Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and loyal husband to the queen, has long had a proclivity for expressing himself in colorful language. So it was with hearty snorts of amusement that the world watched him tell a photographer to “just take the fucking picture” as he posed with veterans during a Battle of Britain anniversary reception.
Even Prince William struggled to stifle a smile.
It was certainly a minor gaffe in comparison to some of the notoriously off-colored quips Prince Philip has made over the years.
Now that he’s in the twilight of his life, some patriotic Brits revere him as a national treasure representative of “traditional,” dry British humor; a refreshingly unpredictable presence in the choreographed Royal Family.
Never mind that Prince Philip’s infamous blunders have often been sources of national embarrassment.
Either way, it’s clear the 94-year-old Duke of Edinburgh hasn’t lost his edge.
From his notorious “slitty-eyed” remark during a 1986 visit to China to addressing the “feminist corner” of female Labour MPs over cocktails at Buckingham Palace, here is the best of Prince Philip’s gaffes to date.
Charm offensive in Canada
“We don’t come here for our health,” Philip said during a 1976 tour of the country, which was apparently a little dull for his tastes. “We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.”
“Everybody was saying we must have more leisure,” Prince Philip said of the U.K.’s 1981 economic decline. “Now they are complaining they are unemployed.”
Asked of a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland, famous for its whiskey distillery: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?”
Applying logic to a massacre
In 1996, after a gunman murdered 16 Scottish children and their teacher in Dunblane, Philip was baffled by a consequential ban on possession of handguns in the U.K. He reasoned with a radio interviewer: “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?”
Banter with British students in foreign countries
The Chinese were surely not amused by Prince Philip’s banter with British exchange students during an official visit to the country in 1986, when he warned the young Brits they’d all become “slitty-eyed” if they remained in the country much longer.
The Duke of Edinburgh was on home turf when he asked a British student who had recently returned from traveling in Papua New Guinea: “You managed not to get eaten then?”
Cozying up to female Labour MPs over drinks at Buckingham Palace
In 2000, Prince Philip introduced himself to several women in Parliament: “Ah, so this is feminist corner then.”
Making friends on a factory tour in Scotland
In 2002, while touring a factory near Edinburgh, Scotland, Philip remarked to a news crew that one fuse box looked like it had been “installed by an Indian.”