Famous gaffes made by Britain's Prince Philip

By Reuters/Emma Rumney   August 2, 2017 | 04:05 am PT
Britain's Prince Philip, 96-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, will officially retire from public life on Wednesday.

Philip is renowned for risqué, off-the-cuff remarks that have meant his public engagements regularly hit the headlines over the past half a century.

Here are some examples:

- In 1967, he was asked if he would like to go to Moscow to help ease Cold War tensions. "I would very much like to go to Russia -- although the bastards murdered half my family," he replied.

- On a trip to China in the 1980s, he warned British students: "You'll get slitty eyes if you stay too long."

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

- During a visit to Oban in Scotland in 1995 he asked a driving instructor: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the (driving) test?"

- On a trip to Australia in 1998, he asked a student who had just returned from a walking tour in Papua New Guinea: "You managed not to get eaten then?"

- In 1999, while on a tour of a company near Edinburgh, Scotland, he saw a poorly wired fuse box. "It looks as though it was put in by an Indian," he said.

- In 1999, Philip asked Lord John Taylor of Warick - a British peer of Jamaican origin - what "exotic part of the world he was from". "Birmingham," Taylor replied.

- "Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf," Philip said to a group of deaf people standing next to a steel band in Wales in 1999.

- In 2001, Philip told a 13-year-old boy whose ambition was to go into space that he was too fat to be an astronaut.

- While touring Australia in 2002, the prince asked an aborigine whether they still threw spears at each other.

- In 2009, he asked 11 members of a British multi-ethnic dance troupe if they were all one family.

- At a reception for British Indians that same year, Philip said to businessman Atul Patel, after looking at his name badge: "There's a lot of your family in tonight."

- In 2005, to celebrate Philip's 85th birthday, two British reporters, Phil Dampier and Ashley Walton, compiled "Duke of Hazard: The Wit and Wisdom of Prince Philip." Buckingham Palace was not amused.

- Asked to pick his favorite faux pas, Dampier chose Kenya's independence ceremony in 1963 when Philip represented Britain. As the Union Jack was about to be hauled down, he turned to Kenyan independence leader Jomo Kenyatta and asked: "Are you sure you want to go through with this?" 

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