The Prince of Wales has revealed that when it comes to domestic chores he has the skills to handle a vacuum cleaner – and he is not afraid to use them.
When Charles got to grips with a Dyson machine during a visit to the company’s Singapore Technology Centre, he was faced not with a dusty floor but the world’s media.
Laughing, the heir to the throne tried out the cordless Dyson V8 Absolute when he was shown a range of products developed by the company, started by British designer Sir James Dyson.
He vigorously vacuumed the floor around the feet of a group of photographers then jokingly held up the vacuum’s head and threatened to give one a personal clean.
Chuckling, the heir to the throne said: “You’ve got dirty trousers.”
Scott Maguire, Dyson’s global engineering director, who handed the cleaner to Charles to try out, said afterwards: “I think it was great, he was up for using it and wanted to get hands on.
Dyson CEO Jim Rowan, right, shows Charles around Dyson’s Acoustics Lab (Chris Jackson/PA)
“He was also pretty keen on the technology inside it.
“It was a great visit, he was pretty focused not only on all the technology Dyson is developing and innovating, from batteries to robotics, but spent a lot of time with our staff, wanting to know where they were from and what types of engineers we have.”
Charles was given a tour of the centre, opened earlier this year, which develops elements used across the whole Dyson product range, from motors and sensors to software.
Charles takes a tour of the Dyson Technology Centre in Singapore (Chris Jackson/PA)
But Sir James Dyson, famed for inventing his bagless vacuum cleaner, was not at the offices as he was believed to be in China attending a board meeting.
The prince saw demonstrations of the company’s robot cleaner, which scurries across the floor picking up dirt and dust, and met engineers working to improve the Dyson purifier fan.
He asked them: “Are you trying to get some of the machines smaller? That’s always difficult, getting everything in.”
Charles and Camilla are on an 11-day tour of south-east Asia and India and during their final full-day in Singapore visited the National Orchid Garden where they had a bloom named after them – Dendrobium Duke Duchess of Cornwall.
Camilla takes part in an orchid-naming ceremony (Yui Mok/PA)
The royal couple took part in an orchid-naming ceremony where a plaque containing the new name was placed into the orchid pot, and they were presented with a birth certificate of the new flower.
Charles later visited the National Gallery Singapore, opened in November 2015 after the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall were joined and extended to create the attraction by architect Jean Francois Milou.
During the seven-year project, underground levels were built to double the floor space and make a building to house the world’s largest public collection of Singaporean and south-east Asian art, consisting of more than 8,000 pieces.
Mr Milou said: “The problem was to create something new out of these two buildings and create a new emotion, new feeling, new way of seeing the building, moving into the building, above the building, below the building – while paying respect to this historic building.”
The architect, whose design includes modernist touches but respects the building’s heritage, said after meeting the prince, famed for his passion for classical architecture: “I think he liked it.
“He seemed to appreciate the sensitive touch and the way it has been softly adjusted. He understands it’s not easy to mix modern things and old things.”