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Whilst we all may have different views of the Phil, here are his words, that to me, sum him up:


To pop star Tom Jones in 1969: ‘What do you gargle with, pebbles.’

More on Tom Jones: ‘It's hard to see how he is popular. He sings the most hideous songs.’

On Elton John, in 2001: ‘I wish he'd turn the microphone off.’

To Elton John in 2001: ‘So it's you that owns that ghastly car is it?’

On hearing Madonna was to perform in 2002: ‘Are we going to need earplugs?’

His job

Visiting Canada, 1969: ‘I declare this thing open, whatever it is.’

Visiting Canada in 1976: ‘We don't come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.’

Shouted to the Queen during an official visit to Belize in 1994: ‘Yak, yak, yak; come on get a move on.’

To an RAF photographer at a Battle of Britain commemoration, 2015: ‘Just take the f***ing picture.’

On his 1986 tour of Beijing, and his impression of Stoke-On-Trent in 1997: ‘Ghastly.’

To survivors of the Lockerbie terrorist atrocity, in 1993: ‘People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle.’

On opening the new British Embassy in Berlin in 2000: ‘It's a vast waste of space.’

His family

On Prince Andrew and Fergie’s extravagant house in 1988: ‘It looks like a tart's bedroom.’

On a 1974 IRA kidnap attempt made against Princess Anne: ‘If the man had succeeded in abducting Anne, she would have given him a hell of a time while in captivity.’

On Princess Anne: ‘If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she's not interested.’

To the Queen on her coronation: ‘Where did you get that hat?’

On Prince William’s desire to drop out of university: 'He needs to knuckle down and not wimp out.’

To Princess Di on her anguish over Prince Charles’ infidelity: ‘I am quite ready to concede that I have no talent as a marriage counsellor.’

The marginalised

During the British economic downturn of 1981: ‘Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed’.

On mental health care in the modern armed forces, 1995: ‘We didn't have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking “Are you all right? Are you sure you don't have a ghastly problem?” You just got on with it.’

Talking to a deaf couple who were standing near a live band in 1999: ‘Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf.’

To a young child who said he wanted to go into space, in 2001: ‘You're too fat to be an astronaut.’

To a blind woman in 2002: ‘Do you know they're now producing eating dogs for anorexics?’

To a disabled pensioner in a motor scooter, 2012: ‘How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?’

To an elderly man at the Charterhouse almshouse, 2017: ‘You look starved.’

Racism and cultural insensitivity:

At 1986 WWF event: ‘If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.’

During a visit to Scotland in 1995: ‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?’

To school children in Cardiff in 2012: ‘You must have really good brains to speak Welsh.’

Referring to a fuse box during a 1999 factory visit: ‘It looks as if it was put in by an Indian.’

Talking to a British student in China in 1986: ‘If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed.’

Taking a gift from Kenyan woman in 1984: ‘You are a woman, aren't you?’

Speaking to a British man in Budapest in 1993: ‘You can't have been here that long - you haven't got a pot belly.’

Speaking to a wealthy Cayman Islander in 1994: "’Aren't most of you descended from pirates?’

Speaking to fellow visitors to Papua New Guinea in 1998: ‘You managed not to get eaten, then?’

To an indigenous Australian business person, in 2002: ‘Do you still throw spears at each other?’

In France, 2002: ‘The French don't know how to cook breakfast.’


To a Scottish female politician, regarding tartan: ‘Do you have a pair of knickers made out of this?’

‘British women can't cook’ (1966).

To a female council worker wearing a dress which featured a prominent zip, 2012: ‘I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress.’

On marriage: ‘When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife.”


On refusing to touch a koala in 1992: ‘Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease.’


On turning 90 in 2011: ‘Bits are beginning to drop off.’

On the Queen’s choice to name her children Windsor, rather than Mountbatten: ‘I'm just a bloody amoeba.’

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  • 4 weeks later...

Actually Royals with the Prefix HRH don’t use the family surname, only lesser royals do. They use their title I.e. HRH Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Andrew the Duke of York etc. 

When Harry was in the armed forces he was known as Harry Wales. His is  a strange situation he is HRH Prince Henry (his given name) Duke of Sussex but he will become Henry Windsor Mountbatten. 

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