Saturday 16 November 2019

Cheeky prince has to shape up for student encounter

Kevin Keane

The Duke of Edinburgh has been "acting the cad" again after he let slip a cheeky remark to a young Irish woman, 66 years his junior.

With a twinkle in his royal eye, the 89-year-old prince told a physiotherapy graduate that she had the "right shape" for her profession.

After viewing the Book of Kells the royal couple were afforded a rare chance to meet members of the Irish public as they shook hands with selected students, academics, and a number of people who live near Trinity College, Dublin.

Among them was physiotherapy graduate Stephanie Fleming who had a short conversation with the queen.

"She asked were we students because there was a line of about four or five of us," Ms Fleming told the Irish Independent. "I said 'yes' and she asked 'what are you studying?'"

The 23-year-old from Douglas in Cork was then greeted by Prince Philip.

"He asked what we were studying and I told him physiotherapy," she said.

"He took a step back and said 'Oh physiotherapy' and I really thought for a second that Prince Philip was going to ask me a health-related question. . .

"Instead he went 'Oh you have the right shape for it' and he gave me a nod of approval," Ms Fleming said.

"I just laughed and said, 'Thanks'," she added.

Ms Fleming said she took the joke in the spirit in which it was intended. "He's an elderly gentleman, I wouldn't say he was being lecherous, not at all."

Prince Philip's cheeky aside is the latest in a long list of inappropriate remarks he has made during his more than five decades at the queen's side.

He once asked, "You are a woman, aren't you?" of a Kenyan lady who had presented him with a gift during a 1984 trip to Africa.

Irish Independent

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