Prince Philip reportedly made the subject of one of his customarily politically incorrect jokes “burst out laughing” while the media establishment freaked out over a remark on New Years’ Eve.

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, now 96-years-old, is said to have spotted a ginger-bearded man near Sandringham’s St Mary Magdalene Church, when he asked, “Is that a terrorist?”

The gag was lamented on Sky News’ newspaper review late on Sunday night, while the Guardianplaced scare-quotes around its headline calling the quip a “joke”.

The left-wing Daily Beast blog said Prince Philip was “under fire” and invented the idea of a “fresh row” caused by the comment which even made the subject of the burst out laughing, according to onlookers, as reported by The Sun.

“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”.

The website of Australia said Prince Phillip “stun[ned] a UK crowd”, claiming he “put his foot in it again”. The Daily Mail also, perhaps surprisingly, slammed the Prince in its headline while the Australiancalled the joke a “gaffe”.

But the Telegraphreport seems closer to the truth, reading: “Prince Philip has crowd in stitches outside Sandringham church on New Year’s Eve”. All witness testimony of the incident reflects this more laid back write-up.

Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip attended their church service this morning alongside a host of family members. Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle were not present. Recently, Ms. Markle banned Harry from attending a traditional Boxing Day hunt, while the son of Princess Charles and the late Princess Diana opted instead to use the Christmas season to promote former U.S. President Barack Obama on BBC national radio.

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