Monday, June 14, 2010

'What I Said' by Phil

The next time you are beating yourself up for saying the wrong thing to someone just think about Prince Philip. Some of the following he has denied saying, but that's the thing when you are renown for saying the wrong thing - people just don't believe you, Phil the Greek.

You look like you are ready for bed.."
(On meeting an African leader wearing robes, date uncertain - reported to be in Nigeria 1956.)

"Are you sure you want to go ahead with this, old chap?.."
(To the future President Kenyatta at Kenya's official independence ceremony, 1963.)

"The bastards murdered half my family.."
(When asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union, 1967.)

"We shall all be old one day - provided of course we can avoid being slaughtered on the roads or beaten up by some hooligan in a peace demonstration.."
(Quoted in the press, 1970.)

"Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.."
(A comment during the UK's recession, 1981.)

"You must be out of your minds.."
(To Solomon Islanders, on being told that their population growth was 5% a year, 1982.)

"You are a woman aren't you?.."
(On receiving a gift from a Kenyan native woman, 1984.)

"If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed.."
(To a group of British students in China, 1986.)

"Aren't most of you descended from pirates?.."
(To a Cayman Islander, date uncertain.)

"You can't have been here that long, you haven't got a potbelly yet.."
(To a British expat in Hungary, c.1990.)

"I am self-employed.."
(When replying to a question as to what type of work he did, c.1990.)

"You're not wearing mink knickers are you?.."
(To a fashion writer at a World Wildlife Fund event., 1993.)

"How do you keep the natives off the booze for long enough to pass their test?.."
(To a Scottish driving instructor in Oban, 1995.)

"You managed not to get eaten then?.."
(To a student who'd trekked in Papua New Guinea, 1998.)

"I don't think a prostitute is more moral than wife, but they are doing the same thing.."
(Quoted in The Observer newspaper, 1988.) - I can't actually understand that one - any tips?

"It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.."
(On seeing a fuse box while being shown around an Edinburgh factory, 1999.)

"You were playing your instruments weren't you?, or do you have tape recorders under your seats?.."
(To a school band in Cairns, Australia, 2002.)

"Do you still throw spears at each other..?
(To an Aboriginal man on Australia's Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, 2002.)

"Do you know they have 'eating-dogs' for the anorexics now?.."
(To a blind woman with a guide-dog, 2002.) - I thought that one was quite witty

"If you travel as much as we do you appreciate how much more comfortable aircraft have become. Unless you travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.."
(Commenting during the Jubilee tour, 2002.)

"The problem with London is the tourists. They cause the congestion. If we could just stop tourism we could stop the congestion.."
(Commenting on the London traffic debate, after mayor Ken Livingstone forced through his plan to charge motorists £5 to enter the city, 2002.)

"French cooking's all very well, but they can't do a decent English breakfast.."
(Aboard the floating restaurant 'Il Punto' on the river Orwell in Ipswich, after thoroughly enjoying an excellent full English breakfast, Summer 2002 - Il Punto is owned by Frenchman Regis Crepy.) Phil - I much prefer a continental brekkie but that's just me

"You'll have to lose a bit of weight first.."
(Visiting a school, asking a tubby little boy what he wanted to be when he grows up, and being told, 'an astronaut', 2003.)

"Who are you burying today?"
(Arriving to open a Brighton Youth Centre, 2007.) That is very funny - would have been better at a retirement home though - now that would have made worldwide headlines.

Prince Philip: "What did you do in the war?
Woman: I wasn't born until 1954.."

"Can you tell the difference between them?.."
(To US President Obama referring to meeting Gordon Brown, David Cameron and representatives of China and Russia, 2009.)


Rob-bear said...

Oh, the glories of "foot in mouth" disease. Some of us only open our mouths in order to exchange feet. (Bear feels like that some days.)

Saz said...


saz x

Nora Johnson said...

Plenty more in the same vein elsewhere!

" Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life." Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like
that but not with all those flies and death and stuff." Mariah Carey

"China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese." Charles De Gaulle



Delana said...

These are great...some very funny...some just sad! We Americans had such perfect material with George Bush. I miss him for that reason only.

Here's one I remember...

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people and neither do we"

Stupid but with more truth than is comfortable!

Dumdad said...

Great selection!

Prince Philip on Princess Anne:
"If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she isn't interested."

Addressing a group of deaf British teenagers standing near a loud caribbean band:
"If you're near that music, no wonder you're deaf."

Elizabeth said...

Poor Prince Philip........!!!
Loved the quip about ECONOMY CLASSS

too horribly true!

Monalisa said...

Loved reading them...

willow said...

What a twit. (said with lots of eye rolling)

Sarah said...

Great fun to read. The man's a treasure.

Jennysmith said...

Good God! He's come out with some corkers, hasn't he!

Funny, I dreamt he died the other night xxx

the fly in the web said...

I remember seeing a book entitled
'The Wit and Wisdom of Prince Philip' - and that was back inthe Dark Ages...he's had time for someone to compile three more volumes since.

A Super Dilettante said...

My dear, I've never heard of a person who is as spoken as His Highness. Although we share the same birthday (the same date and the same month), we are completely different when it comes to being conservative and outspoken. I heard a story about an artist who was employed to paint his portrait. It didn't go down very well after the artist turned up in his baggy jeans and paint stained shirt (he's an artist what do you expect??). The ice was broken eventually after the nervous artist knocked down one of Prince Philip's Ming Dynasty vase (fortunately, the vase was rescused before landing on the floor)! Love, ASD xxx

All is well (except that waiting for news is a bit of a torture) on my first day back to work.

