Prince Charles Jokes with Paratroopers About Skydiving Mishap When He Was 'Upside Down … in the Rigging Lines'

Prince Charles visited Merville Barracks to present new Colours to the British Army's Parachute Regiment

Prince Charles
Prince Charles. Photo: KIRSTY O'CONNOR/POOL/AFP via Getty

It's been nearly 50 years since Prince Charles' first parachute drop — but it's a hard one to forget!

Prince Charles visited Merville Barracks on Tuesday to present new Colours — handmade silks, silver and gilt threads used on important occasions — to the British Army's Parachute Regiment. During a speech, the 72-year-old royal recalled his first parachute drop when he was just 23 years old.

"I must say, I find it hard to believe that it has been 44 years since I became your Colonel in Chief and nearly 50 years since I made my first parachute drop — initially upside down with my legs in the rigging lines! — into Studland Bay, Dorset, where I was hauled out of the water by the Royal Marines," he said.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Charles</a>
Prince Charles. KIRSTY O'CONNOR/POOL/AFP via Getty
<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Charles</a>
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

Prince Charles' office at Clarence House shared a number of throwback photos of the royal training as a jet pilot and participating in a Parachute Training Course in the 1970s.

Prince Charles concluded his speech: "Soon you will march off the square and will parade with your new Colours for at least the next twenty years. Whether I shall still be around to present you with new Colours when the time comes, remains to be seen, but I look forward to what the future brings you."

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

He added, "There will be challenges and you will meet them as you always have done, with the same grit, determination and care for each other that were the hallmarks of your founding fathers in World War II."

Related Articles