It could have been a scene from a Hollywood film as a band of police officers, alert for danger, advanced down the street as flames licked into the air. It wasn't the set of a new action thriller, however, but a training session – staged specially for Prince Charles - at the Metropolitan Police's £50 million facility in Kent.
The heir to the throne watched from a balcony as the men completed an exercise in how to deal with a dangerous public situation. Afterwards he met the officers involved, chatting to them about their work and praising them, saying: "I think you do a fantastic job."
It is understood Charles wanted to visit the state of the art Met centre in Gravesend, Kent, to show his support for the work it does after negative reports surfaced of the force's handling of the G20 demonstrations in April.
The royal witness was also shown a group of officers abseiling down the side of a tower to show how they would rescue somebody from the side of a building or roof. And the visit wrapped up with the Charles watching three marked police cars stop a pair of suspected armed men who had failed to stop when challenged.