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Britain’s Prince Philip out of control with modern TVs

Published on 10/10/2009

London - Britain's Prince Philip said he was baffled by modern television remote controls and ended up lying on the floor by the set to operate it instead, in a video posted Saturday on the Internet.

The husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II bemoaned the design of television sets and praised people’s tolerance for coping with them, in a clip on the official Royal Channel on the video-sharing website YouTube.

"I think people are very tolerant, the way they go on tolerating these ghastly things," the 88-year-old said, before laying into television set design.

"You used to put it on the floor, and then they put the controls on the bottom so you had to lie on the floor, and then if you wanted to record something the recorder was underneath.

"So you ended up lying on the floor with a torch in your teeth, a magnifying glass and an instruction book.

"Either that or you had to employ a grandson of age 10 to do it for you."

His comments were made in an interview celebrating the 50th anniversary of a Design Council prize in his name.

"To work out how to operate a television set you practically have to make love to the thing. And why can’t you have a handset that people who are not 10 years old can actually read?" he said, according to The Times newspaper.

The no-nonsense Prince Philip is known for his interest in technology and is hardly afraid to speak his mind on a variety of subjects.

The Times said: "Our televisions are an unspoken disaster zone. Finally somebody has said something."

It said that while cars, telephones and computers had become easier to operate, and televisions had grown flatter, sharper and with clearer sound, "the remote controls have merely grown. Nobody ever uses half those buttons. A remote revolution is long overdue."