Charles: I may never wear 'budgie smugglers' again

Prince Charles has admitted he may never fit into a pair of “budgie smugglers” again as he approaches his 70th birthday.

The Duke of Cornwall was speaking in Brisbane during his week-long tour of Australia when he joked: “I do know only too well, and understand, the strange feeling of disbelief that this is actually happening and that never again, for instance, will it be possible to squeeze into a pair of budgie smugglers.

“I don’t know about you, ladies and gentlemen, but now bits of me keep falling off at regular intervals.

“‘Don’t worry’, they keep telling me, ‘you have brilliant genes’.

“But the trouble is I can’t even get into them either.”

The Australian slang term “budgie smugglers” refers to tight-fitting swimming trunks.

Prince Charles made the remarks at a reception hosted by the Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey  yesterday evening
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The prince made the remarks during a speech in Brisbane

Charles, who made the light-hearted remarks at a reception hosted by Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey, turns 70 on November 14.

His confession came ahead of his visit to the island nation of Vanuatu on Saturday, where he was pictured wearing a grass skirt and a white garland.

The heir to the throne was given the title “Mal Menaringmanu” as he was made “high chief” in a colourful ceremony.

Charles took part in a series of traditional rituals after landing in the capital of the South Pacific island, Port Vila.

He was welcomed by islanders in traditional dress before he walked across red ceremonial mats – one of the most deeply respected aspects of Vanuatu’s traditions.

Charles walked across red ceremonial mats after he was welcomed to the island
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Charles walked across red ceremonial mats after he was welcomed to Vanuatu

The prince later took a sip from a cup of special kava, known as Royal Kava, which is reserved for special occasions. It was last consumed when Prince Philip visited Vanuatu in 1974.

Charles also planted two trees in the ceremony organised by the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs.

Islanders turned out in their thousands to see the prince, who greeted the crowd with “Halo yufala euriwan”, meaning “hello everybody”.

He then said: “My visit, while far too brief, has nevertheless allowed me to experience for myself the warmth, generosity and spirit for which the people of Vanuatu are so justly famed.”

The Duke of Cornwall sipped Royal Kavu from a cup this morning as he was made 'high chief'
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Th prince sipped Royal Kava from a cup as he was made ‘high chief’

The prince met Jimmy Joseph, from the village of Yaohnanen on the Vanuatuan island of Tanna, where Prince Philip is viewed as a divine being.

The Prince Philip Movement believes the Queen’s husband is a man from one of their legends.

Charles warmly shook Mr Joseph’s hand as he was presented with a gift.

Mr Joseph said: “I gave him a walking stick for his father made by the hands of the Prince Philip Movement.

“I told him a lot of people in the movement have now died but there are some still living.

“The prince said he would deliver the message personally.”

After meeting with Vanuatu’s president and being given the first of many traditional garlands, Charles picked up a hat and a bag for Camilla at a handicraft market.

Prince Charles had a frond tucked down the back of his outfit as he took part in the colourful ceremony
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Thousands of islanders turned out to see the prince

Sovaki Zacharie, 19, who spoke with the prince at the market, said it was “so special” to have Charles visit the island.

The Duke of Cornwall also visited Port Vila Central Hospital, which suffered extensive damage during a tropical cyclone in 2015.

He praised the “fantastic” recovery effort funded by the Australian government, including the refurbishment of operating theatres and the laboratory.

The day trip to the South Pacific island came on the fourth day of a week-long tour of Australia, the first three days of which he was joined by the Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Charles will now fly on to Cairns before finishing his trip in Darwin.

The Duke of Cornwall has also hit back at rumours he takes his own personal toilet seat on overseas trips, telling Australian radio presenters: “Don’t believe all that crap.”

The rumour surfaced in Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, a new biography by Tom Bower.

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