Friday, 10 June 2016
Relive 95 of Prince Philip's classic gaffes to mark his 95th birthday
As Prince Philip celebrates his 95th birthday today, many of us will be looking back on his lifetime in the public eye.
Accompanying the Queen in nearly all of her royal duties, whether at home or abroad, the Duke of Edinburgh is used to being scrutinized for his conduct.
While some members of the Royal Family stick to the rules, he cares not for formalities and etiquette and more often than not says exactly what's on his mind.
From insulting a nation's cultural dress to waxing lyrical about pop stars' inability to sing, Prince Philip seems to have an opinion on pretty much everything.
We've compiled a list of 95 classic Prince Philip gaffes in celebration of his 95th birthday today.
1 After being told that Madonna was singing the Die Another Day theme in 2002: “Are we going to need ear plugs?”
2 To a car park attendant who didn’t recognise him in 1997, he snapped: “You bloody silly fool!”
3 To Simon Kelner, republican editor of The Independent, at Windsor Castle reception: “What are you doing here?” “I was invited, sir.” Philip: “Well, you didn’t have to come.”
4 To female sea cadet last year: “Do you work in a strip club?”
5 To expats in Abu Dhabi last year: “Are you running away from something?”
6 After accepting a conservation award in Thailand in 1991: “Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species.”
7 At a project to protect turtle doves in Anguilla in 1965, he said: “Cats kill far more birds than men. Why don’t you have a slogan: ‘Kill a cat and save a bird?’”
8 To multi-ethnic Britain’s Got Talent 2009 winners Diversity: “Are you all one family?”
9 To President of Nigeria, who was in national dress, 2003: “You look like you’re ready for bed!”
10 His description of Beijing, during a visit there in 1986: “Ghastly.”
11 At Hertfordshire University, 2003: “During the Blitz, a lot of shops had their windows blown in and put up notices saying, ‘More open than usual’. I now declare this place more open than usual.”
12 To deaf children by steel band, 2000: “Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf.”
13 To a tourist in Budapest in 1993: “You can’t have been here long, you haven’t got a pot belly.”
14 To a British trekker in Papua New Guinea, 1998: “You managed not to get eaten then?”
15 His verdict on Stoke-on-Trent, during a visit in 1997: “Ghastly.”
16 To Atul Patel at reception for influential Indians, 2009: “There’s a lot of your family in tonight.”
17 Peering at a fuse box in a Scottish factory, he said: “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.” He later backtracked: “I meant to say cowboys.”
18 To Lockerbie residents after plane bombing, 1993: “People say after a fire it’s water damage that’s the worst. We’re still drying out Windsor Castle.”
19 In Canada in 1976: “We don’t come here for our health.”
20 “I never see any home cooking – all I get is fancy stuff.” 1987
21 On the Duke of York’s house, 1986: “It looks like a tart’s bedroom.”
22 Using Hitler’s title to address German chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1997, he called him: “Reichskanzler.”
23 “We go into the red next year... I shall have to give up polo.” 1969.
24 At party in 2004: “Bugger the table plan, give me my dinner!”
25 To a woman solicitor, 1987: “I thought it was against the law for a woman to solicit.”
26 To a civil servant, 1970: “You’re just a silly little Whitehall twit: you don’t trust me and I don’t trust you.”
27 On the 1981 recession: “A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone’s working too much. Now everybody’s got more leisure time they’re complaining they’re unemployed. People don’t seem to make up their minds what they want.”
28 On the new £18million British Embassy in Berlin in 2000: “It’s a vast waste of space.”
29 After Dunblane massacre, 1996: “If a cricketer suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, are you going to ban cricket bats?”
30 To the Aircraft Research Association in 2002: “If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort – provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”
31 On stress counselling for servicemen in 1995: “We didn’t have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun. You just got on with it!”
32 On Tom Jones, 1969: “It’s difficult to see how it’s possible to become immensely valuable by singing what are the most hideous songs.”
33 To the Scottish WI in 1961: “British women can’t cook.”
34 To then Paraguay dictator General Stroessner: “It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”
35 To Cayman Islanders: “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”
36 To Scottish driving instructor, 1995: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”
37 At a WF meeting in 1986: “If it has four legs and it’s not a chair, if it’s got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane and if it swims and it’s not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”
38 “You ARE a woman, aren’t you?” Kenya, 1984.
39 A VIP at a local airport asked HRH: “What was your flight, like, Your Royal Highness? Philip: “Have you ever flown in a plane?” VIP: “Oh yes, sir, many times.” “Well,” said Philip, “it was just like that.”
40 On Ethiopian art, 1965: “It looks like the kind of thing my daughter would bring back from school art lessons.”
41 To a fashion writer in 1993: “You’re not wearing mink knickers are you?”
42 To Susan Edwards and her guide dog in 2002: “They have eating dogs for the anorexic now.”
43 When offered wine in Rome in 2000, he snapped: “I don’t care what kind it is, just get me a beer!”
44 “I’d like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family.” 1967.
