`Patel’ controversy ends

`I have taken no offence,” says Atul Patel

29th October 2009: The controversy is over. India-origin business leader Atul Patel has brushed aside the controversy shrouding Prince Philip’s joke on his surname. Patel has made it clear he has taken ‘no offence’ at the joke.

"I took no offence whatsoever to the comment made by Prince Philip at the Buckingham Palace reception. I do not consider it a gaffe and took it in the light-hearted spirit in which it was intended," Patel was quoted as saying by the ‘Inside Housing’ magazine.

The Duke of Edinburgh had cracked the joke on Patel during a reception for 400 influential British-Indians at Buckingham Palace on Monday in the wake of the state visit by India’s President Pratibha Patil.

The 88- year-old Royal had glanced at Patel’s name badge and reportedly quipped: "There’s a lot of your family in tonight." The comment appeared to jokingly suggest that all Patels are related.

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