Prince Philip once again proved himself to be one of the most gaffe-prone members of the Royal family on Wednesday, when he asked members of a community centre who they “sponge off”.
The irony of a man whose entire lifestyle is funded by the public purse joking about “sponging” off others was not lost on incredulous members of the British public. But many were quick to point out that it isn’t the first (and undoubtedly not the last) time the Duke of Edinburgh has put his foot in it with inappropriate comments and uncomfortable jokes.
The impatient 94-year-old was recently caught telling a photographer to “just take the f*****g picture" at a cameraman during a photocall with war veterans for the Battle of Britain, prompting laughter from those behind him.
He also famously described the new £18m British Embassy in Berlin, which the Queen had just opened, as a “vast waste of space”, questioned a woman in Kenya over whether she actually was female after accepting a gift from her, and asked a wheelchair user if people tripped over her.
Here are some gaffes from across his nine decades on the planet, compiled by The Independent.
1. "Ghastly." Prince Philip's opinion of Beijing, during a 1986 tour of China.
2. "Ghastly." Prince Philip's opinion of Stoke-on-Trent, as offered to the city's Labour MP Joan Walley at Buckingham Palace in 1997.
3. "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.
4. "If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes." To 21-year-old British student Simon Kerby during a visit to China in 1986.
5. "You managed not to get eaten then?" To a British student who had trekked in Papua New Guinea, during an official visit in 1998.
6. "You can't have been here that long – you haven't got a pot belly." To a British tourist during a tour of Budapest in Hungary. 1993.
7. "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?" Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.
8. "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.
9. "It looks as though it was put in by an Indian." The Prince's verdict of a fuse box during a tour of a Scottish factory in August 1999. He later clarified his comment: "I meant to say cowboys. "I just got my cowboys and Indians mixed up."
10. "People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle." To survivors of the Lockerbie bombings in 1993.
11. "We don't come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves." During a trip to Canada in 1976.
12. "A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone's working too much. Now that everybody's got more leisure time they are complaining they are unemployed. People don't seem to make up their minds what they want." A man of the people shares insight into the recession that gripped Britain in 1981.
13. "British women can't cook." Winning the hearts of the Scottish Women's Institute in 1961.
14. "It was part of the fortunes of war. 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!" On the issue of stress counselling for servicemen in a TV documentary marking the 50th Anniversary of V-J Day in 1995.
15. "What do you gargle with – pebbles?" To Tom Jones, after the Royal Variety Performance, 1969. He added the following day: "It is very difficult at all to see how it is possible to become immensely valuable by singing what I think are the most hideous songs."
16. "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.
17. "There's a lot of your family in tonight." After glancing at business chief Atul Patel's name badge during a 2009 Buckingham Palace reception for 400 influential British Indians to meet the Royal couple.
18. "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.
19. "You ARE a woman, aren't you?" To a woman in Kenya in 1984, after accepting a gift.
20. "Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?" To a wheelchair-bound Susan Edwards, and her guide dog Natalie in 2002.
21. "Get me a beer. I don't care what kind it is, just get me a beer!" On being offered the finest Italian wines by PM Giuliano Amato at a dinner in Rome in 2000.
22. "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