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64 Unforgettable Quotes from Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Image: FlickR

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is notorious for fiercely speaking his mind out. His gaffes  and snide remarks to people who got on his nerves graced the headlines around of world. While some of his one-liners originated from substantial amount of outrage, many of which actually made the world laughed out loud. Here are 65 of the most unforgettable quotes from Prince Philip.

“Are you all one family?" - Said to multi-racial dance troupe Diversity at the 2009 Royal Variety Performance, as quoted in " Prince Philip asks Diversity, 'Are you all one family?'"  

“Oh, what, a strip club?" - Response to Elizabeth Rendle, a 24-year-old, who, when introduced to the prince, said that she worked as a barmaid in a nightclub.

“ (Children) go to school because their parents don't want them in the house." (prompting giggles from Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban after campaigning for the right of girls to go to school without fear - October 2013)

“A gun is no more dangerous than a cricket bat in the hands of a madman. - As quoted in "Deaf insulted by duke's remark" BBC News (May 27, 1999)

“Ah good, there's so many over there you feel they breed them just to put in orphanages. - Said while presenting a Duke of Edinburgh Award to a student. When informed that the young man was going to help out in Romania for six months, he asked if the student was going to help the Romanian orphans and was told that he was not, as quoted in "Duke under fire for Romanian orphans 'joke'" in The Scotsman (July 8, 2006)

“Are you asking me if the Queen is going to die?" (on being questioned on when the Prince of Wales would succeed to the throne)

“Aren't most of you descended from pirates? - Said in 1994 to an inhabitant of the Cayman Islands as quoted in "Long line of princely gaffes" BBC News (March 1, 2002)

“Bits are beginning to drop off." (on approaching his 90th birthday, 2011)

“Bloody silly fool!" (in 1997, referring to a Cambridge University car park attendant who did not recognise him).

“British women can't cook.” - Statement of 1966, as quoted in "Long line of princely gaffes" BBC News ( March 1, 2002)

“Constitutionally I don't exist.” - "Should the royals have real jobs?" BBC News (January 27, 2011)

“Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf. - On a visit to the new National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff, said to a group of deaf children standing next to a Jamaican steel drum band, as quoted in "Deaf insulted by duke's remark" BBC News (May 27, 1999)

“Do you have a pair of knickers made out of this?" (pointing to some tartan to Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie a papal reception in Edinburgh in September 2010).

“Do you know they're now producing eating dogs for the anorexics? - Said to a blind, wheelchair-bound woman who was accompanied by her guide dog, 2002.

“Do you still throw spears at each other? - Said in 2002 to a Indigenous Australian businessman, as quoted in "Prince Philip's spear 'gaffe'" BBC News (March 1, 2002)

“Do you work it a strip club?" (to 24-year-old Barnstaple Sea Cadet Elizabeth Rendle when she told him she also worked in a nightclub in March 2010).

“Education, journalism, technology, entertainment and business may also find better methods for their purpose than books and writing. But this does not mean that tapes and films have made books obsolescent—the contention is almost too ludicrous to be taken seriously. Books are certainly old fashioned, but only people with a very limited perception are silly enough to condemn ideas because of their age. It is, of course, equally silly to condemn the new fangled simply because it is strange, and I am full of admiration for the technologists who have developed all sorts of gadgets for the purpose of improving communications. However, I believe that all these fascinating machines are complementary to, and not substitutes for, books and the printed word. - Do Books Matter? (ed. Brian Baumfield

“Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed. - In 1981, in reference to an economic recession, as quoted in "Long line of princely gaffes" BBC News (March 1, 2002)

“Gentlemen, I think it is time we pulled our fingers out."(to the Industrial Co-Partnership Association on Britain's inefficient industries in 1961).

“Have you run over anybody? - Said to the Mayor of Waltham Forest who uses a mobility scooter. Duke of Edinburgh has fun with mobility scooter jokes on London visit Metro (March 29, 2012)

Prince Philip with then-Princess Elizabeth and Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, 1951. Image: Flickr

“How can you tell the difference between them? - Said to United States President Barack Obama after being told that Obama had met with the Chinese and Russian ambassadors along with David Cameron, "Prince Philip makes a faux pas" at Youtube (April 1, 2009)

“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?" (to a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland, during a 1995 walkabout).

“How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?" (meeting disabled David Miller who drives a mobility scooter at the Valentine Mansion in Redbridge in March 2012)

“I declare this thing open, whatever it is." (on a visit to Canada in 1969).

“I hope he breaks his bloody neck." (when a photographer covering a royal visit to India fell out of a tree)

“I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist... I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus. - Foreword to If I Were an Animal (1987) by Fleur Cowles  

“I wish he'd turn the microphone off." (muttered at the Royal Variety Performance as he watched Sir Elton John perform, 2001).

“I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress." (to 25-year-old council worker Hannah Jackson, who was wearing a dress with a zip running the length of its front, on a Jubilee visit to Bromley, Kent, in May 2012)

“If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, which he could do very easily, I mean, are you going to ban cricket bats?" (in 1996, amid calls to ban firearms after the Dunblane shooting).

