On 4th May 2017, Prince Philip announced that he was retiring from his royal duties, after over 70 years of service to his Queen and country.
During his time by the monarch’s side, Prince Philip has celebrated huge achievements,
such as the success of the Duke of Edinburgh award, and the Queen’s many
milestone celebrations, such as when she became the longest reigning monarch. He too has won the title of longest serving royal consort, and he and the Queen will also, incredibly, be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary later this year too.
But aside from these famous accolades, the prince is perhaps most well-known for his cheeky – and often, pretty naughty – side.
He is photographed at official dinner parties and state events all the time, dressed impeccably and appearing to behave with the utmost decorum. But, his wicked sense of humour and quick wit has given him quite a reputation for making occasionally inappropriate and controversial comments.
From Elton John to the women of the Scottish WI, Prince Philip has put his foot in it with people the world over. We’ve rounded up his funniest gaffes in honour of his well-deserved retirement…
1. Commenting on the Duke of York’s house in 1986: “It looks like a tart’s bedroom”
2. Overheard at Bristol University’s engineering facility:”It doesn’t look like much work goes on at this University.”
3. Approaching his 90th birthday, 2011: “Bits are beginning to drop off.”
4. At a dinner party in 2004: “Bugger the table plan, give me my dinner!”
5. Shouted to the Queen from the deck of Britannia in Belize in 1994, who was chatting. “Yak, yak, yak; come on get a move on.”
6. At the Scottish Women’s Institute in 1961: “British women can’t cook”
7. Talking to Tom Jones after his Royal Variety Performance in 1969, he asked ‘What do you gargle with, pebbles?’. The day after, he added: “It’s difficult to see how it’s possible to
become immensely valuable by singing what are the most hideous songs.”
8. At Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme in 2006. “Young people are the same as they always were. Just as ignorant.”
9. On a visit to Canada in 1969: “I declare this thing open, whatever it is.”
10. After being told that Madonna was singing the Die Another Day theme in 2002, the Duke of Edinburgh asked: “Are we going to need ear plugs?”
11. At a project to protect turtle doves in Anguilla in 1965, he said: “Cats
kill far more birds than men. Why don’t you have a slogan: ‘Kill a cat
and save a bird?'”
12. Talking about his equestrian-inclined daughter, Princess Anne: ‘If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.’
13. When talking to designer Stephen Judge about goatee beard in 2009: “Well, you didn’t design your beard too well, did you?”
14. When being questioned on when the Prince of Wales would succeed to the throne: “Are you asking me if the Queen is going to die?”
15. Addressing Elton John he said, ‘Oh it’s you that owns that ghastly car is it? We often see it when driving to Windsor Castle.’ Later, at the Royal Variety Performance watching Elton perform in 2001, he said, “I wish he’d turn the microphone off.”
16. About a Cambridge student who didn’t recognise him: “Bloody silly fool!”
17. To a Scottish driving instructor, 1999: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”
But the Duke’s duties aren’t quite over yet. Before he retires in
August, Philip has got a range of prior commitments to attend – both
solo and by the Queen’s side. And he certainly won’t be slowing down on
royal engagements before he stops completely, with a total of 13 left to
There are of course a few big ones coming up in the
early summer months, such as a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show on 22nd
May, and presenting prizes at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on 14th May.
He’ll also round up his Duke of Edinburgh award duties on 24th May, with
a reception at Buckingham Palace for those who have achieved the gold
We wonder if we’ll get any more hilarious soundbites from Prince Philip at these events… here’s hoping!