Late Prince Philip' s irritating gaffes - left a lasting blot on the British Royalty!!


Prince Philip, who passed away at 99 (third week of April, 2021), was known for a long record of inappropriate and awkward remarks. His comments often caused offense, embarrassment, or mirth at public occasions—something he himself acknowledged. While some found his informality refreshing, others saw him as out-of-touch and aloof.

One of his most infamous comments occurred in 2003 when he met Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was wearing Nigeria's national dress. Prince Philip remarked, "You look like you're ready for bed." In 1986, while visiting British students in China, he told one, "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed." To a British man who trekked the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, he asked, "So you managed not to get eaten then?" In Scotland, he once asked a driving instructor, "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?" In 1999, he asked black politician Lord Taylor of Warwick, "So, what exotic part of the world do you come from?" Meeting US President Barack Obama in 2009, he interjected during a description of his day meeting various leaders, "Can you tell the difference between them?"

Prince Philip cartoon

Australians were also targets. In 2002, he asked Indigenous businessman Ivan Brim, "Do you still throw spears at each other?" These remarks, alongside other incidents, complicate his legacy, especially in light of recent discussions about racism in the royal family. British monarchy expert Arianne Chernock from Boston University noted that managing his legacy would be a delicate challenge for the royal family.

Prince Philips and others,

Others defended him, finding his humor disarming. Former Prime Minister John Howard praised his sense of humor and disdain for political correctness. Royal biographer A.N. Wilson believed Prince Philip was misunderstood and actually very funny, likening his jokes to those of a naval officer of a certain age. Harry Mount of the Spectator magazine wrote, "There's a world of difference between affectionate teasing and malicious teasing," describing Prince Philip's jokes as affectionate despite their sometimes rude appearance.

Some of his most controversial comments were directed at ordinary people, particularly women, children, and the disabled. To a female solicitor in 1987, he quipped, "I thought it was against the law for a woman to solicit." He told a group of deaf children listening to a steel drum band, "Deaf? If you're near there no wonder you're deaf." To a 13-year-old aspiring astronaut, he said, "You'll never fly in it, you're too fat to be an astronaut."

Prince Philip's legacy remains contentious, with some seeing him as a throwback to old-school racism, while others view his remarks as attempts at humor. Kathryn Lamontagne from Boston University stated, "His legacy will not be straightforward, but he was a stalwart for his wife and the monarchy—tradition, resilience, duty.