His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinbugh. My sort of person. Speaks his mind, please or offend.
Here’s a few of his best quotes :
On places he didn’t like :
- His description of Beijing, during a visit there in 1986: “Ghastly.”
- His verdict on Stoke-on-Trent, during a visit in 1997: “Ghastly.”
- To a tourist in Budapest in 1993: “You can’t have been here long, you haven’t got a pot belly.”
- To Cayman Islanders: “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”
- To a British student in China, 1986: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll go home with slitty eyes.”
- “I’d like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family.” 1967
Good job he missed the concert, because…
- 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.”
- 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.”
- To Elton John on his gold Aston Martin in 2001: “Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car, is it?”
- To deaf children by steel band, 2000: “Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf.”
- To a children’s band in Australia in 2002: “You were playing your instruments? Or do you have tape recorders under your seats?”
On politicians and civil servants :
- To President of Nigeria, who was in national dress, 2003: “You look like you’re ready for bed!”
- To a civil servant, 1970: “You’re just a silly little Whitehall twit: you don’t trust me and I don’t trust you.”
- To then Paraguay dictator General Stroessner: “It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”
- To black politician Lord Taylor of Warwick, 1999: “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?”
- After hearing President Obama had had breakfast with leaders of the UK, China and Russia, 2010: “Can you tell the difference between them?”
On feminism :
- To a woman solicitor, 1987: “I thought it was against the law for a woman to solicit.”
- To female Labour MPs in 2000: “So this is feminist corner then.”
On disasters :
- 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.”
- 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?”
- 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.”
On ecology :
- 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?’”
- At a Scottish fish farm: “Oh! You’re the people ruining the rivers.”
- 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.”
On his family :
- On the Duke of York’s house, 1986: “It looks like a tart’s bedroom.”
- On Princess Anne, 1970: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”
- On marriage in 1997: “You can take it from me the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”
- “I don’t think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing.” 1988.
On the press :
- 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.”
- “You have mosquitoes. I have the Press.” To matron of Caribbean hospital, 1966.
- 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.”
- To journalist Caroline Wyatt, who asked if the Queen was enjoying a Paris trip, 2006: “Damn fool question!”
On food and drink :
- At party in 2004: “Bugger the table plan, give me my dinner!”
- To Scottish driving instructor, 1995: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test
- When offered wine in Rome in 2000, he snapped: “I don’t care what kind it is, just get me a beer!”
- To Susan Edwards and her guide dog in 2002: “They have eating dogs for the anorexic now.”
- “Where’s the Southern Comfort?” When presented with a hamper of goods by US ambassador, 1999.
- 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.”
And finally a few of my personal favourites :
- 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.”
- At Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme, 2006. “Young people are the same as they always were. Just as ignorant.”
- “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.
- To wheelchair-bound nursing-home resident, 2002: “Do people trip over you?”
- To a group of industrialists in 1961: “I’ve never been noticeably reticent about talking on subjects about which I know nothing.”
- “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.
Get well soon – because it just wouldn’t be the same without you!