Wednesday, June 01, 2011


"You have mosquitoes. I have the Press."
-Prince Phillip

Prince Phillip
Queen Elizabeth of England is a familiar sight, matronly and dignified. She has, as I wrote a while back, lasted through 12 presidents of the US and is such an establishment in England she practically represents the country - as she ought, as its technical monarch.

The queen is so dignified, classy, and honorable in public you get the impression you could take her to any event and she'd know exactly how to act, treat everyone, and respond to put everyone at ease yet still be regal and above it all. How she is in person is anybody's guess, I doubt she's quite that controlled at all times.

Her husband, on the other hand, is another story. Prince Phillip just never been the kind to control his speech and will say what he's thinking without bothering to catch himself. Some people find him ghastly and boorish, I think he's hilarious. Here are a few samples of his statements over the years courtesy the Independant.

  • "Ghastly." Prince Philip's opinion of Beijing, during a 1986 tour of China.
  • "Deaf? If you're near there, no wonder you are deaf." Said to a group of deaf children standing near a Caribbean steel drum band in 2000.
  • "British women can't cook." Winning the hearts of the Scottish Women's Institute in 1961.
  • "We don't come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves." During a trip to Canada in 1976.
  • "Damn fool question!" To BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt at a banquet at the Elysée Palace after she asked Queen Elizabeth if she was enjoying her stay in Paris in 2006.
  • "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?" Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.
  • "You managed not to get eaten then?" To a British student who had trekked in Papua New Guinea, during an official visit in 1998.
  • "I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family." In 1967, asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union.
  • "A pissometer?" The Prince sees the renames the piezometer water gauge demonstrated by Australian farmer Steve Filelti in 2000.
  • "People think there's a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans." In 2000.
  • "Ah, so this is feminist corner then." Joining a group of female Labour MPs, who were wearing name badges reading "Ms", at a Buckingham Palace drinks party in 2000.
And finally, "Dontopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, a science which I have practiced for a good many years." Address to the General Dental Council, quoted in Time in 1960.

The Independant has 90 such quotes, all hilarious to one degree or another, even if some take a bit of understanding of British culture. People consider him shocking and awful, but really he's just not politically correct and doesn't think much before talking. He's the sort of upper crust British gentleman that is rare these days, the kind that thinks anything but mashed potatoes and roast beef is some kind of "foreign kickshaw" and doesn't trust anyone who is from anywhere but England, and preferably the really good parts.

Sure, he's easy to make fun of and he says goofy stuff that offends people sometimes. Sure he's terrible as a head of state where diplomacy and dignity are supreme - particularly as a royal. But he's funny and I really don't care. And at ninety you've pretty much earned the right to say anything you want to anyone you want.

Prince Charles seems to have inherited his father's ill-considered way of talking and thinking, but he's so steeped in idiotic PC and leftist tripe that he's the other side of the pole. Just as quick to talk without thinking, just as mindlessly set in his ways, but from the opposite side politically - which tends to be significantly less humorless.

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