A national treasure
He is a man well known for his plain speaking - or gaffes as more unkind souls would term his often eccentric comments - but there is no doubt that the Duke of Edinburgh, who is 9 today, is regarded as something of a national treasure. For decades he has dutifully followed one step behind the Queen on her travels near and far, a role that he cannot always find easy to perform and, as a couple, they have preserved the monarchy against all its critics. As well he has contributed much to the gaiety of the nation. Happy birthday, Your Royal Highness.