The photograph of the late Duke opening the University Library was included in a recent electronic newsletter to staff at King’s College London.
However, a spokesperson for King’s College London later said the institution’s bosses remained “very proud” of its long association with Prince Philip.
Joleen Clarke, associate director of King’s College Libraries, emailed staff an apology after some workers complained they were offended by a photo of the Duke in a staff newsletter previously emailed.
Members of the university’s anti-racist community of practice reportedly reacted angrily to the photo, which showed the Duke standing alongside the Queen opening a library at King’s College in 2002, due to its “history of racist and sexist comments” .
Vanessa Farrier, the college’s partnerships and liaison manager, was reportedly among staff angered by the Duke in the email. In June, he was asked to “decolonize” the King’s College library.
The Duke was known for his controversial comments, notably for referring to “slanted eyes” during a trip to China in 1986.
Ms Clarke was subjected to what a source said was “a kangaroo court” among workers at King’s College, which found the use of the photo offensive.
The offending photograph in the staff bulletin, sent shortly after the Duke’s death on April 9, was accompanied by a caption that read: “As the nation marks the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, we thought you might like to see this photo of the duke at the official opening of the Maughan library in 2002, which some colleagues will recall.
Ms Clarke is said to have been active in King’s College’s anti-racism program. In the following apology email, sent in the week of May 10, she wrote: “The photo was included as a historical reference point after its [the Duke’s] death. The inclusion of the image was not intended to commemorate him.
“Through the comments and the conversations that followed, we realized the harm this has caused to members of our community, due to its history of racist and sexist comments. We are sorry to have caused this harm.
On Saturday, a King’s College spokesperson said: “As we previously noted in an official academic tribute on April 9, 2021, Prince Philip had a long association with King’s which continued until his retirement. of public life. We greatly appreciate and remain very proud of his friendship and support for King’s.
The Duke’s association with the College began in 1955, when he became the institution’s life governor. He and the Queen have visited King’s College on several occasions, most recently in 2012, for the opening of its East Wing of Somerset House (pictured below).