The gaffes that have made Philip a ‘national treasure’
His reputation for plain speaking has often led to controversy.
The Duke of Edinburgh has perhaps been best known for his legendary gaffes.
He has shocked and sometimes delighted the public with his outspoken comments and clangers.
His reputation for plain speaking has often led to controversy, but he was once branded a “national treasure” by the press for his inability to curb his off-the-cuff remarks.
He claimed he was misunderstood. In fact, the Duke has been “misunderstood” almost everywhere he went.
Here are some of Philip’s famous phrases:
“British women can’t cook” (in Britain in 1966).
“What do you gargle with, pebbles?” (speaking to singer Tom Jones after the 1969 Royal Variety Performance).
“I declare this thing open, whatever it is.” (on a visit to Canada in 1969).
“Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed” (during the 1981 recession).
“It looks like a tart’s bedroom.” (on seeing plans for the Duke and Duchess of York’s house at Sunninghill Park in 1988).
“Yak, yak, yak; come on get a move on.” (shouted from the deck of Britannia in Belize in 1994 to the Queen who was chatting to her hosts on the quayside).
“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?” (to a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland, during a 1995 walkabout).
“It looks as if it was put in by an Indian.” (pointing at an old-fashioned fusebox in a factory near Edinburgh in 1999).
“Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease.” (in Australia, in 1992, when asked to stroke a Koala bear).
“You can’t have been here that long – you haven’t got a pot belly.” (to a Briton in Budapest, Hungary, in 1993).
“You’re too fat to be an astronaut.” (to 13-year-old Andrew Adams who told Philip he wanted to go into space. Salford, 2001).
“I wish he’d turn the microphone off.” (muttered at the Royal Variety Performance as he watched Sir Elton John perform, 2001).
“Bits are beginning to drop off.” (on approaching his 90th birthday, 2011).
“How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?” (meeting disabled David Miller who drives a mobility scooter at the Valentine Mansion in Redbridge in March 2012).
“The Philippines must be half empty as you’re all here running the NHS.” (on meeting a Filipino nurse at a Luton hospital in February 2013).
“(Children) go to school because their parents don’t want them in the house.” (prompting giggles from Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban after campaigning for the right of girls to go to school without fear – October 2013).
“Are you asking me if the Queen is going to die?” (on being questioned on when the Prince of Wales would succeed to the throne).
“If the man had succeeded in abducting Anne, she would have given him a hell of a time while in captivity.” (On a gunman who tried to kidnap the Princess Royal in 1974).
“When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.” (on marriage).
“Where did you get that hat?” (supposedly to Queen at her Coronation).