Last week, the Duke of Edinburgh made the latest of his frequent misplaced jokes. On a trip to the Philippines, he joked to a local nurse that “the Philippines must be half empty because you are all working for the British NHS (National Health Service)”.
The Duke has a long history of these public blunders, however, he does have a challenger for the title of the “King of Cringe”. That man is former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who in his 17 years in power had a habit for making inappropriate zingers.
Decide for yourself who is the “King of Cringe”
The Duke Of Edinburgh
-After being told that Madonna was singing the Die Another Day theme in 2002, he overheard complaining, “Are we going to need ear plugs?”
– He asked expats in Abu Dhabi “Are you running away from something?”
-He joked to President of Nigeria, who was in national dress, “You look like you’re ready for bed.”
-He told to deaf children steel band in 2000, “Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf.”
-He told a tourist in Budapest, “You can’t have been here long, you haven’t got a pot belly.”
-Looking at a fuse box in a Scottish factory, he said, “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.”
– After the Dunblane massacre in 1996, he stated, “If a cricketer suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, are you going to ban cricket bats?”
-To a Scottish driving instructor, “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”
-He commented on Ethiopian art, “It looks like the kind of thing my daughter would bring back from school art lessons.”
-At a Bangladeshi youth club, he joked, “So who’s on drugs here?… he looks as if he’s on drugs.”
-When the Duke was asked how difficult it is in Britain to get rich- “What about Tom Jones? He’s made a million and he’s a bloody awful singer.”
-To an Aboriginal leader William Brin, “Do you still throw spears at each another?”
-He asked black politician, Lord Taylor of Warwick, “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?”
-He told Andrew Adams, 13, in 1998, “You could do with losing a little bit of weight.”
-He asked Elton John on his gold Aston Martin in 2001- “Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car, is it?”
-In the approach to the 2008 Italian general election, Berlusconi was accused of sexism when he joked that female politicians from the political right were “more beautiful” and that “the political left has no taste, even when it comes to women.”
-He joked to a black African priest, “you have a nice tan.”
– Two days after the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake, Berlusconi suggested that people left homeless should view their experience as a camping weekend.
– He said, “When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, ‘Yes’, while the other 70% replied, ‘What, again?'” Same old Silvio Berlusconi and his women.
-He called Obama, “young, handsome and suntanned”.
– He told German MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Martin Schulz, at start of Italy’s EU presidency in July 2003, “I know that in Italy there is a man producing a film on Nazi concentration camps – I shall put you forward for the role of Kapo (guard chosen from among the prisoners) – you would be perfect.”
-In response to the controversy surrounding the above remark, he stated, “I’ll try to soften it and become boring, maybe even very boring, but I am not sure I will be able to do it.”
-He told a model, “If I weren’t already married, I would marry you straight away.”
-He told the press that he used his “playboy charms” to persuade Finland’s female prime minister to set up the EU Food Safety Authority in Parma, Italy, rather than in Finland.
-He told potential American investors that they should invest in Italy because it had more “beautiful secretaries”.
There you have it. After reading the Silvio Berlusconi and Duke Of Edinburgh quotes you can decide who is the king of awkward moments.