Prince Philip biggest gaffes and controversial moments


Th Royal Family will today mark one year since the passing of Prince Philip at the age of 99. Philip completed thousands of public engagements and here are some of his controversial comments

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie
One year on from the death of Prince Philip, we look back on his most controversial moments

It is one year since the death of Prince Philip, who passed away at the age of 99 in 2021.

In a time of national coronavirus restrictions, the Queen was forced to attend the funeral service of her husband with a mask on and sit alone during the service

Philip was married to the Queen for 73 years and she described him as her “strength and stay” on their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.

She said: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years… and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”

In his role as the Duke of Edinburgh, Philip had long observed royal duties before finally stepping back in 2017.

Meeting the Royal Marines in 2017 was his final solitary duty and he completed 22,219 solo engagements since the Queen took the throne in 1952.

With so many engagements it is no wonder a few gaffes were made along the way.

What did Prince Philip say about China?

Prince Philip’s comments about Chinese people caused outrage



The most infamous comment Prince Philip made was in during a visit to China in 1986 Prince Philip told a group of British students: “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”

It wasn’t the only time Prince Philip had run-ins during visits to China and he was heavily criticized for his comments over the years.

In 2002, he asked Aboriginal leader William Brin at the Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland if the people they’re “still throw spears at each other”, causing outrage.

In 1986, he described the capital Beijing as “ghastly” and in a World Wildlife Fund meeting in 1986, he said: “If it has four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an airplane and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”

What did Prince Philip say about Tom Jones?

Tom Jones is known for having pants thrown at him. It is safe to say they were not chucked by Prince Philip



Deep, husky, fantastically Welsh, the voice of Sir Tom Jones is loved by many, but seemingly not Prince Philip.

The Duke of Edinburgh is reported to have questioned the British music legend after a Royal Variety performance in 1969 and asked: “What do you gargle with – pebbles?”

He later added: “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.”

Prince Philip’s funniest and most outrageous moments

Some of Prince Philip’s comments raised a few laughs


Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Despite some problems caused by some of his comments during his career and the heavy criticism he faced, Prince Philip did have the occasional corker up his sleeve.

Few people, if any, could have gotten away with shouting “Yak, yak, yak; come on, get a move on” at the Queen, but Philip is reported to have done just this on the deck of the Royal Yacht Britannia in Belize in 1994.

Not frightened of poking fun, Philip said of his own daughter Princess Anne in 1970: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”

Other comments include:

  • “It’s a vast waste of space.” In reference to the British Embassy in Berlin.
  • On his marriage to the Queen, he said: “You can take it from me the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”
  • “Just take the f****** picture.” After a RAF Club photographer tried the prince’s patience for too long.
  • “You’re too fat to be an astronaut,” said 13-year-old boy Andrew Adams in 2001.
  • On a visit to Canada in 1969: “I declare this thing open, whatever it is.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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