Thursday, 2 June 2011

Mink knickers and water damage

I was disappointed to miss the Duke of Edinburgh's* visit to my home town earlier this week - I would have enjoyed listening out for more gaffes.

Famous for saying the wrong thing, the Queen's hubby is 90 next week, and to celebrate The Independent printed a fantastic list of 90 of his best foot-in-mouth moments:

"I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family."

...which include racism:

"British women can't cook." To Scottish Women's Institute .


"I thought it was against the law these days for a woman to solicit." To a woman solicitor.


"The problem with London is the tourists. They cause the congestion. If we could just stop the tourism, we could stop the congestion."

... insensitivity:

"People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle." To survivors of the Lockerbie bombings in 1993.

and the difficult-to-master double whammy:

"Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?" To a wheelchair-bound lady with a guide dog.


"You're not wearing mink knickers, are you?" To fashion writer Serena French at a World Wildlife Fund gathering in 1993

I've got a soft spot for the old duffer and the way he just says what he thinks. As he says himself: "I have never been noticeably reticent about talking on subjects about which I know nothing." I know the feeling.

Of course The Independent does have an axe to grind. Here's an exchange at a Golden Jubilee event in 2002:

Philip: "Who are you?"
Simon Kelner: "I'm the editor-in-chief of The Independent, Sir."
Philip: "What are you doing here?"
Kelner: "You invited me."
Philip: "Well, you didn't have to come!"

So anyway, he was in Wirral to judge a model boat competition, apparently. This is the Marine Lake here. I may post some more pics of it if you're interested... we have an evening view of people on the footpath that encircles it and an aerial view. Nice huh?

* Yes, the same Duke of Edinburgh as in 'Duke of Edinburgh Awards' for young people had this to say about them: "Young people are the same as they always were. They are just as ignorant."


  1. Fabulous picture!!! - would make a terrific screen saver.

  2. Actually, if those things were said by someone else in a different context, some of them are quite funny gags!

    I like it when he asked an Aboriginal leader if they still threw spears at each other.

  3. The world needs characters. Doesn't it?

  4. Of all the Royals, he and Anne give best value for money. A lot of people pay good money to hear/read comedians (see, journalists at the Independent) quoting him.

    What on earth could William say, that would bring about a reaction? Harry might be a safer bet, but then perhaps that'd be down to the Hewitt strain.

  5. Having a husband who says embarrassing things is a great character builder. Liz and I have so much in common!
    Kathryn (from You Are Here)

  6. Rog - It has, darling, it has!

    Annie - I agree! I have come up with a few ideas for assistance dogs myself (cue next post...)

    Dave - In that case I may reconsider your sermons

    Note Bene - Indeed it does!

    Martin - I've changed my mind about Harry since 'the wedding' - for a moment there he did look exactly like Charles. Poor wee bugger!

    Kathryn - Did you see the quote on the list where he praises her tolerance? What's the worst thing your hubby has said?

  7. I saw this list at the weekend, and some of the quotes defy belief. He may have lived a somewhat sheltered existence, but even so he has to be doing this on purpose. Doesn't he?

  8. We don't have anyone who comes out with the malaprops-isms nearly as consistently here in the U.S....jealous.