The Duke of Edinburgh is amongst a number of leading figures to pay tribute to The Telegraph’s cartoonist, Matt, who is marking 30 years in the role.
Prince Philip, who retired from royal duties last summer, called the artist ‘genius’ for his ‘ability to think of wonderfully appropriate swipes at the idiocies of contemporary life’.
“Successful cartoonists do not only need to be able to draw, they have to think of subjects to illustrate,” Philip’s hand-signed message said. “Matt has shown that he has a genius for both, as well as the ability to think of wonderfully appropriate swipes at the idiocies of contemporary life.”
The royal retirement was solemnised with a cartoon from the artist reading “Unveil your own damn plaque”.
The Duke was patron of the Cartoon Museum for decades.
Pritchett began at the paper in February 1988, and illustrated more than 8,000 cartoons.
Other well-known faces have joined the tributes to Matt Pritchett, to give him his full name, including PM Theresa May, broadcasters and other artists.
May said: “Matt sent this cartoon to me and I have it in my office in Downing Street. It exemplifies how great he is at taking major political events and seeing the humour in them. It’s always good for politicians to laugh at ourselves and he helps us to do that.”
The image shows a man at a desk, with various origami and paper creations surrounding him, informing the PM on the phone that he had received her letter.
Sir Tom Stoppard, famed for his work in drama and film, said: “Matt has entered my brain. Sometimes on reading a news story I wonder idly, ‘What would Matt do with this?'”
Jeremy Vine admitted he really wants Matt to create a piece on him: “There’s something about having that one cartoon in the day’s papers, full of all the carnage and misery,” he said. “There’s this little window, and even if this whole country is hit by a nuclear bomb they’ll still be a Matt cartoon the morning after, and we’ll still laugh.”
Author Jilly Cooper wrote of Matt: “He’s achingly funny, but also he’s very good at characterisation. He seems to get the moment and just illustrate people so brilliantly.
“They make me laugh for days afterwards.”
Reflecting on the last 30 years, the cartoonist said: “Time flies when you’re panicking about tomorrow’s cartoon.”