The plain speaking royal never lost for words

The Duke of Edinburgh is perhaps best known for his penchant for what might charitably be called plain speaking.
The Duke of EdinburghThe Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh

He claimed he had been misunderstood. In fact, the Duke was “misunderstood” almost everywhere he went.

“What do you gargle with? Pebbles?” he asked the singer Tom Jones after the 1969 Royal Variety Performance.

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At a similar event in 2001, during a performance by Elton John, he was heard to mutter: “I wish he’d turn the microphone off.”

During the 1981 recession, he remarked: ‘’Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they’re complaining they are unemployed.”

Of himself, he complained as he approached his 90th birthday: “Bits are beginning to drop off.”

And on meeting a disabled motorist on a mobility scooter, he wondered: “How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?”

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He remained a man of old-fashioned principle, telling a counsellor for servicemen in 1995: “We didn’t have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking ‘Are you all right?’ You just got on with it.”