The Duke, a collector and long-term supporter of the art form, expressed his admiration for Matt in a personal message, in which he praises his “ability to think of wonderfully appropriate swipes at the idiocies of contemporary life”.
He today leads tributes to the “30th birthday” of Matt as a Telegraph cartoonist, joined by Theresa May, every living former Prime Minister, Britain’s finest broadcasters, writers and best-loved figures from the arts.
Sir John Major praised his talent for capturing each moment "magnificently" with "gentle, understated humour", as Sir Tom Stoppard admitted: "Matt has entered my brain. Sometimes on reading a news story I wonder idly, 'What would Matt do with this?'"
|"In the 1990s, when I was under heavy press bombardment, Matt produced a cartoon which caught the moment magnificently.”|
The Duke of Edinburgh, the patron of the Cartoon Museum whose retirement from public duties at the age of 96 this year was marked with a Matt cartoon reading “Unveil your own damn plaque”, has sent a hand-signed congratulatory message.
“Successful cartoonists do not only need to be able to draw, they have to think of subjects to illustrate,” he 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.”
Matt Pritchett, who has been known under the pen name of Matt since February 1988, has created more than 8,000 Telegraph cartoons, each capturing the absurdities of everyday life with sharp humour and a gentle touch.
The Telegraph will be celebrating “30 Years of Matt” with a special Saturday magazine edition featuring an interview with the man himself, with a four-page souvenir cover wrap showcasing 90 of his favourite cartoons on Monday.
“Even when I was the subject of a Matt cartoon I always found them brilliant, witty and pointed without being offensive. And still do. I loved the fox one. It has about five different messages in one single picture." Tony Blair
Reflecting on the last 30 years, Matt Pritchett said: “Time flies when you’re panicking about tomorrow’s cartoon.”
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, was also invited to join the anniversary celebrations. His team politely declined, saying none of the Matt cartoons they had seen about Mr Corbyn were funny.