Prince Charles smiled and briefly returned the embrace of a well-wisher during a visit to Durham Cathedral on Thursday. The royal was speaking to the crowd when a woman named Helen reached forward to give him a hug, something that goes against royal protocol. The prince deftly handled the incident while his security guards quickly swooped in and moved the member of the public away from him.
Speaking about the moment to ITV, Helen said hugging the prince was "wonderful.”
When asked why she decided to hug him, she continued: "I don't know, I've watched him on the telly, and I felt overwhelmed… He was alright yeah. I won't forget that moment," to which her friend joked: "I bet he won't either!" Helen also revealed her earlier brief conversation with Charles, telling the reporter: "He said, 'Are you alright?' and I said, 'Yes.'" During his visit to Durham on Thursday, the Prince of Wales unveiled a plaque at the new Emergency Service Station in Bernard Castle, where he met representatives of Fire and Rescue, Police, Ambulance and Mountain Rescue services, and schoolchildren who were waiting to meet him.
This isn't the first time that Prince Charles' security guards have had to step in, although they have previously protected the Prince in a much more serious situations. Back in 1994, the royal was visiting Sydney when a man fired two blank shots and stormed the stage as he was about to make a speech. After the man was arrested, the Prince continued with his address, making no mention of the incident. It eventually transpired that the man, David Kang, was protesting detention camps for Cambodian asylum seekers, and never intended to hurt the royal.