Of all the over-hasty remarks Prince Philip made from time to time in a life devoted to public service, my favourite concerned a hypothetical and homicidal cricketer. It was an unfortunate attempt at the logical analysis of firearms legislation following the Dunblane shootings: “If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, which he could do very easily, I mean, are you going to ban cricket bats?” In terms of sheer off-the-wall Britishness this is hard to beat. Since hearing it so many years ago, I still retain an indelible image of this mythical cricketer, all padded up in whites, setting off on his fatal spree, “which he could do very easily”. A Monty Python moment. Or a nightmare novel of Middle England.