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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Prince fears media embarrassment
Prince Philip
Prince Philip denied rumours that he was a womaniser
The Duke of Edinburgh has revealed he retreated from the media spotlight so he would not "be an embarrassment".

The 85-year-old prince also dismissed rumours that he was a womaniser.

He said: "Every time I talk to a woman they say I've been to bed with her. Well I'm bloody flattered at my age to think some girl is interested in me."

Interviewed by Jeremy Paxman for his book On Royalty, the prince blamed TV and the tabloids for eroding relations between royalty and the media.

And he reserved particular criticism for media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Sun and News of the World newspapers.

He said Murdoch's anti-establishment views had "really pulled the plug on an awful lot of things that we hold to be quite reasonable and sensible institutions".

Philip, whose blunt sense of humour has often landed him in trouble, said: "I reckon I have done something right if I don't appear in the media.

Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy
Prince Philip

"So I've retreated - quite consciously - so as not to be an embarrassment."

He also spoke of the demands of his role when the Queen first acceded to the throne.

"Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy," he remarked.

Paxman's book, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail newspaper, caused controversy over the weekend when revelations about Prince Charles's eating habits were leaked.

The Guardian newspaper quoted the book as claiming the Prince of Wales was so fussy that he needed several boiled eggs cooked to different degrees of hardness.

Clarence House quickly denied the claims.



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