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Tom Jones recalls meeting Prince Philip after Duke’s ‘gargle with pebbles’ remark

Louis Chilton
·2-min read
Tom Jones and Prince Philip (Getty)
Tom Jones and Prince Philip (Getty)

Tom Jones has recounted a meeting with the late Prince Philip after the royal had appeared to insult him.

The encounter occurred after the Duke of Edinburgh had been quoted in the press as saying that Jones sounded like he “gargled with pebbles”.

Speaking to Marc Maron on the WTF podcast, Jones said of the “pebble” quote: “When I read it I thought ‘What the f***?’”

Meeting at the palace before an event for a wildlife foundation, Philip allegedly approached Jones, telling him he would “like to explain something”.

“I said ‘Yes, OK, your Royal Highness, yes sir?’” recalled Jones. “He said: ‘I was at a small businessman’s meeting and they were all moaning about they don’t have enough help from the government. So I used you as an example. I said, “look, if a coal miner’s son from a little town in South Wales can become a f***ing multi-millionaire, what are you p****s on about?”’ You know what I mean. Words to that effect.”

According to Jones, the Duke then told him: “I was quoted as saying ‘you must gargle with pebbles’. I mean that your voice is so powerful and so strong that you must gargle with pebbles.”

“I said, ‘well thank you very much sir,’” recalled Jones. “He didn’t have to explain anything like that to me! He could have told me to go f*** myself. I’d [still] have said ‘yes sir, thank you very much’. But he did! He took the time, and I’ll never forget that.”

Podcast host Maron then questioned the duke’s motives, saying: “Even with that spin, Tom, I’m wondering if he was just covering his ass.”

“He was very diplomatic. I felt the same way at the time, but I didn’t want to say anything,” replied the singer.

Philip died on 9 April at the age of 99. His funeral took place on Saturday (17 April), and was watched by 13.6m people in the UK.

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