Random rants (3): Prince Philip

This is why I love England: Prince Philip.

I don’t know why the newspapers always try and put the words ‘gaffe’ and ‘Prince Philip’ in the same sentence. The definition of a gaffe is an ‘unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator’. Well, bollocks to that. Everything the Duke of Edinburgh says is clearly intentional and he’s hardly embarrassed by it. Nor should he be. He’s 91. As far as I’m concerned, he can say what he likes.

Yesterday, whilst opening a £5.5m cardiac centre at the Luton & Dunstable hospital, he told a Filipino nurse that her country ‘must be half empty – you’re all here running the NHS.’ Marvellous stuff. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the Philippines was 92,337,852. A staff census for the NHS shows that there were 1.4m in its workforce at the end of September 2010 … so the dear old Duke might not be far wrong with his sums …

But does it beat his other best-known ‘gaffes’? He told British students during a 1986 state visit to China, ‘If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.’ He told a group of deaf children standing close to a Jamaican steel band: ‘Deaf? If you’re standing here, no wonder you’re deaf.’ In 1995 he asked a Scottish driving instructor, ‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?’ And again in Scotland, in 1999, he saw an untidy fuse box during a tour of a factory and suggested it had been put in ‘by an Indian’. But my favourite has to be what he told Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, who was in national dress: ‘You look like you’re ready for bed.’ Long live Prince Philip, the best stand-up there’ll ever be …

2 thoughts on “Random rants (3): Prince Philip

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    frank blunt

    February 21, 2013 at 10:59am

    Tim GB……keep ranting!….i bet you won’t believe where Hilary Mantel is from!

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 21, 2013 at 11:06am

    I couldn’t guess, I had to wikipedia it: Glossop, Derbyshire … no, I can’t believe it!

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