“If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she's not interested." (on the Princess Royal)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Brisbane during their World Commonwealth Tour, 1953-1954. Image: Flickr

“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." (at a 1986 World Wildlife Fund meeting).

“If the man had succeeded in abducting Anne, she would have given him a hell of a time while in captivity." (On a gunman who tried to kidnap the Princess Royal in 1974).

“If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed." (to British students in China, during the 1986 state visit).

“I'm just a bloody amoeba." (on the Queen's decision that their children should be called Windsor, not Mountbatten).

“Is it made with Liffey water? - Said about a pint Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, as quoted in "‘Is it made with Liffey water?’ Philip enquires of Guinness" in Irish Independent (18 May 2011)

“It looks as if it was put in by an Indian." (pointing at an old-fashioned fusebox in a factory near Edinburgh in 1999).

“It looks like a tart's bedroom." (on seeing plans for the Duke and Duchess of York's house at Sunninghill Park in 1988)

“It seems to me that it's the best way of wasting money that I know of. I don't think investments on the moon pay a very high dividend. - On the U.S. Apollo program, press conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil (November 1968) as quoted in The Reality of Monarchy (1970) by Andrew Duncan

“It's a pleasant change to be in a country that isn't ruled by its people." (to Alfredo Stroessner, the Paraguayan dictator).

“Just take the f***ing picture." (losing patience with an RAF photographer at events to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain - July 2015)

“Most stripping is done by hand." (to 83-year-old Mars factory worker Audrey Cook when discussing how she used to strip or cut Mars Bars by hand in April 2013)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their grandchildren.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

“Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease." (in Australia, in 1992, when asked to stroke a Koala bear).

“People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still trying to dry out Windsor Castle. - Said on a visit to Lockerbie in 1993 to a man who lived in a road where eleven people had been killed by wreckage from the Pan Am jumbo jet, as quoted in "Prince Philip's gaffes" BBC News (August 10, 1999)

“The man who invented the red carpet needed his head examined. -  at the start of a state visit to Brazil (November 1968) as quoted in The Reality of Monarchy (1970) by Andrew Duncan

“The Philippines must be half empty as you're all here running the NHS." (on meeting a Filipino nurse at a Luton hospital in February 2013)

“There is nothing like it for morale to be reminded that the years are passing—ever more quickly—and that bits are dropping off the ancient frame. But it is nice to be remembered at all. - Said in a letter to The Oldie magazine after being voted "Consort of the Year". Prince Philip voted 'Consort of the Year' BBC News (February 11, 2011)

“There's a lot of your family in tonight. - Said in November 2009 to a Mr Patel (a common Indian Surname) at a reception for 400 British Indian businessmen at Buckingham Palace

“They must be out of their minds." (in the Solomon Islands, in 1982, when he was told that the annual population growth was 5%).

“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." (about the Second World War commenting on modern stress counselling for servicemen in 1995).

“Well, you didn't design your beard too well, did you?" (to designer Stephen Judge about his tiny goatee beard in July 2009).

“Well, you'll never fly in it, you're too fat to be an astronaut. - Said at the University of Salford to a 13-year-old aspiring astronaut, who was wishing to fly the NOVA rocket, as quoted in "Gift of the gaffe: Prince Philip’s top ten embarrassing moments" in The Daily Mirror (14 December 2009)

“What do you gargle with, pebbles?" (speaking to singer Tom Jones after the 1969 Royal Variety Performance).

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan during a state dinner held in honor of Her Majesty in 1983. Image: Wikimedia Commons

“When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife." (on marriage).

“Where did you get that hat?" (supposedly to Queen at her Coronation).

“Yak, yak, yak; come on get a move on." (shouted from the deck of Britannia in Belize in 1994 to the Queen who was chatting to her hosts on the quayside).

“You are a woman, aren't you?"(In Kenya, in 1984, after accepting a small gift from a local woman).

“You can't have been here that long - you haven't got a pot belly." (to a Briton in Budapest, Hungary, in 1993).

 “You have mosquitoes. I have the Press.- In a 1966 conversation with the matron of a hospital while on a tour of the Caribbean as quoted in The Reality of Monarchy (1970) by Andrew Duncan

“You look like a suicide bomber." (to a young female officer wearing a bullet-proof vest on Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in 2002).

“You look like you’re ready for bed! - Said in 2003 to President of Nigeria, who was in national dress.

“You look starved." (to a pensioner on a visit to the Charterhouse almshouse for elderly men - February 2017)

“You managed not to get eaten then? - Said to a British student in Papua New Guinea, as quoted in 

Unveiling Young Darwin statue by HRH Prince Philip in 2009 at Christ's College Cambridge. Image: Wikimedia Commons

“Long line of princely gaffes" BBC News (March 1, 2002)

“Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species in the world." (in Thailand, in 1991, after accepting a conservation award).

“You're too fat to be an astronaut." (to 13-year-old Andrew Adams who told Philip he wanted to go into space. Salford, 2001).


  1. I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the hottest virtual strippers stripping on my taskbar.


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