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King Charles had remarkable reaction to failed assassination attempt

Rhiannon Ingle

Published 
| Last updated 

King Charles had remarkable reaction to failed assassination attempt

Featured Image Credit: ABC

King Charles III was formally proclaimed King last Saturday (10 September) during the Accession Council at St James's Palace.

However, decades before becoming King, the former Prince of Wales survived an assassination attempt and had quite the peculiar reaction.

The footage was snapped at an event in Sydney, Australia, back in 1994, when David Kang shot two blanks at King Charles with a starting pistol.

Take a look at how the new head of state reacted to the shots:

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Kang, a university student at the time, stated that his actions were a protest against the 'extremely traumatic experience' of more than 100 Cambodian asylum seekers held in detention camps in the country.

The short clip shows the then-future-King stand up and approach the podium to speak to the crowd at Darling Harbour.

One shot from the starting pistol fired out, immediately capturing Charles' attention.

While adjusting his cuffs, a second shot rang out and the former Prince of Wales averted his gaze to look at where the shots were coming from.

The footage was taken back in 1994. Credit: YouTube/ABC News
The footage was taken back in 1994. Credit: YouTube/ABC News

Within seconds, an entourage of personnel and bodyguards wrestled the university student to the floor and removed him from the stage.

Charles, however, appeared to be totally unfazed by the whole ordeal.

Kang was later found guilty of threatening unlawful violence and sentenced to 500 hours of community service.

Some nine years later, in 2005, Kang, now a qualified barrister told The Sydney Morning Herald: "What happened 11 years ago was an extremely traumatic experience and I have certainly moved on in my life and now I have become a barrister here in Sydney.

"To think about it even now unsettles me a little bit... what happened back then was extremely traumatic and the effect it had on my family was deeply upsetting."

Describing the event, Kang added: "Everything turned funny, turned quiet. I slipped the starting pistol out and stood up. I had to jump the picket fence.

Charles appeared unfazed by the event. Credit: YouTube/ABC News
Charles appeared unfazed by the event. Credit: YouTube/ABC News

"I heard a bang, then another bang... I'd shot the gun into the air, I didn't aim at anything. I thought I'd dropped the gun before I hit the stage, but it was still in my hand.

"I didn't trip on the stage, I deliberately fell, because I didn't have any intention to hurt anyone."

He added that he couldn't 'believe' that he survived the attempt: "I could hardly believe that I'd reached the stage, and when I slid across, nothing had happened to me, nobody had touched me."

Kang's father, Robert, also commented on the matter and the fact that his son had been able to move on from the event.

"I think he is happy now," he said at the time, "He got his wig last year and is a barrister now."

The clip of the incident has since made its rounds resurfacing online, including on a Reddit forum.

"What happened 11 years ago was an extremely traumatic experience..." Kang revealed. Credit: YouTube/ABC News
"What happened 11 years ago was an extremely traumatic experience..." Kang revealed. Credit: YouTube/ABC News

"The speed they reacted was terrible," wrote one, while another said about King Charles: "He looked confused."

Someone who claims to have been in the crowd at the time added: "I was there as a student. It was an Australia Day celebration, 26 January 1994.

"There were many school groups there, I was sitting just behind the stage out of view of the video with a mass of kids who were part of a choir, singing back up vocals to Kate Ceberano!

"As a 14-year-old, it was quite scary seeing it unfold right in front of us. He fired a starter gun, pretty much a cap gun, but we didn't know that at the time."

Topics: King Charles III, Royal Family, Australia

Rhiannon Ingle
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