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November 2003
Prince Philip: King of Gaffes
The Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh
tiny As parents, staff and pupils from Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Ashbourne await a visit from the Duke of Edinburgh, many will be hoping that he doesn't come out with one of his trademark 'gaffes'.
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Over the years, Prince Philip has built up a reputation for putting his foot in it during Royal duties and offending nations all across the world.

During a state visit to China in 1986, he famously told a group of British students: "If you stay here much longer, you'll be all slitty-eyed!"

In 2001 he told a 13-year-old schoolboy he was 'too fat' to become an astronaut.

More recently he joked that the answer to London's traffic congestion was to 'ban tourists'.

Here are some more of Prince Philip's most famous gaffes - let's just hope he doesn't add to the list during his morning in Ashbourne!

Speaking to a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?"

To an Australian Aborigine during a visit in March 2002:
"Still throwing spears?"

On cuisine in 1966: "British women can't cook."

During the 1981 recession: "Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed."

Sharing a joke with a blind, wheelchair-bound girl with a guide-dog: "Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?"

Commenting on modern stress counselling for servicemen in 1995: "We didn't have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking 'Are you all right? Are you sure you don't have a ghastly problem?' "

Responding to calls for a firearm ban after the Dunblane shooting: "If a cricketer, for instance, 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?"

Referring to an old-fashioned fusebox in a factory near Edinburgh in 1999: "It looks as if it was put in by an Indian."

Referring to a Cambridge University car park attendant who failed to recognise him in 1997: "Bloody silly fool!"

Talking to young deaf people in Cardiff about the school's steel band:
"Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf."

During a 1984 visit to Kenya, he's presented with a small gift from a native woman: "You are a woman, aren't you?"

Accepting a conservation award in Thailand in 1991: "Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species in the world."

When asked to stroke a Koala bear in Australia in 1992: "Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease."

Speaking to a Briton in Budapest in 1993: "You can't have been here long, you haven't got a pot belly!"

Speaking to an islander in the Cayman Islands in 1994: "Aren't most of you descended from pirates?"

Speaking to a student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea: "You managed not to get eaten then?"

At a 1986 World Wildlife Fund meeting: "If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it."


Pointing at 14-year-old Shahin Ullah during a visit to a London youth club: "He looks as if he is on drugs!"
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