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Queen Elizabeth II, 91 and her husband Philip, 96, were married on November 20, 1947. The couple is celebrating their 70th anniversary together in Buckingham Palace.
USA TODAY

Gaffe-prone Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, gave the Brits something to talk about on New Year’s Eve after evidently making a “joke” about a terrorist.

British media lit up with reports that the Duke of Edinburgh, 96, joked that a bearded man in the crowd at a church near Sandringham might be a “terrorist.”

According to reports from The Daily Mail, The Sun and Sky News, Philip and the queen were on their way to attend a morning service at St. Mary Magdalene church when the prince saw a white man with a long red (or ginger, as the Brits call it) beard.

According to one onlooker: “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?’”

According to one report, the question prompted laughter from the crowd.

The Telegraph presented the incident in a rather lighthearted manner, quoting one onlooker:

“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 Philip didn’t mean any harm. His grandson Prince Harry has a ginger beard, so perhaps Philip had been cracking jokes about that over Christmas.”

Ian Smith, 39, told the Telegraph: “Everyone knows Prince Philip has got a sense of humor, although some people night have thought it was a risqué comment.”

Philip officially retired from royal duties over the summer. He and the queen celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in November.

William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry and his American fiancé, Meghan Markle, skipped the New Year’s Eve morning service. On Christmas Day, the foursome joined the queen and Prince Philip at church.

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