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The Duke of Edinburgh’s most famous gaffes

Royal Central have compiled together some of his most famous, yet hilarious gaffes. The list below details remarks be has made about celebrities, places and even his own family.


After being told that Madonna would be performing the Die Another Day theme tune back in 2002, Prince Philip famously

quipped: “Are we going to need earplugs?”

Elton John

Sir Elton John has long been a favourite of the Royal Family, although Prince

Photo: [Ordnance Survey via Flickr CC]

Photo: [Ordnance Survey via Flickr CC]

Philip doesn’t always agree. During Elton’s performance at the 2001 Royal Variety Performance, the Duke muttered: “I wish he would turn the microphone off”. On another encounter with the singer, the Queen’s husband said: “Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car is it?” upon hearing that he had sold his Aston Martin.

Tom Jones

The Welsh singer fell into the Dukes trap back in 1969. He said: “It’s difficult to see how it’s possible to become immensely valuable by singing what are the most hideous songs.” He also said after the performance: “What do you gargle with, pebbles?”

Cate Blanchett

After hearing that she worked in the ‘film industry’, the Duke asked her for assistance to fix his DVD player.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson

Even family can’s escape The Duke of Edinburgh when he speaks his mind. After seeing plans for Andrew and Sarah’s house back in 1986, he said: “It looks like a tart’s bedroom”.

Princess Anne

Speaking of his only daughter, the Duke said: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.

The Queen

“Yak, yak, yak; come on get a move on” as he yelled to Her Majesty as she was talking to her hosts on an engagement.


Speaking to a Scottish driving instructor in 1995, Prince Philip asked: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”


“So who’s on drugs here? He looks as if he’s on drugs” As he pointed to a 14-year-old member of a Bangladeshi youth club.


Speaking to the President of Nigeria in 2003, the Duke said: “You look like you’re ready for bed.” The President was wearing his national dress at the time.


“You are a woman aren’t you?” after accepting a gift from a woman in Kenya back in 1984.


Probably the most famous gaffe the Queen’s husband has ever made. After speaking to a British student during a state visit to China on 1986, he said: “If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes.”


“We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.”


To a Briton he met during a visit in 1993: “You can’t have been here that long – you haven’t got a pot belly”.

Papua New Guinea

“You managed not to get eaten then?” to a British student in Papua New Guinea who he met during a state visit in 1998.


“Do you chaps still chuck spears at each other?” speaking to a aboriginal entrepreneur.

Deaf children

“Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf” the Duke famously remarked to a group of deaf children standing near a steel drum band in 2000.


The Duke hurled “Just take the fucking picture” as he lost patience with an RAF photographer just last year in 2015.

  • Jibber Jabber Joe

    “gaffe – ɡaf/ noun an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder.” Somebody buy a dictionary for the idiot who wrote this article. They weren’t gaffe’s. They were intentionally impolite and politically incorrect insults and comments. The inanity that spews from Vice President Biden are gaffes.

    • Cheryl

      Lighten up.

      • Jibber Jabber Joe

        I would love to, but there is a serious side to this. When we stop acknowledging and agreeing that worlds have meanings, we cannot clearly communicate and everything becomes a political commercial. Look what they did to racism. It is meant to describe an insidious belief that one race is better than another. Now it is watered down until it means nothing. When I was made to read 1984 in High School, I thought it was silly. We are now living it.

    • robert

      HRH’s remarks are delightful, and mostly deserved. I applaud him.

  • Vaughan Sinclair

    In search perhaps of another gift..when the mayor of Calgary offed his gift, The Duke opened it and shouted..Not another God-Damned Stetson!!!!

  • robert

    When the Queen and Prince visited San Francisco in 1976, about two-thirds of the Board of Supervisors boycotted the banquet to show solidarity with IRA terrorists. The Supervisors who showed up were all women. The Prince asked, “Is this a nanny city.” I didn’t consider it a gaffe. I was so embarrassed of the Board, I heartily agreed with him.

  • David Rohde

    another stupid Windsor or more accurately Mountbatten….bunch of stupid Germans!

    • John_Twiss

      He is a Mountbatten only in name. His father Prince Andrew of Greece was also a Prince of Denmark. The Danish Royal family do not technically have a family name, although they are often referred to by some of the areas/states they ruled over hence – Glucksburg-Oldenburg-Schleiswig-Holstein (although Schleiswig-Holstein was in fact a part of Denmark till Prussia decided in the 1960s to declare war on Denmark and annexed the territory. His mother was a Battenburg.

      • John Adlington

        Mountbatten is a translation of Battenburg

        • John_Twiss

          I did not think one would need to explain that.

        • Carolyn Oats

          It’s Battenberg

      • stanjackos

        Did Prussia really declare war on Denmark in “1960”, I must have missed that when I was in my teens, nothing in the papers or on TV.
        Ah well you live and learn!!

        • John_Twiss

          Ooooops! 1860s is what I should have said – typo and thank you for noting it.

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