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Did he say what I think he just said?

In celebration of the Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th birthday, I
present some famous quotes from a man who only has a vague understanding
of the meaning of the term “political correctness”:

Collected from various sources:

“Are you Indian or Pakistani? I can never tell the difference”

“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” – Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip to a Scottish driving instructor.

“If a cricketer, for example, 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?” (clearly he’s not very bright or much of a deep thinker) – Duke of Edinburgh Price Philip, amid calls to ban firearms after the Dunblane shootings

“If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”  OH NO HE DIDN’T!?!  Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, commending on Chinese eating habits to World Wildlife Fund Conference in 1986

If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed. 
Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, to British students in China during Royal visit there

“If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.” – Description of his daughter, Princess Anne

“You look as if you’re ready for bed.” — Welcoming Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Anyaoku as he arrives at Buckingham Palace in traditional Nigerian robe.

“We go into the red next year. . . . I shall probably have to give up polo.” — Comment on U.S. television in 1969 about the Royal Family’s finances.

“Do you know they’re now producing eating dogs for anorexics?” — Said to a blind woman with a guide dog.

“It looks like a tart’s boudoir.” — Comment on seeing plans for the Duchess of York’s house.

“Reichskanzler.”  Using Hitler’s title to address German chancellor Helmut Kohl.

“Of course, the problem with London is the tourists. They cause the congestion. They block the streets. If we could just stop tourism, we could stop the congestion.” Proposal for solving London’s traffic problems.

“So you managed to get here without having your knickers blown off.” — Said to a farmer’s wife from Northern Ireland visiting London for a charity event.

“It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.” — Observation on a messy fuse during a visit to a factory in 1999.

Djabugay, Yirrganydji, what’s it all about? Do you still throw spears at each other?” — Showing interest in two aboriginal tribes this year in Australia. (In fact, throwing spears at the legs of miscreants is a traditional punishment in the tribes for certain crimes.)

“I thought it was against the law these days for a woman to solicit.” — Said to a woman solicitor in a reception line.

It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.” — Said to Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner.

“What are you doing here?” — Greeting former Times editor William Rees-Mogg as he arrives at Buckingham Palace as an invited dinner guest.

“You must be out of your minds.” — Said to Solomon Islanders in 1982 when told the annual population growth was 5 per cent.

What about Tom Jones? He’s made a million and he’s a bloody awful singer.” — Response to a comment at a small-business lunch about how difficult it is in Britain to get rich (the previous night, Tom Jones had sung before the Prince at a Royal Variety performance).

“You’re just a silly little Whitehall twit: You don’t trust me and I don’t trust you.” – Said to Sir Rennie Maudslay, Keeper of the Privy Purse, in the 1970s. Philip later apologized.

“I’d much rather have stayed in the navy, frankly.” — Response to question about how he feels about his life.

“Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.” – Comment during the depth of a recession in Britain in 1981.

“I think you should arrange for every bishop in the country to have a copy. They all seem to confuse self-help and individual responsibility with selfishness.” — Response to a book advocating laissez-faire economics and describing “help from without” as “enfeebling.”

“We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.” — Said on an earlier visit to Canada.

Whither the storm carries me, I go a willing guest.” — Comment written in a visitors’ book in 1946.

“Dontopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, a
science which I have practiced for a good many years.” –
Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip (the understatement of the century)

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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