Prince Philip on Prince Philip

By: AFP      Published: 05:35 PM, 9 Apr, 2021
Prince Philip on Prince Philip

Prince Philip famously hated talking about himself but occasionally let his guard down and reflected on his own life.

Here are some quotes by the prince about the prince:

On marriage 

"It's been a challenge for us, but by trial and experience, I believe we have achieved a sensible division of labour and a good balance between our individual and joint interests.

"The main lesson that we've learned is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage. It may not be quite so important when things are going well but it is absolutely vital when things get difficult. And you can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance."

(On married life, 1997, 50th wedding anniversary speech at the London Guildhall)

On gaffes 

"Dentopedology is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. I've been practising it for years."

(On his habit of making gaffes, 1960, speech to Britain's General Dental Council)

On infidelity 

"Have you ever stopped to think that for the last 40 years, I have never moved anywhere without a policeman accompanying me? So how the hell could I get away with anything like that?"

(On rumours of infidelity, 1992, The Independent)

On traipsing 

"It seemed to me it would have been of great value to the Queen, when she became Queen eventually, to have somebody who was, in a sense, professionally qualified in something and not just traipsing around."

(On rising through the naval ranks, 2011, BBC)

On duties 

"It was naturally disappointing because I'd just been promoted to commander. In fact, the most interesting part of the naval career was just starting.

"But then equally, if I stopped and thought about it, being married to the Queen, it seemed to me that my first duty was to serve her in the best way I could."

(On his stellar naval career being curtailed by Queen Elizabeth II's 1952 accession to the throne, 2011, ITV)

On his role 

"If I asked somebody, 'What do you expect me to do?' they all looked blank. They had no idea."

(On carving out a niche for himself, 2011, BBC)

"I've never thought of it as a role. It's just a way of life. I just got on with what seems to be the sensible thing to do under the circumstances."

(On whether he has a role, 1984, Thames Television interview)

On image 

"I'm very doubtful about the whole concept of deliberately trying to create an image because I think that it's very easily rumbled."

(On being himself, 1984, Thames Television)

On speeches 

"I was asked to start off the Olympic Games in Melbourne, where I made, if I may say so, the best speech of my life. Ahem. Which is exactly five words."

(On the speech of his life, 1957, speech at Mansion House in London)

"I don't think I have ever got up to make a speech of any kind, anywhere, ever, and not made the audience laugh at least once."

(On his jovial approach to public speaking, 1999, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper interview)

On opinions 

"I don't have opinions about things I know nothing about."

2006, interview with The Daily Telegraph newspaper

On retiring 

"I reckon I've done my bit. I want to enjoy myself for a bit now."

(On approaching retirement, 2011, BBC)

On self-reflection 

"Who cares what I think about it?"

-- On whether he has been successful as a royal

(2011, BBC)

On childhood 

"It was a very, very jolly life.

"It seemed to be perfectly normal, as far as I was concerned. How could I compare it with anything else?"

(On his nomadic childhood, 2011, "Prince Philip at 90", ITV interview)

On identity 

"I was born a Greek national but I was Danish by race."

(On how he considers himself, 2011, "The Duke at 90", BBC interview)

On language 

"We spoke English at home. The others learned Greek. I could understand a certain amount of it. But then the (conversation) would go into French. Then it went into German.

"If you couldn't think of a word in one language, you tended to go off in another."

(On multi-lingual childhood family conversations, 1992, The Independent newspaper interview)

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