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Prince Philip Asks Community Centre Women 'Who Do You Sponge Off?'

16/07/2015 14:52 BST | Updated 16/07/2015 17:59 BST

Prince Philip has committed a second sensational social faux pas in less than a week, but this one has touched a nerve.

The Duke of Edinburgh was accompanying the Queen on a visit to the Chadwell Heath Community Centre on Thursday, when he attempted to make small talk with attendees.

Without a suggestion of irony, the taxpayer-powered 95-year-old sidled up to a group of women enjoying a coffee morning at the centre and asked: “Who do you sponge off?”

prince philip

Prince Philip and the Queen attend a dance recital at the Chadwell Heath Community Centre

Nusrat Zamir, who founded the Chadwell Heath Asian Women’s Network told the Mirror: “The Duke said to us ‘Who do you sponge off? We’re married so it’s our husbands.

“He was just teasing and it’s similar to what I call my husband – the wallet.”

prince philip

The Prince is noted for his colourful outbursts

The elderly Duke continued his efforts to communicate with the locals by asking: “Do you meet to have a gossip?”, and then asked one professional fundraiser: “Do you have any friends left?”

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But the irony of the gaffe-prone prince asking others who they sponge off, appears to have caused a major sense of humour failure on social media.

Last week the elderly Duke was caught on camera instructing a photographer to “Just take the fucking picture” as he joined veterans for the 75th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain.

The 94-year-old prince has long been known for his colourful turn of phrase.

Last year he quipped “at least you are all legitimate” to staff at a family planning centre and the year before he made the headlines for joking about a toddler being knocked off an inflatable toy.

The Duke was on a visit to St Michael's Care Complex in the market town of Aylsham, when he spotted a little girl sitting on an inflatable ball.

“Do you get bonus points if you knock her off?” he asked.

Prince Philip: 23 Memorable Quotes

Prince Philip: 23 Memorable Quotes