Prince Philip: King of the Awkward and Offensive One-Liner (Published)

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Brusque, avuncular, and with a reputation for being overly plain-speaking, Prince Philip has over seven decades been a formidable presence at the side of Queen Elizabeth II as she made the countless round of dinners, ceremonies and other engagements expected of the British monarch.

A product of the “stiff upper lip” era, the prince, 95 — who Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday was stepping back from his public duties — has over the years produced a remarkable collection of politically incorrect, tone deaf and, on occasion, outrageous one-liners that have been gleefully recorded by generations of British journalists.

We have compiled some notable examples here.

— On a visit to Canada in 1969

— During the 1981 recession

— Pointing to an old-fashioned fuse box in a factory near Edinburgh in 1999

— To young deaf people in Cardiff, Wales, in 1999, referring to a school’s steel band

To British students in China, during a 1986 state visit

Suggesting to a British student in 1998 who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea that tribes there were still cannibals

To the president of Nigeria, who was dressed in traditional robes

To a 14-year-old member of a Bangladeshi youth club in 2002

— To a group of female Labour lawmakers at a party at Buckingham Palace in 2000


On a tour of Canada in 1976

— When accepting a figurine from a woman during a visit to Kenya in 1984

To a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland, in 1995

“The Duke of Edinburgh was thrown into the sea today when his sailboat capsized off the Isle of Wight and half an hour later he escaped serious injury when the boom of a crane crashed near him.”

Claire Barthelemy, Palko Karasz and Iliana Magra contributed reporting.

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