"Were you here in the bad old days? That's why you can't read and write then!" Day Prince Philip made gaffe at Sheffield school

The Duke of Edinburgh opens Fir Vale School in 2003.
The Duke of Edinburgh opens Fir Vale School in 2003.
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It was 14 years ago this month that Prince Philip made one of his most famous gaffes at a Sheffield school.

The Duke, who it was revealed earlier today will be standing down from Royal public duties from this autumn, made one of his infamous blunders to shocked parents at a city school in May 2003.

The school was formerly Earl Marshall School.

The school was formerly Earl Marshall School.

His Royal Highness, who seems to have made a career out of making off-the-cuff, controversial and politically incorrect remarks, was visiting South Yorkshire for a string of engagements which included opening the Winter Gardens.

But it was at Fir Vale School where the Duke put his foot in it as the school prepared for a brand new chapter in its history, hoping to put its poor academic reputation behind it with the Royal seal of approval.

The Duke had other ideas of course.

“Were you here in the bad old days?," he told parents, referring to the school's previous guise as Earl Marshall School. "That's why you can't read and write then!”

The Queen officially unveils the new look Fir Vale School in 2003.

The Queen officially unveils the new look Fir Vale School in 2003.

Needless to say, the remark picked up more headlines than the turnaround of the school which was once named and shamed as one of the worst schools in Britain.

The school re-opened in a new building under a new name and saw an incredible change of fortunes and academic results.

The visit to the city was the first The Queen had made to Sheffield in more than ten years and as well as opening the Millennium Galleries, the couple also enjoyed a walkabout in the Peace Gardens and lunch in the Town Hall before making an appearance on the balcony.