15 of the Duke of Edinburgh’s most controversial comments

The Duke of Edinburgh in Edinburgh. Picture: Neil Hanna
The Duke of Edinburgh in Edinburgh. Picture: Neil Hanna

From his notorious “slitty-eyed” remark to a more recent f-word outburst, the Duke of Edinburgh is without doubt the royal family’s most controversial character.

There are many to choose from, but here are a selection of just some of Philip’s gaffes over the years.

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

2. “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).

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

4. “Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf” (to young deaf people in Cardiff, in 1999, referring to a school’s steel band).

5. “You are a woman, aren’t you?” (in Kenya, 1984, after accepting a small gift from a local woman).

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

7. “You’re too fat to be an astronaut” (to a 13-year-old who told Philip he wanted to go into space during a visit to Salford in 2001).

8. “Do you chaps still chuck spears at each other?” (in Australia, in 2002 talking to a successful aborigine entrepreneur).

9. “You look like a suicide bomber” (to a young female officer wearing a bulletproof vest on Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in 2002).

10. “Do you know they’re now producing eating dogs for anorexics?” (to a blind woman outside Exeter Cathedral, 2002).

11. “There’s a lot of your family in tonight” (after looking at the name badge of businessman Atul Patel at a Palace reception for British Indians in October 2009).

12. “Do you work at 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).

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

14. “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).

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