The Duke of Edinburgh has struck again.
His latest gem: "The Philippines must be half empty - you're all here running the NHS (National Health Service)."
Prince Philip, 91, is renowned for enjoying himself during his innumerable official engagements by making remarks that are considered to be a bit undiplomatic for someone in his position.
His latest effort came when he met a Filipino nurse during the opening of a cardiac centre at Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
The nurse laughed and appeared to take the comment in good humour, the Daily Mail reported.
The newspaper said he was in a ''jovial'' mood during the engagement and asked when the hospital would get a helipad to save him a journey by car.
The Duke, who calls himself "the world's most experienced curtain puller", has a long history of dodgy comments.
Last year he exclaimed: "I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress", as he walked past a pretty young woman in red. In another visit during the year he asked a 60-year-old man how many people he had knocked over on his mobility scooter.
In 1986 he told British students in Peking: "If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed."
Touring the Hungarian capital Budapest in 1993, the Duke told a British tourist: "You can't have been here that long - you haven't got a pot belly."
At a factory in Edinburgh in 1999, he remarked that a fuse box "looked as though it had been put in by an Indian."
Speaking to a group of teenagers from the British Deaf Association standing near a loud Caribbean steel band he said: "If you're near that music it's no wonder you're deaf."
To Susan Edwards, who is blind, uses a wheelchair and has a guide dog the Duke said: "Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?"
Asked in 1967 if he would like to go to the Soviet Union, he replied: "I would like to go to Russia very much - although the bastards murdered half my family."
Royal sources insisted the prince would never intend to cause offence and liked to make the odd joke "to put people at ease", the Daily Mail said.
- © Fairfax NZ News