Prince Philip asks women: 'Who do you sponge off?'

Date

Gordon Rayner

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, speaks to participants of a pilates class during a visit to Chadwell Heath Community ...

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, speaks to participants of a pilates class during a visit to Chadwell Heath Community Centre. Photo: Getty Images

The Duke of Edinburgh was as incorrigible as ever on Thursday when he met a group of female community workers and asked them: "Who do you sponge off?"

Moments later he asked a professional fundraiser: "Do you have any friends left?"

His comments came just days after he was caught on camera telling a photographer to "just take the f---ing picture" and are just the latest in a lifetime of gaffes.

The 94-year-old Duke was visiting Chadwell Heath Community Centre with the Queen on a visit to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham when he met members of the Chadwell Heath Asian Women's Network.

Advertisement

Nusrat Zamir, who founded the organisation, said: "The Duke said to us 'Who do you sponge off?'" 

The trustee, 35, who presented the Queen with a large iced sponge cake, added: "He also said to us 'Do you meet to have a gossip?'

"It's a familiar question, a lot of people say what the Duke said but we do a lot of work. When we organised a fair in March that took a lot of organising and time."

The royal couple arrived at the community centre at 11am and were shown round by its chairman Ann Estlea, 55.

They met Martin Shaw from the fundraising company Midas, who said: "It was quite funny because when I told the Duke I was a professional fundraiser he said 'Do you have any friends left?'.

"I said 'Not many' and he said 'I guess so'.

Ms Estlea said: "The Duke told me off for using the word 'community' so many times and I asked him what I was supposed to say.

"He just laughed at me. As they left and I was shaking their hands I told him I was going to find a thesaurus to find different words for community and he just laughed.

The Queen and the Duke were in the area to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Barking and Dagenham's creation as a London Borough.

 

The Telegraph, London