Oft-quoted remarks branded inappropriate, offensive or racist have earned Prince Philip a politically incorrect reputation over the years. Now, they’re a book.
The “Duke of Hazard: The Wit and Wisdom of Prince Philip,” was released Wednesday and compiled by two British journalists who gleaned remarks from six decades of royal visits and engagements he’s made abroad.
In 1986, for example, the queen’s husband remarked to a British student during a visit to China: “If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes.”
In 1998, during a tour of Papua New Guinea, he told another British student, “You managed not to get eaten then?”
Co-author Phil Dampier, who has written about the royal family for 20 years, said the 100-page collection was inspired by the reaction of his friends to his tales about the Duke of Edinburgh.
“He’s not afraid to speak his mind,” Dampier said. “Most of the time he intends it as a joke. But at least he insults everyone. He’s insulted everyone from literally dozens of countries, so it’s certainly not focused on one group of people, including himself and his own family.”
The “Philipisms” have earned the prince the moniker “Duke of Diplomacy.” They have been widely reported over the years and criticized as inappropriate, offensive or racist.
Like the time he told a British tourist who was visiting Budapest, Hungary: “You can’t have been here that long — you haven’t got a pot belly.”
The book is out just in time for the prince’s 85th birthday on June 10. Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II’s official residence, had no comment about its publication.
Dampier, who wrote the book with fellow royal correspondent Ashley Walton, said there is a refreshing quality to the prince’s bluntness.
“It’s lighthearted, it’s not meant to knock him, it actually shows him in quite an affectionate light,” Dampier said. “He’s a national treasure.”