The Duke of Edinburgh pointed out a bearded man and asked “is that a terrorist?” as he greeted crowds at Sandringham, it has been claimed.
The 96-year-old was attending St Magdalene Church on New Year’s Eve accompanied by the Princess Royal, when it is reported he made the comment as he joked with onlookers.
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Witnesses who claimed to have heard the comment said the man had a ginger beard, The Sun and the Mail Online reported.
The Duke traditionally marks the festive period with the Queen at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, attending a church service on Christmas morning and New Year’s Eve with the royal family.
Philip, who retired in August, is notorious for making controversial comments.
The royal once famously asked a group of Aboriginal Australians during a visit in 2002: “Do you still throw spears at each other?”
He also once asked a disabled 60-year-old man on a mobility scooter: “How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.