There are many ways to describe Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband of 70 years who has died at the age of 99. As well as being the longest serving royal consort in history and founder of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, he was perhaps most widely known for his use of language.
The more forgiving parts of the media have referred to Philip’s near constant ability to offend when on public service as “gaffes” from an “outspoken” member of the royal family.
Who can forget, when speaking to British students in China in the 1980s, he was reported to have told them “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed”. Then on seeing a poorly wired fuse box while on a tour near Edinburgh in 1999, he was quoted as saying “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian”. And in 2009, when he met the multi-ethnic dance troupe Diversity in 2009, he asked them: “Are you all one family?”
These comments — and there are many others — were rightly condemned as being outright racist. Either way, he seems to have been aware of the fallout from his remarks for some time, telling the General Dental Council in 1960: “Dentopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. I have been practising it for years”.
Here are some of Prince Philip’s more memorable quotes.
Approaching his 90th birthday in 2011: “Bits are beginning to drop off.”