Prince Philip mocks blind Army cadet’s dress sense
Queen was ‘open-mouthed’ after her husband made astonishing gaffe
It has been revealed that the Duke of Edinburgh, known for his gaffes, once made a blunder that is jaw-dropping even by his standards. It happened in 2002 when he mocked the dress sense of a blind Army cadet.
Stephen Menary was 15 when he was invited to meet the Queen and the Duke at a tree-planting ceremony in Hyde Park, as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. Menary had been blinded in an IRA attack.
Upon hearing the Queen ask Menary how much sight he had left, Prince Philip interrupted, saying, "Not a lot, judging by the tie he’s wearing."
Menary was wearing the uniform of the Middlesex Cadet Force, which includes a red, blue and yellow tie.
Stephen's mother Carol Menary told TV chatshow host Graham Norton on Sunday that there was "stunned silence" after the Duke made the comment.
"The Queen just looked at him open-mouthed. I don't think she could believe what he had said. My whole family were just shocked," said Mrs Menary during the recording of BBC1's Graham Norton Show. "We knew he had a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth so we didn't take offence, but mocking the sight of a blind boy is something, even by his standards... It's just how [the Duke] is. His brain is not in gear."
Prince Philip's many gaffes over the years include asking an Australian Aborigine whether he was "still throwing spears", and during a state visit to China telling British students that "if you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed".
The Duke's latest 'victim' Stephen Menary, now 23, said he did not take offence at the Prince's comments about his tie. "I know he has a reputation for making seemingly offensive remarks but I don't think there's any malice in what he says. He meets people who are often very nervous about meeting him and other members of the Royal Family and I think he just tries to put people at ease by trying to make a joke." ·
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