duke and duchess of cornwall

Royal reveal: The unusual protocol Prince Charles had to follow at royal engagement

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall attended the commissioning of a new carrier

Aisha Nozari

Prince Charles found himself in an unusual position on Tuesday when he attended an event with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. The royals attended a ceremony to mark the commissioning of a new £3.1 billion aircraft carrier, but despite the aircraft being named after him, Prince Charles walked a few paces behind his wife during the occasion.

 

WATCH: The Duchess of Cornwall arrives at HMS Prince of Wales ceremony 

The Duchess played an important role in the carrier's commissioning, and will act as the ship's Lady Sponsor. Prince Charles was accompanying Camilla to the event, which is why he walked behind her.

The multi-billion pound carrier is Britain's second Queen Elizabeth carrier, and to mark the momentous occasion the Duchess wore a pale blue Bruce Oldfield outfit and Philip Treacy hat.

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prince charles walks behind duchess of cornwall

Prince Charles was pictured walking behind the Duchess of Cornwall 

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Many sweet treats were baked for the occasion – and atop one of the seven cakes were figurines of the royal couple. Once inside the ship – which is as tall as Big Ben from the keel to the top of the mast – Camilla reflected on the impressive size of HMS Prince of Wales.

The Duchess told 3,000 guests: "The sheer scale and size of HMS Prince of Wales is simply breathtaking: just to give you a comparison, Clarence House would fit nearly 25 times onto the flight deck."

The commissioning ceremony was held an incredible 78 years to the day since the last battleship, Prince of Wales, was sunk alongside the battlecruiser HMS Repulse by Japanese bombers in the South China Sea off eastern Malaya. The tragic day took place on 10 December, 1941, and 840 were killed.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met two survivors, one of which was 95-year-old Richard Osborne from the West Midlands. At the time of the attack, Richard was only 17 and said of the anniversary: "I'm finding it overwhelming."

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