Prince of gaffe faces Patel rap

Prince of gaffe faces Patel rap

The Duke of Edinburgh, in fact, joked with Indian-origin business leader Atul Patel during a reception for 400 influential British-Indians at the Buckingham Palace on Monday, The Sun reported.

As the guests lined up to meet the Queen and her husband Prince Philip, who hosted the evening to celebrate this week’s state visit by Indian President Pratibha Patil, the 88-year- old Royal turned to greet business chief Patel.
And, after glancing at Patel’s name badge, he was quoted as saying: “There’s a lot of your family in tonight.”

The comment appeared to jokingly suggest that all Patels are related. The surname, which originates from the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, is the second most popular in Britain after Singh. It is also the country’s 24th most common with an estimated 670,000 Patels living here. Prince Philip’s words have been condemned by Graham Smith, Spokesman for Republic — a campaign group committed to abolishing the monarchy.

“Making a joke about people called Patel is deeply embarrassing given the timing of the Indian state visit. At best, it is a comment that shows he’s out of touch and out of date. There are a large number of Patels living in Britain and many will find it offensive that Prince Philip tries to joke that they are all related,” Smith said.

However, a spokesman for Patel confirmed the exchange but insisted that the 47-year-old chief executive of the LHA-Asra group, one of Britain’s leading housing associations, took it as a joke.
“Absolutely no offence was taken at all by Atul. It was taken in a very light-hearted way,” his spokesman said.

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