Prince Charles' Unique Arrival At The Commonwealth Games Is Drawing Attention

It's a summer of celebration in England. Less than two months after Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, it's time for the Commonwealth Games. 

Since they began in 1930, the Commonwealth Games have been known for fostering a spirit of collaboration and good sportsmanship and are known as the "Friendly Games." This year, more than 4,600 athletes representing 72 member nations and territories have gathered in Birmingham to compete.


The royal family is also a big part of the festivities. In preparation for the big event, as the patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Queen Elizabeth sent a secret message around the world in fall 2021. Due to her ongoing mobility challenges, the monarch wasn't able to attend the opening ceremony. Instead, the queen asked Prince Charles to make the speech on her behalf, per Newsweek.

This year, the lavish opening ceremony featured a cast of 1,500 and a 32-foot-high mechanical bull. The scale of events and athletes makes the Commonwealth Games the most significant athletic event to be held in Great Britain since the 2012 London Olympic Games. For the 2012 opening ceremony, a James Bond parody video featured Queen Elizabeth and Bond actor Daniel Craig


While Charles' grand entrance to this year's games didn't involve a stunt double jumping out of a helicopter, it did draw comparisons to 007.

Prince Charles drove an Aston Martin powered by an unusual fuel

As part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, 72 cars joined together to create a Union Jack flag, including a Land Rover with the license plate "HRH PP" to recognize the late Prince Philip, who was a fan of the brand. 


During this automotive tribute, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, cruised into the stadium in the Prince of Wales' 1969 blue Aston Martin DB6 Volante convertible, per I News. "It is one of the great cars," he told Aston Martin Magazine. "I adore the design and the lines."

While Charles' arrival drew comparisons to Aston Martin aficionado James Bond, the fictional character's original ride was actually an earlier model, the DB5 (via Aston Martin). Another key difference between the prince's car and Bond's Aston Martin is the type of fuel. After years of owning the car, Charles wasn't enthusiastic about the vehicle's carbon footprint. In 2008, he asked the auto manufacturer to convert the car to run on bioethanol fuel, per The Telegraph


"My old Aston Martin, which I've had for 51 years, runs on — can you believe this — surplus English white wine, and whey from the cheese process," Charles told the BBC in 2021.

Despite engineers' initial doubts, the project was a success and actually improved the car's power and performance (via Car Buzz). This greener solution also had another unexpected benefit. "It smells delicious as you're driving along," Charles told The Telegraph.

The prince is a longtime champion of environmental causes

Prince Charles has been a longtime environmentalist and made his first speech discussing the dangers of pollution in 1970. 

"I remember years ago, in the '60s, when I was a teenager, minding so much about all the things there were going on, the destruction of everything," he said in a YouTube video posted by the royal family. In a 2020 speech at the World Economic Forum, the Prince of Wales said, "The only limit is our willingness to act, and the time to act is now."


To lessen his carbon footprint at home, Charles told the BBC that he has installed biomass boiler systems and solar panels on Clarence House as well as farm buildings at Highgrove. In addition to his converted Aston Martin, the prince has two different electric vehicles in his fleet: a Jaguar I-Pace and a Tesla Model S, per Vanity Fair.

Charles has also been a longtime organic farmer. For 35 years, he used organic farming practices on 900 acres at Highgrove, per The Telegraph. In 2020, he took procession of Sandringham estate and began instituting similar practices there.

Charles has passed his interest in environmental matters onto his older son. In 2020, Prince William created The Earthshot Prize to promote climate initiatives. By offering £1 million prizes to five winners for a decade, the Duke of Cambridge hopes to provide "a bit of positivity that we can actually fix what's being presented," per Town & Country.