MPs today paid tribute to Prince Philip’s “unique turn of phrase” ahead of his 90th birthday on Friday in parliament yesterday. Of course what they really mean is Prince Philip’s gaffes, some of which have been absolute blinders. (See below)
Prime Minister Cameron said the public found his “inimitable approach” endearing meanwhile Labour leader Ed Miliband said “His unique turn of phrase has become a much-loved feature of modern British life.”
He quoted “two repeatable examples” of the duke’s wit. “To the matron of a hospital he visited in the Caribbean he commented: “You have mosquitos, I have the press’,” to much laughter in the commons.
“Legend also has it that following the Coronation in 1953 he turned to Her Majesty and said: ‘Where did you get that hat?'” Miliband continued.”Humour is a great part of British life and we thank the duke for his unique contribution.”
Married to the Queen for 64 years Prince Philip is the longest serving royal consort in British history. MPs also praised him for his public service, his experience as a wartime officer and for being a “source of rock solid strength” for the her Maj.
Here are some of Prince Philip’s best gaffes over the years:
“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?’ To a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.
“It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.”
The Prince on a fuse box given during a tour of a Scottish factory in August 1999. He later clarified: “I meant to say cowboys. I just got my cowboys and Indians mixed up.”
“If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.” On his daughter, Princess Anne.‘
“You look like you’re ready for bed!” To the President of Nigeria, who was wearing traditional robes.
“Get me a beer. I don’t care what kind it is, just get me a beer!” On being offered fine Italian wines by Prime Minister Giuliano Amato at a dinner in Rome in 2000.
“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.” To a meeting of the World Wildlife Fund in 1986.
“If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes.” To a British student on the same visit to China in 1986.
“People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.” In 2000.