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‘I was at school with King Charles – he caught me smoking cig but did not tell’
May 7, 2023
A man who who went to school with a young King Charles has recalled an "interesting" incident when the then Prince caught him smoking a Marlboro cigarette in the boiler room.
The encounter took place at the Geelong Grammar School in Australia where a 17-year-old Charles spent two terms in 1966.
Richard Kumnick was caught by Charles who saved boys at the school from being taken to the headmaster, Mr Hanley.
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He claimed that the King was hailed a 'hero' by the smokers of the Grammar school.
Recollecting the old memories from his school days, Kumnick told 9News: “It was a dark room on the side of our living quarters and I was having a Marlboro and he happened to pop into the boiler room.
“I don't know whether he called me Kumnick or not but he said, ‘I will have those thank you’.
“I was pleased that that was as far as it went, because if it had gone any further I would have ended up in Mr Hanley's office.”
Kumnick also claimed to have preserved a 'memento' of Charles along with cherished memories of his encounters with the gracious monarch.
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He shared an anecdote about an incident where Charles went for a swift haircut and recounted how he managed to sneak into the barbershop afterwards to steal a "lock of Prince's hair" as a souvenir from the floor.
“The then Prince Charles was waiting to get his hair cut and I was waiting for his to be completed,” he told Channel Nine.
“I noticed his hair drop onto the floor. It was all his because he was the first one to have is haircut.”
He further added: “Well, I know he's reflected on it in later years, saying that he actually really loved it.
“I think he ended up staying longer than what was ultimately intended or initially intended, I should say.”
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When asked about his classmate, Kumnick thought Charles would make a capable and effective King in the future.
“Oh, I think he will been in the same vein as his mother,” he replied.
“He would be perfect. I'm a royalist big time. I didn't think the time would come. I thought, maybe Charles would be too old.”
Jonathan ‘Jonny’ Southey also shared a chapter of his school days when the "sensitive" Charles help him dodge the cane of the headmaster for a quick fag.
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He told The Age: "He said ‘Southey, you should know better than that. I better confiscate that cigarette’."
"Off he went, and I was about to light up another one when he came back. My stupidity led to the confiscation of the whole packet.
“So the King of England spared me. I’m very grateful to Charles for not having reported me to the headmaster, which saved me four or six cuts on the backside.
He further said: “I found him a thoughtful and considerate fellow. We enjoyed having him there.”
During this visit to the Grammar School in 2005, Charles jokingly reminisced over his teenage experiences deep in the Australian bush when he endured gruelling 70 mile hikes and was branded a "pommie bastard".
He also recalled being sent to Timbertop – an outback camp 100 miles from Melbourne – nearly 40 years ago to be "sorted out".
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