Prince Charles: Bikini-clad model kissed royal in Australia PR stunt to improve his image

Prince Charles: Kent Gavin discusses Jane Priest photo ‘set up’

Prince Charles is not what many people would call a sex symbol but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his Hollywood heartthrob-style moments. A royal visit to Australia in the ’70s led to a very un-royal incident indeed. Prince Charles was in the country in 1979 – a year before he began dating Lady Diana Spencer and nine years after he first met Camilla.

During a spell in Cottesloe Beach in Perth, Charles was spotted getting very up close and personal with a bikini-clad model.

Australian beauty Jane Priest, then 26, ran up to Charles while he was jogging in just his swimming trunks.

She splashed through the waves and kissed the Prince on the cheek, her arms flung around his.

Photos captured the incident and show the Duke of Cornwall with his arm around the model’s back – although not quite touching her.

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So who was this model and why the display of seaside passion?

Alas for those hoping for juicier insight, the incident was entirely concocted as part of a stunt, it has been claimed.

“It was a PR thing to make Charles more accessible,” Priest told the London Evening Standard.

Rather than it being a spur of the moment act, Priest had actually met with the royal the previous night to assess her suitability.

Priest recalled how Charles had nearly scuppered the episode.

“It was a set-up photograph of the Prince of Wales meeting an Australian native, but he threw a spanner in the works,” she claimed.

“When he saw me he dived into the water, so I thought I’d follow him in, but as I went in, he got out.

“So I followed him out, hair ruined, make-up ruined, and I felt like such an idiot.

“I actually went and put my hands on his chest to give him a kiss and Charles said: ‘No, I can’t touch you, I can’t touch you.'”

Bold Jane decided to throw caution to the wind and lunged forward to kiss the royal on the cheek anyway – in an image that is now famous today.

In 2015 Prince Charles returned to the beach where he received the model’s kiss.

However, this time he returned as a married man, accompanied by his wife Camilla.

The Prince celebrated his 67th birthday at a barbecue on the West Australian beach.

However, Jane Priest was not invited to the event, despite her brush with the future monarch at the same location decades earlier.

Jane was not bothered by the lack of invite, however.

“It’s been thrashed out for 30 years, I’m a bit over it,” she told Daily Mail Australia.

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