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Sometimes it's just better to say nothing rather than say the wrong thing...or talk about the weather (Isn't that what mothers tell their children?) Of course then we would miss out on a few laughs. I think the last Bush had his own list of horrible funny mistakes...intentional or not.
Thanks for sharing, Mrs. FF.xx

Steve said...

So Her Maj is a high class prostitute then?

Blimey. I'd've asked for my money back.


French Fancy said...

Rob - I suppose when you are in his position you have to learn to either watch everything said or watch nothing - we know which he chose

Saz - I was surprised at how funny some of them actually were

Nora - and that just confirms why I dislike Mariah so much (well, that and her voice)

Delana - I recall Reagan and his 'Princess David'

Dumdad - oh good one there about Princess Anne - I'd not heard that one before

Hiya Elizabeth - He has no idea, no bloody idea, does he?

Monalisa - good day to you

willow - do Americans say 'twit'? I didn't know that. Yes, he is indeed a twit (and a tit)

Sarah - I used to dislike him on principle but I've got to say he is quite amusing here and there

Jen - I sometimes forget who is dead and who is alive

tfitw - I could make that classic joke about it being a slim volume...

ASD - oh I wonder who sent the vase almost flying - can you imagine it? Oh - I'd have burst into tears even if it hadn't broken. As for The Wait - be strong, be strong - I'm sure it will be alright

Hello Cyn - we've all done it, said a few things that in retrospect wish we could take back. At least with us there are no cameras to give me fodder for the blog.

Steve - yes, I found that a really odd thing for him to say - odder than usual

Ayak said...

He's like a child really. Just says whatever comes into his head. I like least he gives us a laugh. I like Princess Anne for the same reason...she's very much like her father I think.

Reno said...

Seems idiot Phil never left the 1800s. Thankfully he's just a decoration because with a mind like his, and if he was part of the real government, England would still be Dickensian.

Lane said...

You've got to love the utter disregard for any semblance of pc 'doctrine' from him. Though not if you're on the receiving end of some of those quips:-)

Ken Devine said...

So funny and so tragic for some. Can't help but laugh at some of these as well as your reader's contributions.

Long may the unthinking speak and blunders continue to thunder. We all need to chuckle!

Anonymous said...

He's worth his share of the Civil List just for the gaffes! And, as you say, some of them are very funny. It can't have been much fun being Mr Queen for all those years.

Fran said...

These are SO painful. I wonder how Liz deals with it. Does he get kicked under the table?

Ed Pilolla said...

do you still throw spears. that one somehow outdid the mess of other classics.

Carol said...

I just love it when they unleash him on the public because he is always guaranteed to say something inappropriate!! He's by far my favourite just know that the Queen tenses every time he opens his mouth *snigger*

Thanks for sharing these

C x

French Fancy said...

Ayak - For an old bloke he is still quite charismatic. I would prefer a republic though - monarchy seems so outdated now for these egalitarian times

Hiya Reno - gawd, imagine if he had proper power

Lane - I suppose it's good he's been consistent with his foot-in-mouth syndrome

Ken - that phrase ' he is his own man' seems particularly apt for our Phil

CA - well the rumour mill insists he has had a string of mistresses all these years so I don't think his life has been all that dull

Fran - Now the Queen I don't mind - I think she seems like a really decent woman - although I'd prefer a referendum on whether or not the monarchy should be retained

Ed - You can imagine the consuls alongside him cringing with shame at having to hear some of these

Carol - I bet he'd be a fabulous dinner party guest and he is meant to be fluent in French - for that I really have to admire him

Mark said...

That made me laugh. I have caught up on your other posts too - but just so busy to comment on tehm all.

Did you finish your assignments? I have finally FINALLY done my second assignment - it took me absolutely ages and I feel kind of drained. But I think its pretty good - hey, ho!

Jean said...

His lack of tact reminds me of several male bosses I have had!

His skill in opening mouth before engaging brain is wonderful. The press always make a big deal of his supposed insults but often he is just saying what a lot of us are thinking.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Oh this may be just about my favorite post of yours! Sort of reminds me of everyone's favorite yet vaguely racist great uncle...

Anonymous said...

I've read a number of these in the past and they're not only poor form, but they're also hilarious and profoundly true in many cases.
Good old Phil. We need guys like him.

French Fancy said...

Mark - oh welcome back. Yes, I sent the assignment in and I am so pleased you are happy with your one - which must be awesome (sorry to go all American then) because I know you are your worst critic.

Jean - yes, I do agree with Phil on a lot of them actually

Laura - he would probably deny he is racist and just waffle on about national stereotypes being true to form

Ian - it is good in these pc times to find someone who is the polar opposite

Phil Lowe said...

So so funny! I laughed my socks off reading those! Thanks for a great post.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Now there's a man who is not afraid to put both feet in his mouth!

C. Troubadour said...

Some people never learn ... I knew he was notorious for these gaffes but had never seen a list assembled. Thanks for the laugh.

e said...

I wonder whether QE ever saw the comment regarding wives and prostitutes doing the same thing???

Clarity said...

Oh my goodness that is so funny, I would be offended if he didn't come off worse than his targets.

"Are you sure you want to go ahead with this, old chap?.." LOL

Thank you darling, for the tremendous laugh, bookmarking.