Friends insist that he was merely trying to put the attractive young blonde at ease.
But it is clear that even at the grand old age of almost 91, frisky Prince Philip still has an eye for the ladies.
Spotting pretty Hannah Jackson, 25, on a trip with his wife to Bromley in Kent, the elderly royal turned to the policeman standing next to her and gestured towards her eye-catching peplum-style red dress which had a zip running the length of its front.
‘I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress!’ he exclaimed.
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Hannah Jackson, pictured in the red dress, moments after Prince Philip made his comments to a police officer
Prince Philip told a police officer that he would be arrested “if i unzipped that dress” when he saw Miss Jackson
While Hannah, an LSE graduate who works for Bromley Council as a schools and transport co-ordinator, retained her composure, the unnamed policeman just fell about in a heap of giggles as the prince moved on.
‘It was one of Prince Philip’s classics,’ said an onlooker who saw the officer struggling to stifle his laughter.
‘I saw that he made a passing remark to the police officer who was trying to contain his laughter, so I asked him what was so funny.
‘The policeman was standing in a council line-up along with this girl looking pretty in a red dress and I had to ask him exactly what he’d said because he was laughing so much.
‘He told me the Duke had said: ‘I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress’.’
Prince Philip was accompanying the Queen on a visit to Bromley, South London, when he made his comments
Philip was accompanying the Queen as her Diamond Jubilee Tour took her to Bromley on Tuesday, where they were met by more than 6,000 flag-waving school children who cheered and sang choruses of the National Anthem.
The couple met guests attending a ‘Jubilee Road Street Party’, had a tour of the Glades Shopping Centre and then met dignitaries and members of the public in the Market Square and High Street, which is where Miss Jackson met Philip.
The council worker, married to husband Tim, tactfully dodged questions about the prince’s remark.
‘We were talking about the event generally, it was quite a busy day and I was in the formal line up,’ she said.
But when quizzed about the Duke’s comment, she muttered: ‘I’m not sure really what to say’ and directed inquiries to the council press office.
A fellow member of staff added yesterday: ‘She’s amazed at the reaction and can’t believe why there’s so much fuss.
‘She’s had to take the afternoon off because she wouldn’t get any work done here anyway.’
Hannah’s mother-in-law, Angela Jackson, appeared taken aback at the fuss over the prince’s comments.
The Queen and Prince Philip today visited Burnley along with Prince Charles as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the country
The Queen and Prince Philip during their visit to Burnley College and University of Central Lancashire as part of her Jubilee celebrations
The Queen collects a bouquet from 10-year-old schoolgirl Ellena Coglan at Accrington Town Hall and Market Hall
Speaking at her home in Orpington last night, she raised her eyebrows archly and said: ‘Well, some people might find it amusing but I don’t want to comment.’
It is clear, however, that the Lincolnshire-born beauty would have been thrilled about her brush with royalty.
Writing on a social networking page several years ago, she spoke of her excitement at seeing celebrities in London. ‘Recently the actual Queen drove past me, i was like less than a foot from her car, i was well impressed!’ she said.
On Tuesday her sister, Brittany Lohse, who was also involved in the event, tweeted: ‘What a fantastic event, a day I will never forget as long as I live!’ Philip’s zip gaffe wasn’t his only risque comment of the day, however.
Spotting pensioner Barbara Dubery, who herself turns 90 on Saturday, wrapped up in her wheelchair in a foil blanket against the cold, he asked her: ‘Are they going to put you in the oven next’
Her daughter, pam Shaw, explained that her mother had been wrapped up ‘like a turkey’ by Bromley council officials who were worried she’d get cold.
‘It made her day,’ she said.
Prince Philip, pictured left at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at the weekend, made the gaffe during a trip to Bromley with the Queen who had tea with couples celebrating their diamond wedding anniversaries
Philip has become rather renowned for his less than tactful remarks over the years.
In 1986 he told British students in Peking: ‘If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed.’ Seven years later, he told a Briton living in Hungary: ‘You can’t have been here long. You’ve not got a pot belly.’ His remarks apparently alluded to the Hungarians’ love of food and drink.
Closer to home, he caused a storm while touring a factory in Edinburgh in August 1999 when he remarked that a fuse box ‘looked as though it had been put in by an Indian’.
Again in Scotland, he outraged locals when he asked a driving instructor he met on a walkabout in Oban in 1995: ‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them past the test’.
His other foot-in-mouth remarks include telling a group of teenagers from the British Deaf Association in Cardiff who were standing near a loud Caribbean steel band: ‘If you’re near that music it’s no wonder you’re deaf.’ Some of his off-the-cuff remarks have proved more amusing, however.
When asked if he knew the Scilly Isles, off the coast of Cornwall, he joked: ‘Yes, my son owns them.’ And of his daughter, Princess Anne, he jested: ‘If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she is not interested.’
