The Plank

The Wit And Wisdom Of Prince Philip

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In honor of Queen Elizabeth's visit to the United States this week, I'd like
to share some of the more choice statements of her husband, Prince Philip,
who, Anglophile that I am, is the living embodiment of why it's a good thing
that the Queen does not rule over us.

One of the perks of being a British monarch is world travel. But wherever
Prince Philip goes, he seems to get into trouble asking the natives the
sorts of questions a colonial administrator circa 1880 might have pondered. Courtesy of the BBC, here are a few:

-- In a 1986 visit to China, he told a group of British expatriate students,
"If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed."

-- Referring to an outdated fusebox at an Edinburgh factory, he remarked, "It looks as if it was put in by an Indian."

-- In Australia, he once asked a group of Aborigines, "Do you
still throw spears at each other?"

-- "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," he said in 1986.

-- And my personal favorite: "Aren't most of you descended from pirates?"
(asked of an inhabitant of the Cayman Islands in 1994).

God Save the Queen.

--James Kirchick

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