45 At City Hall in 2002: “If we could just stop the tourism, we could stop the congestion.”
46 On seeing a piezo-meter water gauge in Australia: “A pissometer?”
47 “You have mosquitoes. I have the Press.” To matron of Caribbean hospital, 1966.
48 At a Bangladeshi youth club in 2002: “So who’s on drugs here?... HE looks as if he’s on drugs.”
49 To a children’s band in Australia in 2002: “You were playing your instruments? Or do you have tape recorders under your seats?”
50 At Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme, 2006. “Young people are the same as they always were. Just as ignorant.”
51 On how difficult it is in Britain to get rich: “What about Tom Jones? He’s made a million and he’s a bloody awful singer.”
52 To Elton John on his gold Aston Martin in 2001: “Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car, is it?”
53 At an engineering school closed so he could officially open it, 2005: “It doesn’t look like much work goes on at this university.”
54 To Aboriginal leader William Brin, Queensland, 2002: “Do you still throw spears at each other?”
55 At a Scottish fish farm: “Oh! You’re the people ruining the rivers.”
56 After a breakfast of bacon, eggs, smoked salmon, kedgeree, croissants and pain au chocolat – from Gallic chef Regis Crépy, 2002: “The French don’t know how to cook breakfast.”
57 To schoolboy who invited the Queen to Romford, Essex, 2003: “Ah, you're the one who wrote the letter. So you can write then?”
58 To black politician Lord Taylor of Warwick, 1999: “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?”
59 To parents at a previously struggling Sheffield school, 2003: “Were you here in the bad old days? ... That’s why you can’t read and write then!”
60 To Andrew Adams, 13, in 1998: “You could do with losing a little bit of weight.”
61 “Where’s the Southern Comfort?” When presented with a hamper of goods by US ambassador, 1999.
62 To editor of downmarket tabloid: “Where are you from?” “The S*n, sir.” Philip: “Oh, no . . . one can’t tell from the outside.”
63 Turning down food, 2000: “No, I’d probably end up spitting it out over everybody.”
64 Asking Cate Blanchett to fix his DVD player because she worked “in the film industry”, 2008: “There’s a cord sticking out of the back. Might you tell me where it goes?”
65 “People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.” 2000.
66 After hearing President Obama had had breakfast with leaders of the UK, China and Russia, 2010: “Can you tell the difference between them?”
67 On students from Brunei, 1998: “I don’t know how they’re going to integrate in places like Glasgow and Sheffield.”
68 On Princess Anne, 1970: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”
69 To wheelchair-bound nursing-home resident, 2002: “Do people trip over you?”
70 Discussing tartan with then-Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie: “That’s a nice tie... Do you have any knickers in that material?”
71 To a group of industrialists in 1961: “I’ve never been noticeably reticent about talking on subjects about which I know nothing.”
72 On a crocodile he shot in Gambia in 1957: “It’s not a very big one, but at least it’s dead and it took an awful lot of killing!”
73 On being made Chancellor of Edinburgh University in 1953: “Only a Scotsman can really survive a Scottish education.”
74 “I must be the only person in Britain glad to see the back of that plane.” He hated the noise Concorde made flying over Buckingham Palace, 2002
75 To a fashion designer, 2009: “Well, you didn’t design your beard too well, did you?”
76 To the General Dental Council in 1960: “Dontopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, which I’ve practised for many years.”
77 On stroking a koala in 1992: “Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease.”
78 On marriage in 1997: “You can take it from me the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”
79 To schoolchildren in blood-red uniforms, 1998: “It makes you all look like Dracula’s daughters!”
80 “I don’t think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing.” 1988.
81 To female Labour MPs in 2000: “So this is feminist corner then.”
82 On Nottingham Forest trophies in 1999: “I suppose I’d get in trouble if I were to melt them down.”
83 “It’s my custom to say something flattering to begin with so I shall be excused if I put my foot in it later on.” 1956.
84 To a penniless student in 1998: “Why don’t you go and live in a hostel to save cash?”
85 On robots colliding, Science Museum, 2000: “They’re not mating are they?”
86 While stuck in a Heriot Watt University lift in 1958: “This could only happen in a technical college.”
87 To newsreader Michael Buerk, when told he knew about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards, 2004: “That’s more than you know about anything else then.”
88 To a British student in China, 1986: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll go home with slitty eyes.”
89 To journalist Caroline Wyatt, who asked if the Queen was enjoying a Paris trip, 2006: “Damn fool question!”
90 On smoke alarms to a woman who lost two sons in a fire, 1998: “They’re a damn nuisance - I’ve got one in my bathroom and every time I run my bath the steam sets it off.”
91 To a professional fundraiser at East End community centre in London: "Do you have any friends left?"
92 To an attractive blonde well-wisher during a Diamond Jubilee visit with the Queen to Bromley, South London: "I would be arrested if I unzipped that dress."
93 To a Filipino nurse as he unveiled a new cardiac centre at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital in February: "The Philippines must be half empty, you're all here running the NHS."
94 To a group of women at a community centre in Chadwell Heath, east London "who do you sponge off?"