, broadcast on BBC1 last night, Philip discusses his life, work and interests over the past nine decades.

Last autumn it was announced how the Duke was lightening his obligations by relinquishing his attachment to a number of his more demanding organisations including his patronage of UK Athletics, City and Guilds of London Institute, the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth and his involvement with a number of high-profile universities.

But Prince Edward, also interviewed for the documentary, believed his father remained just as busy. 'He keeps on saying he's trying to slow down and take on less but I haven't seen much evidence of that, he seems to fill the gaps with lots of other things, which is fantastic,' he said.

'The fact he's still got that fascination and interest and energy is superb.'

But Philip stressed that it was time for him to take a back seat. 'You don't really want nonagenarians as heads of organisations which are trying to do something useful,' he said.


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