The Prince of Wales was almost mistaken for a Time Lord when he stepped out of a Tardis – but luckily there were no Daleks in sight.
Charles walked into Doctor Who’s famous time machine when he visited a Kuala Lumpur co-working space for start-up companies, but was only transported a few feet into a members-only area.
The heir to the throne, who is on an 11-day tour of south-east Asia and India, met young entrepreneurs, tech-savvy school children showcasing projects, and established businesses during his tour of WORQ.
A Tardis has been created as the doorway from the public space into the private members area and, as staff walked through a nearby side entrance, Charles emerged from the replica of the BBC character’s sci-fi machine.
He joked with the waiting press saying “I should have gone through the side (door)” before sitting down to a meeting with executives from some of Malaysia’s established technology firms.
Andrew Yeow, 28, co-founder of WORQ which opened in March, said they had tried to create a relaxed, fun and practical working environment for fledgling businesses offering facilities like a gym, sleeping pods and a cafe, and much needed space for firms to grow.
He said: “The response to the Tardis has been good so far, a lot of people find it really cool. They don’t realise it’s a door it’s quite quirky and helps with the ambience.”
The 28-year-old added: “This is the first of its kind in Malaysia – a co-working productivity community, what I mean by that is we try and solve two big problems for new businesses.
“Real estate, issues of having to get an office, and issues entrepreneurs have like increasing sales or trying to connect with regulators or partners – we’re trying to help them by providing a supportive community.”
Earlier, Charles showed off his skills in Arabic – by signing his name in the language.
He began the first full day of his maiden visit to Malaysia by touring the national Islamic Arts Museum with the ruler of the state of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, the deputy Agong.
The Prince, who has a passionate interest in Islamic art, has been learning to read and write the language for around six years.
He presented his name, written phonetically in Arabic, to the museum as a gift and in return received an image of the Koran by Japanese calligrapher Fuad Koichi Honda.
Charles told the guests, who included members of a number faiths: “For me, ladies and gentlemen, this museum serves as a reminder of just how important it is that all societies are able to preserve – and be proud of – their cultural heritage.”
Later in the day, the Prince visited the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus to open the Commonwealth Youth Summit, where he was mobbed by students.
And he met up with the Duchess, who had been carrying out her own engagements, touring a school and discussing women’s issues with Malaysians, before they sat down to talks with the nation’s head of state and Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, in his palace.