I am rude but its fun Prince Philip in his own words

first_imgThe Duke of Edinburgh leaves the Queen’s Jubilee Service at St Pauls Cathedral wearing naval uniform in this June 4, 2002Credit:Getty Images On his status as husband to the Queen:The duke’s biographer Gyles Brandreth asked him how he thought he was seen. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘A refugee husband, I suppose.’ Philip complained to a friend: ‘I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba. I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children.’ book  Duke of Edinburgh leaves the Jubilee Service at St. Pauls Cathedral wearing naval uniform in this June 4, 2002 On ballsAfter a banquet in Brazil, the president of the national bowling club made a short speech in Portuguese. Realising that Prince Philip did not understand it, he made an effort to summon up his entire English vocabulary when presenting the emblem of the club to the prince and said: ‘Balls, you know.’ The Prince graciously replied: ‘And balls to you, sir.’ That, in my experience, is what usually happens and it is always most impressive because by that time the seal is usually missing and the writing is both illegible and unintelligible anyway.’He strongly advised them to look after the charter ‘because, throughout history, a document of some sort had always been looked upon as a sort of passport to respectability and, without it, you will never be able to prove – whatever it is you want to prove.’On modernising Buckingham PalaceHe also tackled the age-old custom of the bottle of whisky that appeared by the Queen’s bedside every night, even though she had not ordered it. He discovered that Queen Victoria had once had a cold and had asked for a Scotch before bedtime. As the order had never been rescinded, the servants continued to bring whisky every night some eighty years later.On popularityPrince Philip was never much taken in by his opulent surroundings. ‘In the first years of the Queen’s reign, the level of adulation – you wouldn’t believe it,’ he said. ‘You really wouldn’t. It could have been corroding. It would have been very easy to play to the gallery, but I took a conscious decision not to do that. Safer not to be too popular. You can’t fall too far.’ On the importance of chartersIn 1958, presenting a Charter of Incorporation to St Edmund Hall, Oxford, Philip said: ‘In five hundred years from now, you will be able to put the charter on display and say that it was presented five hundred years ago. On chairmenOccasionally I get fed up, going to visit a factory, when I am being shown around by the chairman, who clearly hasn’t got a clue,’ Prince Philip said, ‘and I try to get hold of the factory manager but I can’t because the chairman wants to make sure he’s the one in all the photographs.’ On beardsIn his younger days, Prince Philip sported a remarkably bushy beard – an achievement it seems no one can match. At a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2009, the prince spotted Stephen Judge, who was sporting a small sculpted beard.‘What do you do?’ asked Philip. ‘I’m a designer, sir,’ Judge replied. ‘Well, you’re obviously not a hirsute designer,’ the prince added. Seeing that the man was crushed, Philip tried to revive the conversation by saying: ‘Well, you didn’t design your beard too well, did you? If you are going to grow a beard, grown a beard. You really must try harder.’ I Know I Am Rude But It Is Fun by Nigel Cawthorne is published by Gibson Square priced £8.99. To order your copy call 0844 871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk On MPsIn Ghana he was told that they had just two hundred Members of Parliament. ‘That’s about the right number. We have 650 and most of them are a complete bloody waste of time.’ On speeding ticketsPrince Philip was stopped for speeding through Central London on 19 November 1947. ‘I’m sorry officer,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got an appointment with the Archbishop of Canterbury.’ He married Princess Elizabeth the next day and was on the way to a final rehearsal of the royal wedding.On reincarnationIn 1988, he said: ‘In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.’On botanyAt the Chelsea Flower Show in 2008, Prince Philip was admiring the gold-medal-winning garden laid on by Australian celebrity gardener Jamie Durie. ‘I do like your tree fern,’ said the prince. ‘Actually it’s not a tree fern,’ said Durie, politely correcting him. ‘It’s a member of the cycad family. It’s a Macrozamia moorei.’ ‘I didn’t want a bloody lecture,’ said the Prince, stomping off. On flyingThe prince is always ready for a stiff put-down to any question he considers stupid. In 2000, an official greeting him at a Canadian airport asked innocently: ‘What was your flight like, Your Royal Highness?’ Philip: ‘Have you ever flown in a plane?’ The official said: ‘Oh yes, sir, many times.’ ‘Well,’ said Philip, ‘it was just like that.’ Prince Philip may be one of the most controversial royals, but he’s also by far the funniest. In 2015 a book of stories about the Duke of Edinburgh by Nigel Cawthorne, ‘I know I am rude, but it’s Fun: The Royal Family and the World at Large – as Seen by Prince Philip’ – was published.The book gives context to some of Prince Philip’s best known gaffes, but also reveals some lesser-known anecdotes. Here are some of the Duke’s greatest moments compiled in Cawthorne’s book:On his mannersAt the age of twenty-one, he wrote to a relative whose son had just been killed in the war, saying: ‘I know you will never think much of me. I am rude and unmannerly and I say many things out of turn which I realise afterwards must have hurt someone. Then I am filled with remorse and I try to put matters right.’ On his achievementsIn his ninetieth birthday interview for the BBC, he was asked if he was proud of his achievements. The duke lookeds puzzled. ‘No, that’s asking too much,’ he said. So what of his successes? ‘Who cares what I think about it. That’s ridiculous.’last_img read more