Moment man faints in front of Prince Charles during royal visit

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent

An Asda employee fainted in front of Prince Charles in a dramatic moment during a royal visit.

Video from the visit on Thursday afternoon shows the unnamed man swaying as he chats to the Prince of Wales, before falling over backwards.

Charles, 71, leans forward and extends his hand to check the man is alright, as others rush to his attention.

The man is reported to be well, and was seen meeting Charles again later in the same visit.

Charles and Camilla, 72, were at the Asda distribution centre in Avonmouth, Bristol on Thursday, to thank staff for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

With supermarkets among the only stores which were open for weeks, workers were pushed to their limits keeping shelves stacked as people worked from home.

Online orders and deliveries also went up.

Charles and Camilla unveiled a plaque which marked their visit. (Getty Images)
Charles and Camilla both use the namaste greeting to meet people, to avoid shaking hands. (Getty Images)

Chris Tilly, 48, general manager of the distribution centre, said it had been “really, really challenging”.

He said: “We’ve had a lot of support from colleagues right across the business working extra hours, extra shifts to keep the shelves filled for customers.

“I think it is fantastic that the prince and duchess have taken the time out to come to the distribution centre and meet colleagues.

“Every single colleague that they saw they thanked for what they had done during the last 14 weeks, which I was truly humbled by.

“They were really interested in what the colleagues did within Asda, how long they had worked for us and just wanted to know how they had been doing while working through the pandemic.”

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The couple thanked staff for their work during the pandemic. (Getty Images)

The royals were met by Peaches Golding, the Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol as they arrived, and kept social distance throughout the visit.

They greeted people with a namaste gesture, frequently used by Charles, and referenced by Camilla as she guest edited Radio 5 earlier this week.

The couple also met Richard Sigward, 74, a warehouse operator, who has been working for Asda for 17 years and told them he refuses to retire.

“The duchess was saying to me she definitely agrees that if people can work and are happy to do it, they should carry on,” Mr Sigward said.

“She said she refuses to retire herself. The prince was the same.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall unveiled a plaque marking their visit as they left, and Charles said: “Thank you, thank you very much everybody. You deserve a stiff drink after all this.”

Charles joking with staff at the factory in Gloucestershire. (Getty Images)
Camilla speaks to a worker during a visit with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales to the Turnbull & Asser shirt factory. (Getty Images)

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After the Asda visit, they went to the Turnbull & Asser shirt factory, where staff have been making scrubs for NHS workers.

Turnbull & Asser usually makes luxurious shirts for customers including the heir to the throne.

But for eight weeks, they changed production to scrubs, using new machines to produce medical grade clothes.

Speaking to staff in the car park of the factory in the Quedgeley area of Gloucester he asked one: “Was it a very busy time trying to make these scrubs? You kept up with demand? Brilliant.

“It made such a difference and it made such a difference to the local GP as I managed to put them in touch with your beautifully made scrubs.”

The royals followed social distancing throughout the visits. (Getty Images)

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Charles and Camilla signed the visitors book before they left.

Managing director Jonathan Baker said afterwards: “We closed the factory on March 24 as we felt it was the right thing to do but we soon recognised there was a shortage of PPE and said what could we do.

“We were quite slow at first as it was completely different machinery but we got up to speed very quickly.”

He said he was “grateful and humble” for the royal recognition, adding: “Really it is a credit to the team and they have been incredible through this and for them to have that acknowledged by this visit is quite incredible.”