Charles poses for selfies with Commonwealth Games athletes in Birmingham ahead of opening

Prince Charles

Prince Charles posed for selfies and team photos with hundreds of athletes ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

The Games open on Thursday, promising to be the biggest sporting festival in the UK since the London Olympics a decade ago.

The event will open in Birmingham later at the Alexander Stadium – where the Prince of Wales will be in attendance, representing the Queen.

Beforehand, Charles toured the main athletes’ village meeting sportsmen and sportswomen from dozens of nations. He spent half an hour chatting with competitors, joking with members of the Australian team “all the rest are terrified of the Aussies”.

The Prince also raised smiles from the Rwanda squad, asking “accommodation good… food alright?”

The Prince of Wales with some of the thousands of Commonwealth Games’ volunteers Credit: Richard Vernalls/PA

He quipped with a coach from Team Wales, “Do they listen to everything you say to them – I bet they don’t go to bed on time.”

Many of the countries pressed their team pin badges into his hand, including Pakistan, the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man squads.

Charles also caused the site’s security team some mirth when he opted to step through the metal detector archway – setting it off, before smiling and raising both hands apologetically.

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