Prince Philip turns 94: Celebrate by reliving his finest gaffes

The Duke of Edinburgh has been known for his military work as well as his astonishing one-liners

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The Independent Online

Prince Philip has overcome health scares and acute embarrassment to make it to the grand age of 94.

Philip, who was born to a mix of Danish and Greek royalty on Corfu in 1921, and went on to become Consort to the Queen after marrying her.

In recent years, Philip has endured poor health.  In 2011, he underwent heart surgery and in June 2012 he had a bladder infection after the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant.

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Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was born in Greece

Other than for his work with the military and role as chair for outdoors pursuits scheme The Duke of Edinburgh Award, Philip has become well-known for sometimes saying the wrong thing.

Happy birthday, Prince Philip.

On a 2002 visit to Australia, he asked a group of aborigines: "Do you still throw spears at each other?"

Talking to a Scottish driving instructor: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?"

To a British student in China: "If you stay here much longer, you’ll go home with slitty eyes."

On travelling, said to the Aircraft Research Association: "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."

While inspecting a fuse box: "It looks as though it was put in by an Indian." He later clarified his comment: "I meant to say cowboys. I just got my cowboys and Indians mixed up."

Talking to Jeremy Paxman about his role in the Royal family: "Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy."

 

At a WWF meeting: "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."

To Elton John, about his Watford FC-themed Aston Martin: "Oh, it's you that owns that ghastly car is it? We often see it when driving to Windsor Castle."

At the Scottish Women's Institute in 1961: "British women can't cook."

To a wheelchair-bound Susan Edwards, and her guide dog Natalie in 2002: "Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?"

While officiating at a Hertfordshire University ceremony, 2003: "During the Blitz, a lot of shops had their windows blown in and put up notices saying: 'More open than usual'. I now declare this place more open than usual."

To someone who'd just got back from travelling across Papua New Guinea: "You managed not to get eaten then?"

To Simon Kelner, former editor of The Independent, at Windsor Castle: "What are you doing here?" "I was invited, sir." Philip: "Well, you didn’t have to come."

To Diversity, a mixed-race street-dance troupe: "Are you all one family?"

To businessman Atul Patel at reception for influential Indians after seeing his name badge: "There’s a lot of your family in tonight."

At the reception of the new British embassy in Berlin, which had cost £18 million: "It's a vast waste of space".

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