Friday, December 10, 2010
Charles and Camilla's ordeal began when they left Clarence House at approximately 7.15pm, Thursday, 9th December, 2010.
As their limousine, escorted by three police outriders and an unmarked police car, turned into Regent Street from Piccadilly Circus, the Royal Couple was instantly recognised by the crowd including the protesters.
At first they were seen talking happily and waving at passers-by.
However, suddenly the crowd began to close in around them, swelled by student fee protesters who had run to the scene from the riot outside Parliament.
Bags of rubbish, traffic cones, bottles and plastic barriers from roadworks started to rain down on the Rolls-Royce, which was stopped in its tracks when a large bin was thrown in front of it.
Rioters, wearing balaclavas and scarves over their faces, surrounded the car, kicking the car, banging on the windows – one of which was open – and shouting ‘Tory scum’ and ‘off with your heads’. A lone policewoman tried desperately to clear the mob, to no avail.
Poor Camilla could be heard screaming as she gripped Charles’s hand. Terrified for her safety, she then dived on to the floor of the car. One witness said Charles pushed her down in an attempt to protect her.
The Prince, however, defiantly remained sitting in his seat and continued to wave at the crowd. (like King Arthur??)
Well it is not everyday that we saw the future King of England, being attacked by mobs. The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles had to endure that frightening moment in London last night.
The Rolls Royce carrying the Royal Couple, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker, was ambushed while on the way to the Royal Variety Performance 2010 at the London Palladium.
It happened around 7.15 pm London time at the Regent Street.
The students were protesting after Members of Parliaments voted to increase university tuition fees in England.
It turned violent and the London police had a hard time, dispersing the rowdy and unruly crowd.
Yes.. this is Christmas season and yet it happened.
As a result of the attack, the Royal Couple car was dented, its window smashed and smeared with paint.
Nevertheless, Prince Charles and Carmilla arrived on schedule at the London Palladium at 7.20 pm, about 5 minutes after the attack.
Security analyst and former police officer Charles Shoebridge said "This is a very serious incident. It ranks amongst the most serious security breaches of the past decade. Some of the demonstrators yesterday were carrying petrol, specifically If the can of paint had been a can of petrol, it would have been very different."
The former intelligence officer condemned how Charles and Camilla were allowed to 'blunder' into the demonstration and questioned whether Scotland Yard had the right people in charge.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who described the attack as 'shocking and regrettable', insisted lessons had to be learned and those responsible held to account.
'It's no good to say this was a very small minority. It wasn't,' he said. 'There were quite a number of people who clearly were there wanting to pursue violence and destroy property.
'I know that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner is going to be working hard to report on this. I also know quite rightly he will look into the very regrettable incident where the Prince of Wales and his wife were nearly attacked by this mob.'
The Prime Minister spoke to the Met Chief and Prince Charles' private secretary last night, after the incident, but he stressed the police were not to blame. 'It was the fault of the people who tried to smash up that car,' he said.
London mayor Boris Johnson hailed Charles and Camilla's 'great fortitude of spirit' and called for an end to the violent tuition fee protests.
He said: 'Clearly, it is very regrettable that in the heart of London, the heir to the throne can be surrounded by agitators and his wife can be put in a position where she's plainly alarmed.'
One witness said Charles kept calm, gently pushing his wife towards the floor to get her out of the line of fire.
'Charles got her on the floor and put his hands on her,' said Adnan Nazir, a 23-year-old podiatrist who was following the protesters.
Merry Christmas Your Majesty.