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The Wit And Wisdom Of Prince Philip

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 -- Referring to an outdated fusebox at an Edinburgh factory, he remarked, “It looks as if it was put in by an Indian.”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