Prince Philip will go down in the annals of history as the member of the Royal Family least afraid of speaking his mind. He voices his opinions on everything from the habits of foreign-exchange students to the inadequacies of electrical wiring. This has bought him a rather unenviable reputation for being blunt to the point of offence.
When visiting China in 1986, he told a group of British students, "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed".
After accepting a gift from a Kenyan native he replied "You are a woman, aren't you?"
"If it has four legs and is not a chair, has wings and is not an aeroplane, or swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it." (1986)
To a British student in Papua New Guinea: "You managed not to get eaten then?"
Asked a Scottish driving instructor, "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough for them to pass the driving test?"
On a visit to the new Welsh Assembly in Cardiff, he told a group of deaf children standing next to a Jamaican steel drum band, "Deaf? No wonder you are deaf standing so close to that racket."
He asked an Australian aborigine, "Still throwing spears?" (2002)
Said to a Briton in Budapest, Hungary, "You can't have been here that long – you haven't got a pot belly." (1993)
To the President of Nigeria, who was dressed in traditional Muslim robes, "You look like you're ready for bed!"
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 said of Canada: "We don't come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves."
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?". And 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.
source British Embassy:
Both Queen Elizabeth II and also the Duke of Edinburgh have German ancestors. Prince Philip's mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, and he is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria through her daughter Princess Alice (who married Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine). Prince Philip spent some time at school in Germany. Prince Philip's four sisters all married Germans and lived in Germany.
The enthusiasm of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for the custom of the Christmas tree - a German tradition introduced by George III's wife Queen Charlotte - helped spread its popularity. Soon it found a permanent place in many households throughout England. At Christmas the royal family decorated the tree with sweets, figures, candles and cards that they had been sent. Victoria also observed the tradition of celebrating Christmas on 24th December (in Britain the presents are usually opened on 25th December). Today Queen Elizabeth II and her family still celebrate Christmas by exchanging and opening presents on 24th December.
Last edited by Melanie on Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.