LONDON - Britain's Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, fell about laughing Monday when a swearing soldier gave him the giggles.
The 92-year-old former naval officer - himself no stranger to plain-speaking - got a taste of some colourful language while watching a football match at an army barracks.
The Duke of Edinburgh is used to hearing people use the queen's English during his visits but got both barrels of some military-grade swearing on his trip to Aldershot, southwest of London.
When one exhausted player was substituted off during the game between guardsmen and corporals of 1st Battalion the Grenadier Guards, he was so shattered he did not realise quite who he was talking to.
Doubled up in agony on the touchline, the soldier appeared unaware that Prince Philip was standing only five metres away as he went through a lexicon of swear words to describe his pain.
"Are you all right? asked the royal patriarch.
"No, I'm fucked," replied the soldier, still bent double with his head down.
Prince Philip - who never fails to tell it like it is - laughed and then could not stop chuckling away to himself as the substituted player finally glanced up and walked off with a sheepish look.
The duke has been colonel of the Grenadier Guards infantry regiment since 1975. He was briefed on the 1st battalion's recent activities and presented long service medals to three sergeants.
The prince is well known for undiplomatic off-hand remarks, which have included asking a student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea: "You managed not to get eaten, then?" and telling a group of British students on a state visit to China: "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed."