A British woman is seeking compensation from her former employer after she was allegedly fired because of a Facebook rant in which she slammed Prince George as a symbol of “white privilege.”
Prince George is the 3-year-old elder child and only son of Prince William, who is second-in-line to the British throne, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Angela Gibbins was the former head of global estates at the British Council, an organization that promotes British culture around the world. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George’s great-grandmother, is the British Council’s patron. Prince Charles, his grandfather, is its vice patron.
Gibbins, a 53-year-old Cambridge graduate, told a central London employment tribunal that she was suspended and later fired because of her Republican beliefs. Her views came to public attention after a newspaper published Facebook comments that she had made on a photo of Prince George in 2016. The photo, which was released to mark the young royal’s third birthday, was first commented on by the Dub Pistols, an English music group.
“I know he’s only two years old, but Prince George already looks like a f****** d***head,” their comment read.
Gibbins chimed in, writing (via Newsweek), “White privilege.”
— E! News (@enews) June 29, 2017
“That cheeky grin is the (already locked-in) innate knowledge that he’s Royal, rich, advantaged and will never know any difficulties or hardships in life.”
Angela Gibbins then proceeded to debate with others, adding, “Let’s find photos of 3yo [sic] Syrian refugee children and see if they look alike, eh?”
Her comments about Prince George received instant backlash, but Gibbins defended her “socialist, atheist, and republican” stance.
“I don’t believe the Royal Family have any place in a modern democracy, least of all when they live on public money. That’s privilege and it needs to end.”
Shortly after Gibbins’s Facebook rant about Prince George was leaked by the press, the British Council released a statement saying that her comments did not represent the organization’s views.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) July 10, 2017
Now, according to the Times, Gibbins is suing the British Council for compensation and damages for allegedly firing her over her political beliefs. She is also seeking a new job with the Council or the return of her former position. The Daily Mail reports that Gibbons has claimed wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal, and “belief discrimination.”
Angela Gibbins defended her actions last week, claiming that her stance on the monarchy was no secret at the British Council. She said she had always been open about her views and that she remembers having been dubbed “the red under the bed” or “the quiet Corbynista” on several occasions by her senior colleagues. Gibbins also claimed that she had often received belittling remarks about her views.
— Harper's Bazaar UK (@BazaarUK) July 2, 2017
“I have also been very clear that none of the comments I made were abusive or used any kind of foul language,” she said.
“We were actually talking about how all children should have the same rights, no privileges, no matter what their background.”
But Rebecca Walton, the British Council’s EU regional director, believes that Gibbins crossed the line when she targeted Prince George.
“I believe there is a recklessness that comes into play when you choose to comment under a picture of a three-year-old child about that three-year-old child.”
Gibbins’ case is ongoing.
[Featured Image by Andrew Matthews/Getty Images]