Prince Philip may be a royal, but his comments over the years make him seem anything but. He seems to lack any sense of a filter and says whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Maybe we can blame his insensitivity on his old age now, but he’s warranted putting his foot in his mouth for most of his life.
No matter the topic, the prince will manage to find a way to make you cringe. Here’s a look back at the 15 most shocking things Philip has ever said.
Philip has a habit of referring to things he doesn’t approve of as “ghastly.” For example, he referred to Beijing as such during a tour of China in 1986.
Then in 1997, he described Stoke-on-Trent as ghastly to the city’s own Member of Parliament, Joan Walley.
Next: This comment can only be described as racist.
2. ‘If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes.’
During his 1986 trip to China, Philip made this nothing short of racist comment to Simon Kerby, a 21-year-old British student: “If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes.”
Next: He managed to insult yet another country.
3. ‘You can’t have been here that long — you haven’t got a pot belly.’
According to Philip, when you visit an area, you adopt their stereotyped features. In 1993, he told a British vacationer while touring around Budapest in Hungary, “You can’t have been here that long — you haven’t got a pot belly.”
Next: He managed to offend children with hearing disabilities.
4. ‘Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf.’
Philip got a bit insensitive in 2000 when he saw a group of children with hearing disabilities. They were standing near a Caribbean steel drum band, to which he criticized, “Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf.”
Next: He wasn’t a fan of this question.
5. ‘Damn fool question!’
Philip didn’t hold back when he wasn’t impressed with BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt’s question. At a 2006 Elysée Palace banquet, Wyatt asked Queen Elizabeth about how she was enjoying her time in Paris.
Philip was outraged, criticizing that it was a “damn fool question!”
Next: He only made it worse when he tried to go back on this statement.
6. ‘It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.’
This was Philip’s conclusion when describing a fuse box he saw while touring a Scottish factory in 1999.
He only made it worse when he tried to go back on his comment by claiming, “I meant to say cowboys. I just got my cowboys and Indians mixed up.”
Next: He’ll call you out over anything.
7. ‘Well, you didn’t design your beard too well, did you?’
It seems like Philip can find just about anything to make a fuss over. While a young fashion designer was visiting Buckingham Palace in 2009, Philip gave his honest opinion.
He even urged, “You really must try better with your beard.”
Next: He has strong opinions about British women’s cooking.
8. ‘British women can’t cook.’
Philip likely got himself into a bit of trouble with this comment. He made the bold statement that “British women can’t cook” while visiting the Scottish Women’s Institute in 1961.
Next: He couldn’t stand his voice.
9. ‘What do you gargle with — pebbles?’
Philip didn’t exactly have the kindest things to say to Tom Jones after he sang at the 1969 Royal Variety Performance.
He even confirmed that he meant what he said the next day, when he criticized, “It is very difficult at all to see how it is possible to become immensely valuable by singing what I think are the most hideous songs.”
Next: Is there anyone he hasn’t offended?
10. ‘Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?’
If you weren’t cringing at his comments before, this comment will definitely do the trick.
In 2002, Philip asked Susan Edwards, a wheelchair-bound woman with a guide dog, “Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?”
Next: This is why he won’t go to Russia.
11. ‘I would like to go to Russia very much — although the bastards murdered half my family.’
Philip proved his lack of filter yet again in 1967. When he was asked about his feelings on visiting the Soviet Union, he explained, “I would like to go to Russia very much — although the bastards murdered half my family.”
Next: You won’t believe what he told a 13-year-old boy.
12. ‘You could do with losing a little bit of weight.’
While Philip shouldn’t be telling anyone they “could do with losing a little bit of weight,” it feels extra mean considering he said this to Andrew Adams, a 13-year-old with dreams of becoming an astronaut.
Next: We’re not sure he’s ever heard of manners.
13. ‘No, I would probably end up spitting it out over everybody.’
A polite “no, thank you,” would have worked when Philip was offered fish at Rick Stein’s seafood deli. Instead, he claimed that he’d “probably end up spitting it out over everybody.”
Next: Yes, he actually asked Barack Obama this question.
14. ‘Can you tell the difference between them?’
We can only imagine what was going through former President Barack Obama’s head when Philip asked him this question. He was referring to the leaders of China, Russia, and the UK, with whom Obama attended a breakfast with.
Next: This might be why he’s so snarky.
15. ‘I’d much rather have stayed in the Navy, frankly.’
Maybe Philip’s snarky comments indicate that he’s not particularly happy with his own life. After all, when he was asked about how he generally felt about his life in 1992, he responded, “I’d much rather have stayed in the Navy, frankly.”
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