London: British Queen`s husband, Prince Philip -- famous for his risque comments -- has defended the infamous "slitty-eyed" gaffe he made during an official trip to China 25 years ago.
While on an official visit to China in 1986, he told a group of British exchange students staying in Xian city: "If you stay here much longer you`ll all be slitty-eyed."
Now, 25 years on, during a documentary to mark his 90th birthday, to be aired on `BBC`, the Duke of Edinburgh has defended his comment, claiming that the resulting outcry was "disproportionate".
"I`d forgotten about it. But for one particular reporter who overheard it, it wouldn`t have come out. What`s more, the Chinese weren`t worried about it, so why should anyone else?" `The Daily Telegraph` quoted him as saying.
The Duke is famous for his gaffes.
Speaking to a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland, in 1995 he asked: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?"
He told a 1986 meeting of the World Wildlife Fund: "If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it."
The Duke will turn 90 on June 10 but Buckingham Palace has confirmed that he would not take the day off and instead carry out two official engagements that day.
The official celebration of his birthday has been put back to June 12, when the Queen and other members of the Royal family will attend a service at St George`s Chapel, Windsor, followed by a reception at Windsor Castle.