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Tuesday, August 10, 1999 Published at 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK


UK

Prince Philip's gaffes

The Duke of Edinburgh: Not known for his politically correct choice of words

The Duke of Edinburgh has expressed regret over a comment he made about Indians during a tour of an electronics firm - but it is not the first time his controversial remarks have landed him in hot water.

  • In May this year he angered deaf people during a visit to the new Welsh Assembly. While he was with a group from the British Deaf Association who were standing near a band, he pointed to the musicians and said: "Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf."

  • In 1996 he caused an outcry among gun law reformers when he said: "There's no evidence that people who use weapons for sport are any more dangerous than people who use golf clubs or tennis rackets or cricket bats."

  • He told a Briton he met in Hungary in 1993: "You can't have been here that long - you haven't got a pot belly".

  • In 1995 he asked a Scottish driving instructor: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test."

  • The Prince angered local residents in Lockerbie when on a visit to the town in 1993, he said to a man who lived in a road where 11 people had been killed by wreckage from the Pan Am jumbo jet: "People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still trying to dry out Windsor Castle."

  • During a Royal visit to China in 1986 he described Peking as "ghastly" and told British students: "If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed."

  • He said of Canada: "We don't come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves."

  • At the height of the recession in 1981 he said: "Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed."

  • In 1966 he provoked outrage by saying: "British women can't cook."

  • Commenting on stress counselling for servicemen in a TV documentary on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, he said: "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 all right - are you sure you don't have a ghastly problem?'. You just got on with it."

  • Personal remarks have annoyed singing stars. In 1969 The Duke said to Tom Jones after the Royal Variety Performance: "What do you gargle with, pebbles?".

  • At a private lunch given 30 years ago he said he thought Adam Faith's singing was like bath water going down a plug hole.




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