Prince of Walls: Charles is determined to try out indoor climbing wall. . . in his suit
22:24 GMT, 18 July 2012
In his youth he was renowned as being something of an action man. And at the age of 63, Prince Charles demonstrates he has lost none of his adventurous spirit.
Unfortunately for the future king, tackling a climbing wall in a double breasted suit and freshly-polished brogues proved just a challenge too far today.
Charles, accompanied by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, was on Jersey as part of a Diamond Jubilee visit to the Channel Islands, and the royal pair popped into Grainville Secondary School.
The Prince of Wales climbs on the new traversing wall at Grainville Secondary School
Spotting the blue climbing wall which was studded with plastic hand holds, the prince unexpectedly leapt into action – much to the surprise of other dignitaries and even his wife.
At one point the heir to the throne found himself clinging for dear life with both hands and both feet off the ground – although, fortunately, he was only a foot up and there was a crash mat underneath him.
He then had to stretch his leg out at an angle to move onto the next foothold, causing Camilla to gasp in mock horror.
The Prince of Wales laughs after his attempt at the climbing wall, leaving his wife looking worried.
But the prince clearly enjoyed the experience, as there was a broad smile on his face once his exertions were over.
John McGuinness, head teacher of Grainville School, said: ‘The prince did quite a stretch in his suit and he drew a gasp from everyone including the duchess.
‘It just showed his willingness to have a go, amongst the young people in the gym they were taken with this and he will have earned some street cred with them.’
Charles shared his time on the wall with some of the school's Army Cadet Force members before opening a new building housing the sports equipment and a canteen.
Prince's Trust Ambassador Janni Boon meets Prince Charles on a visit to Grainville Secondary School
During his visit one little boy cheekily questioned the prince about the design of the secondary school which has been rebuilt in phases over the last 12 years in a modern style.
Matthew Mourant, 10, whose primary school had been invited with a number of others to take part in the royal visit, asked the prince if liked the architecture or thought it was a ‘monstrous carbuncle’.
Charles famously used the phrase to describe a proposed extension for the National Gallery in the 1980s, which resulted in the plan being changed.
Wrong footed once again, the prince replied laughing: ‘I need more time to prepare for that question’.