Prince Charles’ most unfortunate royal gaffes over the years

The future king of England is not perfect.

Prince Charles has lived his whole life in the limelight, it is no wonder he has made a few gaffes along the way. His marriage to Princess Diana was also heavily scrutinised for any sort of problem or difference.

Gaffes among the Royal Family was generally a burden carried by Charles' father Prince Philip.

But Charles has had his fair share of controversial moments and – after Phillip's passing – perhaps it is time for the Queen's first son the take up the mantle.

He will be hoping otherwise, the Queen has generally stayed problem free throughout her long reign.

But what are Charles' – who celebrates his 73rd birthday today – biggest gaffes so far?

'I can't bear that man. He's so awful. He really is'

In 2005, the BBC's royal correspondent Nichlolas Witchell was on the end of Charles' angst at a skiing holiday in the Swiss alps.

In exchange for being left alone for the rest of their holiday, Charles, William and Harry agreed to a photo call.

As Witchell asked a question, Charles was heard muttering to his sons: "Bloody people. I can't bear that man. He's so awful. He really is."

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Charles is believed to regret the incident. Speaking in 2014 about the incident, Mr Witchell said: "There has never been an apology, and why should there be? He was probably quite right. You know, awful man.

"You could take the view it was the best thing that happened to me, because it showed that it is our job as BBC journalists to report fairly and accurately, but not to seek approval. We're not there to be liked."


Charles' marriage with Diana very publicly broke down. Shortly after they separated in 1992, a transcript of a phone conversation between Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles emerged.

Prince Charles is believed to have said: "Oh stop! I want to feel my way along you, all over you and up and down you and in and out."

"Particularly in and out."

The incident was also dubbed 'Tampongate' due to an odd remark regarding Charles wanting to "live inside" Camilla's trousers.

He joked: "Oh, God. I'll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be much easier!"

Camilla responded: "What are you going to turn into, a pair of knickers? Oh, you're going to come back as a pair of knickers."

Charles then replied: "Or, God forbid, a Tampax. Just my luck!"

The future King is believed to be "deeply ashamed" by the leaked phone call, according to a royal expert.

The Great Chinese Takeaway

In 2006, the Mail on Sunday exposed a 3,000 word document written by Charles about a trip to Hong Kong in which the state was symbolically handed over China.

The document was circulated among friends and titled, 'The Great Chinese Takeaway'. Charles warned of his doubts over the Chinese regime in the document.

He also criticised the "ridiculous rigmarole" and "awful Soviet-style display" of goose-stepping Chinese soldiers.

"At the end of this awful Soviet-style display we had to watch the Chinese soldiers goose-step on to the stage and haul down the Union Jack and raise the ultimate flag," he said.

In the document, Charles moaned about his uncomfortable British Airways seat, while the politicians instead sat in first class, saying "Such is the end of Empire, I sighed to myself."

Charles sued the paper's owners, Associated Newspapers, in response.

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