Prince Philip: The most memorable royal gaffes of 2015

Heather Saul
Saturday 26 December 2015 17:15 GMT
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Prince Philip's best gaffes

Some of The Independent's most popular stories this year have involved the Queen and/or Prince Philip in headlines they would probably prefer us not to re-visit at the end of 2015.

While the Queen makes less of a habit of courting controversy with off-the-cuff remarks, her husband can't seem to hold himself back once he gets talking. Public engagements often result in the most gaffe-prone royal making a number of headache-inducing comments for Kensington Palace to deal with. A few of those memorable instances are listed below.

‘Who do you sponge off?’

The Duke of Edinburgh was at the Chadwell Heath Community Centre in east London during an official visit with the Queen earlier this year when he reportedly asked a group of women who they “sponge off". A royal aide was quick to stress the context of remark soon after his comments emerged, telling The Independent he had been chatting about the sponge cake before making the joke.


 The the Duke of Edinbugh talks to locals who took part in a Pilates demonstration during his and Queen Elioabeth II visit to Chadwell Heath Community Centre
 (Press Association)

‘Just take the f**king picture’

Prince Philip proved his patience couldn’t stretch more than a mere few minutes when he lost his temper at a photographer during a photocall for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Footage of his outburst shows the visibly frustrated prince pointing at the poor man and demanding he “take the f**king picture” in front of a group of war veterans, who reacted with gasps and laughter.

Road rage

The Queen demonstrated her own impatient streak when she decided to mount the car she was driving onto the grass and around a couple blocking her way to Church in Windsor Great Park.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laughs as Queen Elizabeth gestures during a visit to Vernon Park in Nottingham, 2012

Speak English

Prince Philip raised eyebrows among residents in Birmingham by suggesting those speaking with a Brummie accent aren’t talking in an English accent.

The Duke was attending the unveiling of the refurbished New Street Station when, according to the Birmingham Mail, the 94-year-old asked a train announcer if she spoke with the accent while reading out train times. When she said no, he reportedly responded: “I suppose you’ve got to announce in an English accent so everyone can understand you.”

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