He said what?! Philip, Prince of Clangers in his own words
The queen's consort turned a stately 97 on Sunday, and it's worth savouring some of his memorable lines
Britain’s Prince Philip, who celebrated his 97th birthday on Sunday, has earned a reputation for off-the-cuff remarks during his long career as the queen’s consort.
Here are some of his most memorable lines:
• “You’re about to see the world’s most experienced plaque-unveiler.” — Opening a new stand at Lord’s cricket ground in London in May 2017.
• “(Children) go to school because their parents don’t want them in the house.” — To Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban after campaigning for girls’ right to go to school, in October 2013, reducing her to giggles.
• “Bits are beginning to drop off.” — On approaching his 90th birthday in 2011.
• “There’s a lot of your family in tonight.” — After looking at the name badge of businessman Atul Patel at a reception for British Indians in October 2009.• “Do you know they’re now producing eating dogs for anorexics?” — To a blind woman, in 2002.
• “Still throwing spears?” — An Australian Aborigine is quizzed during a 2002 visit.
• “Well, you’ll never fly in it, you’re too fat.” — A 13-year-old boy has his dreams of being an astronaut shattered in 2001.
• “Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf.” — To a group of deaf people standing near a steel band in 1999.
• “You managed not to get eaten, then?” — In 1998, to a student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea.
• “If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, which he could do very easily, I mean, are you going to ban cricket bats?” — Campaigners wanting handguns banned are outraged in 1996 after 16 primary school children and their teacher are shot dead in Dunblane, Scotland.
• “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?” — A driving instructor in Scotland is put on the spot in 1995.
• “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?” — A Cayman Islander is quizzed on his heritage in 1994.
• “It was part of the fortunes of war. We didn’t have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking ‘are you alright — are you sure you don’t have a ghastly problem?’ You just got on with it.” — The former naval officer commenting on stress counselling for service personnel during a television documentary for the 50th anniversary of D-Day, in 1994.• “You can’t have been here that long – you haven’t got a pot belly.” – To a Briton in Budapest, Hungary, in 1993.
• “Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease.” – A request to stroke a koala in Australia is declined, 1992.
• “Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species in the world.” – After accepting a conservation award in Thailand in 1991.
• “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.” – A group of British students is warned on a state visit to China, 1986.
• “If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.” – On Chinese cuisine at a 1986 World Wildlife Fund meeting.
• “You are a woman, aren’t you?” – To a woman in Kenya presenting him with a small gift in 1984.
• “Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.” – Wide of the mark in 1981 at the height of the British recession.
• “British women can’t cook.” – The Greek-born prince misses feta and olives in 1966.
• “I declare this thing open, whatever it is.” – On a visit to Canada in 1969.