Prince Philip's Pope gaffe: From the hand of friendship to the foot in the mouth
It was a historic day for both papacy and monarchy: the first official state visit to Britain by a pope since Henry VIII's matrimonial entanglements became even more complicated than those of the current Queen's offspring.
But no sooner had the infallible pontiff extended the "hand of friendship" at Holyrood yesterday than our own decidedly fallible Duke of Edinburgh struck, as he has so many times.
The Pope had been welcomed to the UK by the Queen and Prince Philip at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, after which the trio were introduced to dignitaries at an official reception.
The Prince soon became involved in a conversation with the Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray, who was sporting a special papal tartan tie, and the Scottish Conservative leader, Annabel Goldie. "Have you got a pair of knickers made out of this?" the Duke inquired of Ms Goldie, adding another fine specimen to his collection of inappropriate remarks.
"I couldn't possibly comment – and even if I did, I couldn't possibly exhibit them," Ms Goldie replied gamely.
A friend of the unfortunate politician claimed that she was in "hoots of laughter" over the exchange. "It's marvellous to know that humour is alive and well in the Royal Family," they said.