While he has long been a loyal husband and consort to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 94 today, is perhaps just as renowned for his outspoken views and unfortunate public comments.

One of his most famous remarks came shortly after the Queen’s accession in 1952, when Philip famously objected to the decision to keep the name Windsor rather than use his own surname Mountbatten.

Declaring he was the only man in the country not allowed to give his own name to his children, he was furious, proclaiming: “I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba".

But, as ever, he remained by the Queen’s side and on a visit to Canada in 1969, he said at an engagement: “I declare this thing open, whatever it is.”

Not unusual

Celebrities and animals have not been immune to the Duke’s outspoken musings either.

During the Royal Variety Performance in the same year, the Duke asked Tom Jones: “What do you gargle with, pebbles?”

In 1992, he turned down the opportunity to stroke a koala bear saying: “Oh no, I may catch some ghastly disease.”

Politicians have also taken the brunt of some perhaps ill-thought out comments. In Germany in 1997, Philip welcomed German chancellor Helmut Kohl at a trade fair as “Reichskanzler”, a title last held by Adolf Hitler.

Race row

The Prince’s gaffes have also landed him in trouble, with several comments angering race campaigners.

In 1999, for instance, he apologised after pointing to an old-fashioned fusebox at an electronics factory in Edinburgh and saying: “It looks as if it was put together by an Indian.”

The National Assembly Against Racism condemned the remark as “absolutely abysmal and disgraceful''.

At a papal reception in Scotland in 2010, he asked then-Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie if she wore tartan knickers.

Miss Goldie retorted: “I couldn’t possibly comment – and even if I did, I couldn’t possibly exhibit them.”

Fortunately, the Scottish politician was said to be in “hoots of laughter” over the exchange, saying: “It’s marvellous to know that humour is alive and well in the Royal Family.”

Horsing around

Even his own family hasn’t managed to escape his straight talking.

“Yak, yak, yak; come on get a move on,” he is once reported to have shouted at the Queen from the Royal Yacht Britannia, as she chatted to people on the quayside.

Talking of his daughter the Princess Royal, he said: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”

And when asked about a gunman who tried to kidnap Princess Anne in 1974, the Duke declared: “If the man had succeeded in abducting Anne, she would have given him a hell of a time while in captivity.''