The Duke of Edinburgh has told a nurse from the Philippines that her country must be “half empty,” due to the amount of her natives that work in the UK for the NHS.
Prince Philip made this remark as he visited the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and unveiled a $8.5 million cardiac centre. The prince had just been introduced to the nurse when he turned to her and joked, “The Philippines must be half empty, you’re all here running the NHS,” to which she laughed.
A spokesperson for the hospital noted that the duke’s visit had been “hugely motivational” for the staff. They also added, “Luton is a very cosmopolitan town and the working staff at Luton and Dunstable Hospital reflects that.
The spokesperson also confirmed that the hospital had recently held a recruitng campaign in the Philippines, which has a population of over 95 million.
The Duke of Edinburgh has a long history of making inappropriate comments whilst on royal visits. In 1986, during a state visit to China, he told a group of British students, “If you stay here much longe, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”
Whilst in 1994 he visited the Cayman Islands and remarked, “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?” Then in 1998 he visited Papua New Guinea, and asked a student who was trekking in the area, “You managed not to get eaten, then?”
Buckingham Palace have responded to this latest controversy by stating that they are not going to comment on a private conversation.
Do you think that Prince Philip’s remark was racist?