By Kim Choe
Physical attacks on the British royal family are extremely rare. Most, like yesterday’s attempt by New Zealand anti-royalist Sam Bracanov, are thwarted before they happen. But Bracanov is a serial protester, and has managed to get close to the royals before – as have several others.
Prince Charles has brushed off the latest incident, telling Radio New Zealand it comes with the job.
“I haven't decided whether to take it as a compliment or not,” he said.
“These things occasionally happen. It's one of the risks you run.''
Bracanov is an outspoken anti-royal protester who has been active since at least 1985. He calls the royal family a “bad smell”, and tried to spray air freshener at Prince Charles on a previous visit to Auckland in 1994, only to be tackled to the ground by police. He was arrested for disorderly behaviour and fined $1200.
He took aim at the Queen in 1995, but could only manage to squirt her car from a distance as she drove past.
This time, his plan to throw horse manure at Charles and Camilla was scuppered when police recognised him in the crowd and charged him with preparing to commit a crime.
The police are also on alert for two extreme anti-monarchist protesters, who have been vocal about their plans to flour bomb Prince Charles.
Prince Charles and Camilla came under attack in November 2010 when a mob of demonstrators protesting the British government’s decision to increase university fees turned violent.
They surrounded the royals’ 1977 Rolls Royce Phantom VI as it was taking the couple to the annual Royal Variety Performance, smashing the rear window where Charles was seated and splattering the car with white paint.
The incident prompted a major security investigation to establish how the car had become separated from its police escorts while driving through the protesters.
A student fired two blank shots from a starter pistol Prince Charles during Australia Day celebrations in Sydney in 1994. The man was quickly bundled to the ground.
A 17-year-old boy fired several blank shots at the Queen as she rode down The Mall during a Trooping of the Colour ceremony. The Queen was startled, but managed to keep control of her horse.
Marcus Sarjeant pleaded guilty to a charge under the 1848 Treason Act and was jailed for five years. The presiding court judge at the time said Sarjeant had intended to use a real gun, but instead carried out a “fantasy assassination” when he couldn’t get hold of one.
Princess Anne survived a kidnapping attempt in 1974 as she and her first husband Mark Phillips returned to Buckingham Palace from a charity event. Ian Ball forced the royal couple’s car to stop, and began firing a gun.
Several of Princess Anne’s minders and police officers were shot in the ensuing fracas, but all recovered.
Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping, and was found to be mentally unwell.
Click the ‘Video’ tab to watch some of the attacks Prince Charles has been subjected to over the years.