Prince Philip's birthday: Gaffe-prone consort turns 93

We look back at some of his greatest slips over the last six decades

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The Independent Online

Prince Philip celebrated his 93rd birthday party with a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Around 8,000 guests descended on the royal residence to take tea in the gardens with the Queen, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of York and members of the royal family.

The Duke, who still completes a packed programme of engagements despite lengthy hospital stays in the last two years, recently returned from a visit to France to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

He is the longest serving consort in British history and also the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch.

The Prince is infamous for his unguarded comments ranging from irreverent to plain offensive.

Last year he joked to a nurse that the Philippines must be half empty because "they are running the NHS" and accompanying the Queen to a Hindu temple in 2009, he left priests speechless by inquiring whether they were Tamil Tiger terrorists.

There is too much choice to pick his most famous quote but a contender has to be: "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."

The comment was made to a World Wildlife Fund meeting in 1986.

Officially Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, he was born on the island of Corfu on June 10 1921, to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenburg.

His early years were marked by upheaval after the Duke's family went into exile following a military coup in Greece which overthrew Philip's uncle, King Constantine I.

Philip went on to join the Royal Navy and, while a cadet, he caught the eye of a 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth. He served during the Second World War and married the future Queen in 1947.

Additional reporting by PA