On this day in 1984 HRH The Prince of Wales presented a brief speech at the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Considering what the R in RIBA stands for, it’s not surprising that they’d invite the Prince to address their Gala Evening in celebration of the institute’s sesquicentennial. What is surprising is What Happened Next. No doubt they expected a nice fluffy chin wag, something like this (which is exactly how British people talk):
Rightio. Scrummy architecture! Cracking stonking skyscrapers. Just Luvvly-jubbly. Smashing! Oy, the bleeding blinkered public. Barmy engineers; beastly codes! Architects take the biscuit. Lorry, wellies, brolly, knickers, loo. Bob’s your uncle.
Instead of being told their practice was all spiffy cricket, they got a dressing down. Even in his easy introduction, the Prince’s speech was pretty pointed. References to a recently honored architect as well as his own great, great, great grandfather (the Albert…
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