An Australian model once kissed King Charles for a photo shoot to make him look ‘more approachable’

  • Model Jane Priest kissed King Charles III on an Australian beach in 1979.
  • According to Priest, the kiss was arranged by the royal family.
  • The timing was designed to make the then-prince “more approachable.”

In March 1979, King Charles III was traveling to Australia on behalf of the royal family.

he would marry Princess Diana two years later, and his affair with Queen Camilla would come to define it in the next decade.

But when he arrived in Australia, the public saw Charles, who at the time held the title of Prince of Wales, as anything but a Casanova. He was the reserved and somewhat awkward heir to Queen Elizabeth II, and royal family traditions made him seem too formal for a new generation.

He Institution he was determined to change Charles’s reputation, as they wanted the future monarch to appear relatable.

He then arranged for Charles to meet a model at Cottesloe Beach, Perth, according to the evening standard.

Prince Charles greets Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in March 1979.

Prince Charles greets Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in March 1979.

David Porter/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

The outlet spoke to the model who landed the job, Jane Priest, about the event in 2012.

“It was a matter of public relations trying to make Charles more accessible,” Priest told the Evening Standard.

“My meeting with Charles on the beach was not my suggestion, it was theirs,” she added.

Priest told the outlet that he met Charles the night before their beach date to make sure he was a good fit for the role.

“It was a staged photograph of the Prince of Wales meeting a native Australian, but he dropped a monkey wrench at work,” she continued to tell the Evening Standard.

In fact, royal photographer Kent Gavin said that he ordered Priest to “run over and kiss” Charles on the beach in the 2013 documentary “close up of royaltybut Charles seemed to flinch when Priest approached him on the beach.

Jane Priest kisses Prince Charles in Perth, Australia, in 1979.

Jane Priest kisses Prince Charles in Perth, Australia, in 1979.

Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

“When he saw me, he dove into the water, so I thought I’d follow him, but when I went in, he came out,” he told the Evening Standard. “So I followed him, hair ruined, makeup ruined, and I felt like an idiot. I actually went and put my hands on his chest to kiss him and Charles was like, ‘No, I can’t touch you. I can’t. touch you'”.

Despite Charles’s lackluster reaction to Priest, Gavin got the photo he was looking for, making the soon-to-be monarch look affable and approachable.

Charles returned to Australia in 1983 with Diana and Prince William, where Diana cemented her reputation as the “People’s Princess” and made Carlos jealous.

diana charles australia

Prince Charles and Princess Diana visit Ayers Rick (Uluru) during their royal tour of Australia in 1983.

Gerrit Fokkema/The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media/Getty Images

Reflecting on the photo shoot, Priest told the Evening Standard that she was “in awe” to get such an intimate moment with Charles.

“I was twenty-five years old, here was one of the most powerful men in the world and he was absolutely adorable,” she said. “He was totally in awe for those couple of minutes.”

Priest went on to have a successful modeling career, according to the Evening Standard.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the matter.

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