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‘Is that a terrorist?’ Prince Philip makes joke about bearded bystander

Prince Philip spotted a tall man with a long ginger beard and made the comment to his minders, according to an unnamed witness who said the man in question found the apparent joke hilarious.

world Updated: Jan 01, 2018 18:27 IST
The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian
Prince Philip,Queen of England,Terrorist
Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (C), gestures as he is followed by (L-R) Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, US actress and fiance of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain's Prince Harry arriving to attend the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25. (AFP file)

Prince Philip has been accused of making a gaffe on a walkabout at Sandringham on Sunday after he reportedly pointed at a bearded member of the public and asked: “Is that a terrorist?”

The Queen’s husband, 96, was attending St Magdalene church, close to the royal family home in north Norfolk, on New Year’s Eve along with his daughter Anne, the Princess Royal, when he allegedly made the remark.

Philip spotted a tall man with a long ginger beard and made the comment to his minders, according to an unnamed witness quoted by the Daily Mail and Sun, who said the man in question found the apparent joke hilarious.

“The man appeared to be his with wife and child,” the Sun reported the witness as saying. “Philip was wishing lots of people a happy new year and then he spotted this guy with his distinctive beard. He pointed at him in a funny way and turned to one of his royal bodyguards, saying: ‘Is that a terrorist?’

“He was obviously having a little joke, but he said it within earshot of the man who burst out laughing and appeared to find the whole thing hilarious. I think Philip knew he was going to be overheard.”

The royal also joked with Alison Leggett, 54, of Hunstanton, Norfolk, after seeing her 18-month-old fox red labrador lounging on soggy grass, telling her: “I hope he hasn’t got rising damp.”

The congregation, which also included the Queen, then entered the church and sang a variety of Christmas carols including It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, As With Gladness Men of Old and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

The duke stepped away from public life this year but has seemingly not lost his notorious penchant for provocative remarks .

Buckingham Palace has been contacted for comment.

First Published: Jan 01, 2018 16:34 IST