Prince Philip Retiring from Public Life at 96

Prince Philip will retire this fall from his royal duties, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday.

Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will attend previously scheduled engagements until August, but won’t accept invitations after that, a palace spokesman said, adding the decision was made by the 95-year-old Duke of Edinburgh and supported by the queen. Elizabeth, who is 91, “will continue to carry out a full program of official engagements,” the statement said.

Philip is known for both his off-the-cuff remarks and his sometimes embarrassing gaffes. At an event in London on Wednesday, he referred to himself as the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler.”

Some of his best quotes:



To President of Nigeria, who was in national dress, 2003: “You look like you’re ready for bed!”


His description of Beijing, during a visit there in 1986: “Ghastly.”


To a tourist in Budapest in 1993: “You can’t have been here long, you haven’t got a pot belly.”


On the Duke of York’s house, 1986: “It looks like a tart’s bedroom.”


On the 1981 recession: “A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone’s working too much. Now everybody’s got more leisure time they’re complaining they’re unemployed. People don’t seem to make up their minds what they want.”


On Tom Jones, 1969: “It’s difficult to see how it’s possible to become immensely valuable by singing what are the most hideous songs.”

To then Paraguay dictator General Stroessner: “It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”

To Scottish driving instructor, 1995: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”

To Susan Edwards and her guide dog in 2002: “They have eating dogs for the anorexic now.”

On Princess Anne, 1970: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”


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