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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Prince Philip's gift of gaffe


india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 19:56 IST


By Suevon Lee
Prince Philip once joked to a British student that he'd end up with "slitty eyes" if he stayed in China too long, and wisecracked to another about cannibalism, according to a book released Wednesday that chronicles gaffes made by the queen's husband.

Duke of Hazard: The Wit and Wisdom of Prince Philip, is a collection of quotes gleaned during royal visits and engagements abroad during six decades and compiled by two British journalists. The prince's widely reported statements - often blunt and sometimes politically incorrect - have given the prince a reputation of putting his foot in his mouth.

The 100-page book includes the famous 1986 remark the prince reportedly made to a British student during a visit to China: "If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes." In 1998, during a tour of Papua New Guinea, he suggested that tribes in Papua New Guinea were still cannibals. "You managed not to get eaten, then?" he asked a student.

On a separate visit, he told a British tourist who was visiting Budapest, Hungary: "You can't have been here that long - you haven't got a pot belly."

Co-author Phil Dampier, who has written about the royal family for 20 years, said the collection was inspired by the reaction of his friends to his tales about the prince.

"He's not afraid to speak his mind," Dampier said. "Most of the time he intends it as a joke. But at least he insults everyone. He's insulted everyone from literally dozens of countries, so it's certainly not focused on one group of people, including himself and his own family."

The prince turns 85 on June 10.

Buckingham Palace, the queen's official residence, had no comment about the publication of the book.

Dampier, who co-authored the book with fellow royal correspondent Ashley Walton, said there is a refreshing quality to the man's bluntness.

Of the book, he said, "It's lighthearted, it's not meant to knock him, it actually shows him in quite an affectionate light," Dampier told The Associated Press. "He's a national treasure."

First Published: Jun 03, 2006 19:56 IST