Anti-royalist arrested for plotting assault on Prince Charles
In the world of royal tours, awkward moments come with the territory.
Keeping a sense of humour helps, though not all these situations are friendly, as Prince Charles and Camilla found out on Monday.
Case in point: A 74-year-old "known anti-royalist" was arrested in Auckland, charged with "preparing to commit a crime, namely assault," according to police. He was caught on CCTV cameras in downtown Auckland at one venues scheduled on the royal itinerary, though Charles and Camilla had not yet arrived. Police told TV's OneNews that the man was carrying something, but would not identify it. He'll be in court Tuesday.
The royals, meanwhile, had arrived minutes later to conduct another of what seems like an endless stream of walkabouts. The crowds were friendly, though there was at least a few protesters, one carrying a sign "Get a job Royal Bludgers." The word 'bludger' is slang for lazy person.
"This was an isolated case as thousands turned out to greet Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall," a source close to the royals told Sky News.
Still, Prince Charles and Camilla have had their share of detractors during their visit to Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. Anti-royal sentiment runs pretty deep among some sections of the population in that part of the world, though lately the royals in general have enjoyed rising support since Prince William and Kate began to take starring roles.
A recent poll in New Zealand put support for the Queen as Head of State at 70 per cent, with 19 per cent opting to become a republic. Four years ago, 25 per cent were in favour of republic status.
Even with a friendly audience, there is no end of awkward moments for the royals on this two-week tour as they spend much of their time shaking hands and paws and hooves of a wide variety of living creatures. Whatever anti-germ lotion they are using seems to be working.
The awkward moments persist, however, as citizen and royal tangle with etiquette.
A few examples from Monday:
Prince Charles has sweat wiped from his face after receiving an unplanned hug from Linda Itunu, one of the members of the New Zealand women's sevens rugby team at the AUT Millennium, New Zealand's national training center for high performance sports. Going cheek-to-cheek for a few moments with the sweaty athlete left Charles with some unplanned moisture on his forehead, which prompted apologies and some quick dabbing of the royal brow by Itunu. "I saw him and he just looked like he needed a hug," she said. "He said he doesn't mind." (AP Photo)
This was one of those do-I-shake-hands-or-kiss-the-cheek moments. Prince Charles meets opera meets opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at a Diamond Jubilee Trust Reception and dinner, on Monday night. When it doubt, do a little of both, but watch the hands. (Getty Images)
Prince Charles looks like he may be having a bit too much fun uses a 'tufting gun' to work on a wool carpet featuring the royal crest at a New Zealand Sheer Brilliance on Monday in Auckland. We're not quite sure how the man in charge of the equipment feels, but he appears to be ready to unravel himself and grab the gun from someone clearly out of control. (Getty Images)
Prince Charles has met all kinds of animals on this tour, from koalas to sheeps to kangaroos. Not surprising that he'd meet a wolf on a walkabout, or at least a human is wolf's clothing. (AFP/Getty Images)
Keeping with the animal theme, the royals encounted yet more fur as they met the cast of "Hairy Maclary" at the Bruce Mason Theatre on Monday. the play promotes children's literacy while telling the adventures of the fictional dog created by New Zealand's Lynley Dodd. (Getty Images)
NO CAUSE TO 'CELEBRATE'
On the heels of a big launch and plenty from free press thanks to her royal connections, Duchess Kate's sister is taking her lumps in the marketplace. Or at least her publisher is.
The book sold just 2,000 copies in its first week in the UK and has fallen to 177th place on the best-selling books list from Amazon, despite selling at $20, half is cover price. In the U.S., the book hasn't cracked the top 300 and goes for $30.
Of course, with upwards of a $600,000 advance in her pocket, Pippa still has cause to smile a bit through the at-best lukewarm reviews. Publisher Penguin, though, looks like they'll have to do some fancy accounting to raise this shipwreck from the bottom and salvage some Christmas sales.