Prince Philip's most memorable quotes

In light of the announcement from Buckingham Palace that Prince Philip will no longer be carrying out royal engagements from the autumn of this year, we take a look back at the 95-year-old's most memorable, brilliant and hilarious quotes over his many years of service. 

prince philip birthday


The wit of Prince Philip

  • To the Queen after her coronation: "Where did you get the hat?" 
  • To a hospital matron in the Caribbean: "You have mosquitos. I have the press."    
  • To a Scottish driving instructor: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?"
  • On meeting an Australian man who introduced himself and said, "My wife is a doctor of philosophy and much more important than I am," he replied: "Ah yes, we have that trouble in our family too!"
  • To Tom Jones after his Royal Variety Performance in 1969: "What do you gargle with, pebbles?"
  • During Elton John's performance at the show in 2001: "I wish he'd turn the microphone off!"
  • To Elton John himself, his neighbour in Windsor, on learning he had sold his gold Aston Martin: "Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car – we often see it when driving to Windsor Castle."
  • On the recession of the Eighties: "Everyone was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed. "
  • Meeting a local woman during a trip to Kenya: " You are a woman, aren't you?" 
  • On meeting a 13 year-old-boy who dreamed of travelling to space: "You could do with losing a little bit of weight."   
  • To BBC news reader Michael Buerk, who replied that, yes, he did know what the Duke of Edingburgh scheme was: "Well, that's more than you know about anything else then."  
  • On the dark red uniform worn by pupils of Queen Anne's school in Reading: "It makes you all look like Dracula's daughters."
  • To expats in Abu Dhabi: "Are you running away from something?"
  • Meeting a fashion designer in 2009: "You didn't design your beard too well, did you?"
  • To a group of female Labour MPs: "Ah, so this is the feminist corner then!"
  • His opinion of the president of Nigeria's traditional attire: "You look like you're ready for bed."
  • To a group of industrial workers: "I have never been noticeably reticent about talking on subjects about which I know nothing."
  • On his school days: "I was not the least aware I was any different from any of the others. It's true I had this title of Prince, but it's surprising how you can live it down. My favourite subject at school was avoiding unnecessary work."
  • His assessment of the £18million British embassy in Berlin, opened by his wife: "It's a vast waste of space." 
  • After learning that Prince Edward had been admitted to Jesus College Cambridge with a C and two D grades at A Level: "What a friend we have in Jesus."
  • Concluding a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1968: "As so often happens, I discover that it would have been better to keep my mouth shut."
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