Pearls from a national treasure

There are few men in history who have attained the zen-like indifference to public opinion of the great Prince Philip of England. The Independent thoughtfully provided us with ninety of his bon mots, one to celebrate each of his ninety years. My ten favorites:

“You managed not to get eaten then?” To a British student who had trekked in Papua New Guinea, during an official visit in 1998.

“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.

“It’s a vast waste of space.” Philip entertained guests in 2000 at the reception of a new £18m British Embassy in Berlin, which the Queen had just opened.

“If it has 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.” Said to a World Wildlife Fund meeting in 1986.

“Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?” To a wheelchair-bound Susan Edwards, and her guide dog Natalie in 2002.

“Young people are the same as they always were. They are just as ignorant.” At the 50th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

“Do you still throw spears at each other?” Prince Philip shocks Aboriginal leader William Brin at the Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland, 2002.

“Cats kill far more birds than men. Why don’t you have a slogan: ‘Kill a cat and save a bird?'” On being told of a project to protect turtle doves in Anguilla in 1965.

“Reichskanzler.” Prince Philip used Hitler’s title to address German chancellor Helmut Kohl during a speech in Hanover in 1997.

“I thought it was against the law these days for a woman to solicit.” Said to a woman solicitor.

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