Skip to content

King Charles Suffers Embarrassing Wardrobe Malfunction on Official Visit

Faux pax in a Mosque.

King Charles suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction during an official visit on Monday, one that immediately started tongues wagging in the British press. It wasn't as bad as the complete wardrobe malfunction he suffered in 1994 that touched off a global scandal, but these days royal watchers will take what they can get. Read on to find out more, including what the wardrobe malfunction was, what Charles said about the estranged Prince Harry shortly afterward, and about the considerably more revealing '90s incident the king would probably rather forget.

Faux Pax in a Mosque

Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Charles was visiting a mosque on Brick Lane in east London last week when he was photographed with a hole in his sock, the Telegraph reported. It's customary to remove one's shoes as a sign of respect when entering a mosque. When Charles did so, news photographers captured the small hole in the black sock on his right foot.

The UK's new king has been known to be frugal, the paper pointed out. (Although he recently rejected the idea of a "cut-price" coronation ceremony this spring in favor of full pomp and circumstance.)

Charles Praised for Multicultural Focus


The king's wardrobe malfunction didn't cause an immediate controversy after the visit. Instead, Charles was praised for supporting a multicultural Britain. "There is racism within British society. But what this demonstrates is the fact that the King is very attuned to the communities of this country and wants to reign in a way which is inclusive and supportive of those communities," said Ayesha Qureshi, co-founder of British Bangladeshi Power and Inspiration and one of the king's hosts for the visit. "The fact that he has come here today is very demonstrative of the fact that he listens to people's concerns, and that he supports and understands."

Bystander Brings Up Harry


The king hasn't said much about the breach between the royal family and Prince Harry, and that continued during a visit to the University of East London after the mosque trip. After greeting the staff, Charles shook hands with the students near the entrance. One man shouted, "Please bring Harry back." The king appeared not to hear the comment and asked him to repeat it. The man smiled and said, "Harry, your son." Charles appeared to say "Oh" and smiled before moving on to greet other students, the Telegraph reported. 

Another Wardrobe Malfunction Was Worse

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

This wasn't Charles's first wardrobe malfunction to get the press. Chances are, he was probably grateful this photo revealed about 99.9% less flesh than the one taken of him, which sent a controversy-weary Buckingham Palace into "full crisis mode." Yes, the future king of England was photographed completely nude.

In September 1994, the recently separated Charles, 45, was vacationing at a villa in France when he stepped inside after sunbathing and took off his swimsuit. In front of an open window. With a paparazzo taking photos outside. 

RELATED: King Charles Will Not Support Disgraced Prince Andrew's Efforts to Get Back to Public Life. "No Way Back," Insider Claims

Two Major Exposures


The photos of a frontally nude Charles went on sale for more than $54,000. The UK press wouldn't print them, but the European press displayed no hesitation, the New Zealand Herald reported. The German newspaper Bild Zeitung and Paris Match magazine published several shots of the then-Prince of Wales in all his glory.

The paper rhapsodized over Charles's surprisingly tight physique. "Large shoulders, muscular arms, a hairy, virile torso. Not an ounce too much fat, but just enough. A royal silhouette," the paper said, according to the AP. "His 1.85-meter (six-foot-one-inch) frame is cut like a Greek statue. And this at 45." Buckingham Palace was less amused. "We think it is completely unjustifiable for anybody to suffer this sort of intrusion," a spokesman sniffed.

Filed Under