Senior royal sources insist that the prince doesn’t mean to shock but has a mischievous sense of humour which he likes to use to put people who might be nervous at meeting royalty at ease.
Video: The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles on tour DM.has(“rcpv1642326115001″,”BCVideo”);Prince Philip, a life in gaffes
ON STATE VISITS
“You look like you”re ready for bed!” To the President of Nigeria, who was wearing traditional robes.
“Do you still throw spears at each other” To Aboriginal leader William Brin during a visit to the Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland, 2002.
“We don”t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.” On a trip to Canada in 1976.
“You managed not to get eaten then” To a British student who was trekking in Papua New Guinea, during an official visit in 1998.
“Aren”t most of you descended from pirates” To residents of the Cayman Islands in 1994.
On a trip to Budapest in 1993 he told a British tourist “You can”t have been here that long – you haven”t got a pot belly”
“I would like to go to Russia very much — although the bastards murdered half my family.” In 1967, when asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union.
“Damn fool question!” To a BBC journalist at a banquet at the Elyse Palace in Paris after she asked the Queen if she was enjoying her stay.
“It”s a vast waste of space.” To guests at the opening reception of a new 18?million British Embassy in Berlin in 2000.
“You can”t have been here that long — you haven”t got a pot belly.” To a British tourist he met during a tour of Hungarian capital Budapest in 1993.
“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test” To a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.
“It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.” The Prince”s verdict on a fuse box given during a tour of a Scottish factory in August 1999. He later apologised: “I meant to say cowboys. I just got my cowboys and Indians mixed up.”
“People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle.” To survivors of the Lockerbie bombing in 1993.
In 2002 Prince Philip asked aboriginal leader William Brin: “Do you still throw spears at each other”
“Ghastly.” Prince Philip”s opinion of Beijing, during a tour of China in 1986.
“If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.” To a meeting of the World Wildlife Fund in 1986.
“If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes.” To a British student on a visit to China in 1986.
ON MULTI-CULTURAL BRITAIN
“There”s a lot of your family in tonight.” After noticing business leader Atul Patel”s name badge during a Buckingham Palace reception for 400 influential British Indians in 2009.
“So who”s on drugs here He looks as if he”s on drugs.” To a 14-year-old member of a Bangladeshi youth club in 2002.
“Are you all one family” Said to mixed-race dance troupe Diversity at the 2009 Royal Variety Performance.
Speaking about his daughter, Princess Anne, Prince Philip said: “If it doesn”t fart or eat hay, she isn”t interested”
“British women can”t cook.” Endearing himself to the Scottish Women”s Institute in 1961.
“Ah, so this is feminist corner then.” To a group of female Labour MPs at a Buckingham Palace drinks party in 2000.
“You are a woman, aren”t you” To a Kenyan woman in 1984, after accepting a state gift.
“If it doesn”t fart or eat hay, she isn”t interested.” On his daughter, Princess Anne.
“When a man opens the car door for his wife, it”s either a new car or a new wife.”
“What do you gargle with — pebbles” To Tom Jones, after the Royal Variety Performance, 1969. He later added: “It is very difficult at all to see how it is possible to become immensely valuable by singing what I think are the most hideous songs.”
“Oh, it”s you that owns that ghastly car, is it We often see it when driving to Windsor Castle.” To near-neighbour Elton John after hearing that he had sold his Watford FC-themed Aston Martin in 2001.
“I wish he”d turn the microphone off!” During Elton John”s performance at the 73rd Royal Variety Show in 2001.
ON FOOD & DRINK
“Get me a beer. I don”t care what kind it is, just get me a beer!” On being offered fine Italian wines by Prime Minister Giuliano Amato at a dinner in Rome in 2000.
“Don”t feed your rabbits pawpaw fruit — it acts as a contraceptive. Then again, it might not work on rabbits.” To a Caribbean rabbit breeder in Anguilla in 1994.
ON CLASS & MONEY
“People think there”s a rigid class system here, but dukes have been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.” In 2000.
“If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort, provided you don”t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.” To the Aircraft Research Association in 2002.
“All money nowadays seems to be produced with a natural homing instinct for the Treasury.” Lamenting the rate of British tax in 1963.
“We go into the red next year. I shall probably have to give up polo.” On the Royal Family”s finances in 1969.
“Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.” Said at the height of the recession in 1981.
ON ART & FASHION
“You didn”t design your beard too well, did you You really must try better with your beard.” To a young fashion designer at Buckingham Palace in 2009.
“It looks like the kind of thing my daughter would bring back from her school art lessons.” On seeing an exhibition of “primitive” Ethiopian art in 1965.
ON THE PRESS
“You have mosquitos. I have the Press.” To the matron of a hospital in the Caribbean.