The Prince of Wales was left a little singed when celebrations marking his 65th birthday threatened to light up the heir to the throne!
Charles got a little too close to a large temple oil burner lit with 65 lamps in his honour and for sale in an antiques shop in India.
The Prince’s linen jacket was pulled out of the flames by a member of his entourage and he turned and joked: “How quickly did you put me out?”
The 100-year-old Travancore-style bronze burner was one of hundreds of Indian artefacts crammed into the store in the heart of the old Jewish quarter in the southern city of Kochi.
The heir to the throne looked at the five-tiered lamp and joked: “I do need some extra heaters.”
Charles was wished happy birthday at every turn as he travelled through the Jewish quarter, stopping in shops to look at the crafts, goods and antiques on sale.
As he walked past shops with Camilla, a group on a balcony began singing Happy Birthday and he stopped and acknowledged them with a wave.
Charles was carrying a rose he had been given by a wellwisher and he threw it up to the group. It was caught by a woman who laughed.
As the royal couple walked into the store they were presented in turn with white lilies and they placed them in the water bringing the total to 65.
Charles walked through the store peering at the antique goods that ranged from ornate statues of Hindu gods to Catholic religious artwork.
Staff were lined up and they all sang a few verses of Happy Birthday for the Prince who smiled, and as he walked into a room filled with antiques he saw vases of flowers arranged on the floor to form the number 65.
Camilla joked “who would ever know somebody has had a birthday?” while the Prince pointed at the arrangement and said “so kind of you”.
A group of large brown 18th century vases caught Camilla’s eye and she turned to Charles and asked “which one do you like?” and when he pointed to one with ornate handles, staff hurried to wrap up the £300 piece.
When the royal couple toured a lace shop, where all the goods were embroidered by an organisation made up of fisherman’s wives and widows, the Duchess bought a number of items including children’s dresses, blouses and table linen.
Charles watched two women patiently embroidering flowers on to cloth and as he left he was presented with a birthday gift, a white cotton handkerchief embroidered with HRH.