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Prince Charles buzzing after New Zealand bee encounter

By Tony Jones

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been left bewitched by a close encounter with a bumble bee.

At first, Charles and Camilla got a fright when the insect, which packs a painful sting, came a little too close, but they ended up roaring with laughter after it flew away.

The royal couple had been engrossed by seeing a New Zealand tuatara reptile during a visit to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary near Dunedin. As they sat on a bench with Charles gently holding the creature in both hands, the bumble bee flew at Camilla who brushed it away - but it then flew up the heir to the throne's double-breasted jacket.

The Prince yelped in fright and tried to dislodge the insect as a dozen photographers, journalists and cameramen watched his predicament.

It may have felt like an eternity to Charles, but after a few seconds the bee emerged and flew away to his very visible relief.

The royal couple erupted with laughter, as did their large entourage and the Press.

Elton Smith, the sanctuary's conservation manager, who had shown the tuatara to the Prince and Duchess, joked about the bee, saying: "That's a good sign of a healthy eco-system."

Belfast Telegraph


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