Prince Philip may be a thousand years old now (or 96, close enough), but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing on his storied tradition of making racist/ sexist/problematic comments in public. And as the UK rings in the New Year, he got one in just before the buzzer.

The Sun reports that Philip was overheard pointing at a man with a beard and asking “is that a terrorist?” as he and other royals, including the Queen, arrived at St Mary Magdalene Church near Sandringham for the morning service on New Year’s Eve (UK time).

An onlooker told the publication that Philip was clearly having a bit of a laff, and actually wanted people to hear the comment.

The man appeared to be his with wife and child. Philip was wishing lots of people a Happy New Year and then he spotted this guy with his distinctive beard. He pointed at him in a funny way and turned to one of his Royal bodyguards, saying: ’Is that a terrorist?.’

He was obviously having a little joke, but he said it within earshot of the man who burst out laughing and appeared to find the whole thing hilarious. I think Philip knew he was going to be overheard….I’m sure [he] didn’t mean any harm.

It’s the latest awkward public gaffe in a long line of awkward public gaffes for Philip. Previously, he offended Indigenous Australians by asking successful Aboriginal businessman William Brim“Do you still throw spears at each other?” during a visit Down Under in 2002.

At a 1986 state visit to China, he told some British students: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed” and said to a female officer in a bulletproof vest at a 2002 event: “You look like a suicide bomber”.

Ah, Philip. One must really learn to keep one’s trap firmly shut.

Image: Getty Images / Karwai Tang