Drama King: Long-lost footage of King Charles performing while a student at Cambridge

  • Footage of the young King performing at Trinity College in 1970

Long-lost footage of a young King Charles performing comedy sketches at university has been unearthed by ITV News.

The video was filmed at Trinity College Cambridge in 1970 at the dress rehearsal for drama group The Dryden Society's annual revue.

In it, a 21-year-old Charles is seen performing a series of sketches - including delivering a spoof weather forecast, falling off stage holding a fishing rod and putting on a German accent to "analyse" a set of bagpipes.

He also poses as a sports commentator to urge the audience to "follow those clichés through, practise those meaningless repetitions, tone up those flabby prejudices and stretch for those meaningless statistics."

At one point in the rehearsal, the young prince forgets his line and laughs: "This doesn't happen at the BBC, does it?"

The Prince of Wales started at Trinity College Cambridge in 1967. Credit: Trinity College Cambridge

Charles started at Trinity College in 1967, studying archaeology and anthropology in his first year and then history for two years, graduating with a 2.2.

Comedy writer John Lloyd, who studied law at Trinity and went on to produce such classics as Blackadder and Spitting Image, was cast in the 1971 revue.

  • ITV News Anglia's Rob Setchell tells the story of the King's youthful performances

He said stories always swirled around the university about his royal predecessor.

"He was famous for being the only student in the college to have his own bathroom," said Mr Lloyd. "The rest of us had to get a towel on to wander across the court to go to the loo or have a shower.

"Prince Charles had his own bathroom which I think they built for him especially."

Mr Lloyd said the old footage of Charles showed he had a talent for performing and a slightly "wacky" sense of humour.

He said: "He's got a very distinctive face, this very delightful flat style of acting and a rather good charm.

"He probably would have made it as a comic, if he'd been that way inclined.

"You just can't help liking him. He seems very loveable really."

Mr Lloyd also admitted to some slight "guilt" about the puppet of the then Prince Charles he designed for Spitting Image in the 1980s.

"I always wondered whether he watched Spitting Image," he said. "I'm very sorry about the puppet your Majesty!"

Despite the warm reception from comedy royalty, there was a rather more mixed reaction from ITV News Anglia viewers - with at least one person mistaking him for Alan Partridge.

  • 'Yep - that's Alan Partridge...'

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