King Charles

Did the King really ride a motorcycle indoors through BRNC Dartmouth in 1971?

Watch: Did you know King Charles III had a rebellious side?

King Charles has a long and proud history serving alongside the UK's Armed Forces, but did you know that during his time training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, legend has it that the then Prince of Wales rode a motorcycle from one end of the corridor to the other and was subsequently scolded by the captain's wife?

It was in 1971 that King Charles quite literally left his mark of his time there by signing the ceiling – a tradition since painted over with only four Royal signatures remaining.

Dr Jane Harrold, the historian at Britannia Royal Naval College, says: "It used to be a tradition for people to sign the ceiling in the wardroom, usually after a mess dinner, usually after quite a bit of alcohol, maybe, had been consumed."

Dr Harrold added that the ceiling was "subsequently largely painted over, except for four Royal signatures, the first of which was Charles's".

But how did Prince Charles's signature end up on the ceiling of the wardroom at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth?

prince charles signature at dartmouth wardroom 26042023 credit bfbs.JPG
Only four Royal signatures remain on the ceiling of Britannia Royal Naval College's wardroom.

According to Dr Harrold, "that would have been achieved by standing on the top of a human pyramid," adding, "so literally layers of rugby scrums, essentially, and he would have climbed to the top of that and signed his signature on the ceiling, literally leaving his mark on Dartmouth."

Speaking about the rumours that the Prince rode a motorcycle indoors, the historian said: "I've spoken to people who were here at the time, and they almost 50/50 swear that he did and that he didn't!"

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