As someone who has a tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong moment, it is always a joy for your correspondent to note others doing it. In between his good works, including his award scheme for young people and his wildlife work, former naval hero and Her Majesty the Queen’s husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is famous/infamous for saying “inappropriate” things.
Given his record, you could say that as a member of the Greek royal family (of German descent), the nonagenarian Prince Philip was not so much born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as with a silver foot in it.
Now a new book written by Nigel Cawthorne has collated Prince Philip’s words of wisdom into one handy volume called I Know I am Rude but it is fun.
In between such faux pas as infamously insulting the Chinese over their oriental physical attributes, Prince Philip managed to get in a few quips about space.
In 2001, thirteen-year-old Andrew Adams was at summer school at Salford University where the NOVA British space project is based. He was admiring one of the rockets when the Duke of Edinburgh asked him if he would like to travel into space. When he said yes, the Duke told him: “You’ll have to lose a little bit of weight first. You’re too fat to be an astronaut.”
In 1991, Prince Philip visited NASA’s headquarters in Houston, Texas, where he sat in the command seat of a space capsule simulator, which he then had to dock. “It was like a bloody great mechanical copulator,” he said.
Given that Prince Philip has had a key role in managing to knock out three princes and a princess, he knows what he is talking about.