I am baffled by the whole concept of royalty. I don’t get it. I can’t figure out why one family is adored and, indeed, funded because history says they’re royalty.
In fairness, the Buckingham Palace (and Windsor Castle and Sandringham and Balmoral and Clarence House and Highgrove House and Kensington Palace and St James’s Palace and Gatcombe Park and Bagshot Park and so on…) have given us a bit of a laugh over the years.
And Her Majesty was a big hit on her visit here a few years ago or cúpla bliain ó shin as she might say herself.
Philip has shuffled off to the great palace in the sky now.
But it’s worth remembering some of the things he said over the years that made us laugh, even if it was an embarrassed laugh into our sleeves…
“If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes,” he remarked to 21-year-old British student Simon Kerby during a visit to China in 1986.
“I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family,” he said in 1967 when asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union.
“You can’t have been here that long, you haven’t got a pot belly,” said to a British tourist in Budapest , Hungary in 1993.
“You managed not to get eaten then?“ he asked a British backpacker who trekked through Papua New Guinea in 1998.
“Do people trip over you?” he asked a wheelchair-bound nursing-home resident in 2002.
“How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?” he asked mobility scooter user David Miller, a trustee of the Valentine Mansion in Redbridge, in 2012.
“You’re not wearing mink knickers, are you?” Philip ASKS fashion writer Serena French at a World Wildlife Fund gathering in 1993.
“So who’s on drugs here?… HE looks as if he’s on drugs,” he said referring to a 14-year-old member of a Bangladeshi youth club in 2002.
“You could do with losing a little bit of weight,” he told hopeful astronaut Andrew Adams, 13.
“If you travel as much as we do you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort. Provided you don’t travel in something called Economy Class, which sounds ghastly,” he said to the Aircraft Research Association in 2002.
“Why don’t you go and live in a hostel to save cash?” he asked a penniless student in 1998.
“The Philippines must be half empty, you’re all here running the NHS,” he said to a Filipino nurse at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital in February 2016.
“If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested,” the Prince said of his daughter, Princess Anne, who competed as an equestrian athlete in the 1976 Olympics.
“It looks like a tart’s bedroom,” he said of plans for the Duke and then Duchess of York’s house at Sunninghill Park.
“My son…er…owns them,” he replied after being asked whether he knew the Scilly Isles.
“What do you gargle with – pebbles?” he asked Tom Jones after the Royal Variety Performance in 1969. He added later: “It is very difficult at all to see how it is possible to become immensely valuable by singing what I think are the most hideous songs.”
“There’s a lot of your family in tonight,” he told business chief Atul Patel during a 2009 Buckingham Palace reception for 400 influential British Indians.
“I wish he’d turn the microphone off!” he said of Elton John’s performance at the 73rd Royal Variety Show, 2001.
“Reichskanzler,” Hitler’s title, was used by the Prince to address German chancellor Helmut Kohl during a speech in Hanover in 1997.
“You look like you’re ready for bed!” he told the President of Nigeria who was dressed in traditional robes in 2003.
“Are we going to need ear plugs?” he said after being told that Madonna was singing the James Bond theme tune in 2002.
“Can you fix my DVD player?” he asked actress Cate Blanchett because she worked “in the film industry” in 2008. “There’s a cord sticking out of the back. Might you tell me where it goes?”
“If it has 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 it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it,” he said to a World Wildlife Fund meeting in 1986.
“Cats kill far more birds than men. Why don’t you have a slogan: ‘Kill a cat and save a bird?’” he told wildlife campaigners in 1965.
“[Wind farms] are absolutely useless and an absolute disgrace,” he told the managing director of a wind farm in 2011.
“It looks as though it was put in by an Indian,” the Prince remarked of a fuse box at a Scottish factory in 1999. He later clarified his comment: “I meant to say cowboys. I just got my cowboys and Indians mixed up.”
“[Smoke alarms are] a damn nuisance – I’ve got one in my bathroom and every time I run my bath the steam sets it off,” he said to a woman who lost two sons in a fire in 1998.
“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?” he said talking about guns shortly after the Dunblane shootings in 1996.
“Dontopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, a science which I have practiced for a good many years,” he told the General Dental Council, quoted in Time in 1960.