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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March, 2005, 11:29 GMT
Charles fails bush tucker trial
Prince Charles inspects a witchetty grub in Alice Springs, Australia
Prince Charles was on the second day of his tour of Australia
The Prince of Wales failed a bush tucker trial in Alice Springs, Australia, when he turned down the chance to eat a live witchetty grub.

He held the wriggling bug up to his mouth and pretended he was going to eat it before choosing not to put the delicacy in his mouth.

The prince was shown a menu of honey ants and a bowl of grubs in the sweltering Alice Springs Desert Park.

He was on the second day of a five day, five-city tour of Australia.

The last time I was here I had raw seal - I'm older and wiser now
Prince Charles

In scenes reminiscent of ITV1's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here programme, Charles tried a bush banana and a bush tomato but drew the line at eating live bugs.

"The last time I was here I had raw seal - I'm older and wiser now," he said.

Doug Taylor, who works at the Northern Territory Park, told the prince that the witchetty grubs, found in the roots of the Acacia bush, had to be eaten head first to stop their tails moving.

Toilet inspection

The fat white worms are high in protein and are said to taste like peanut butter.

Charles picked up one of the creatures and looked as if he was about to eat it before turning to the assembled photographers and saying: "There are limits."

Prince Charles receives an Aboriginal welcome in Alice Springs
He was welcomed by six Aboriginal women from the Arrente tribe

The prince also visited an outdoor "dunny", Australian slang for a toilet.

He inspected the toilet to shouts of "don't be shy" and "don't forget to flush" from the Australian media.

The eco-friendly "dry dunny" contains no water and extracts odours through its flue pipe.

Earlier, Charles flew over Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, and the Northern Territory's red desert before landing in Alice.

He was welcomed by six Aboriginal women from the Arrente tribe in Papunya, 150 miles from Alice.

The bare-breasted women, decorated with tribal markings and red and yellow headbands, performed a traditional Aboriginal dance for the prince.

Continuing debate

Charles visited Alice Springs with Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1983 - on what was her first overseas tour - bringing baby Prince William with them.

On Tuesday, Prince Charles visited the burns unit at a Perth hospital where victims of the Bali bomb were treated.

His arrival in Western Australia came amid controversy over his impending marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles.

In the Commonwealth country, debate continues over whether it should have an Australian as head of state.

A poll in one Australian newspaper suggested 57% of people would prefer to get rid of the monarchy rather than see Charles as King with Camilla when the Queen is succeeded.

Just under one-third wanted to retain the monarchy.


SEE ALSO:
Prince Charles on tour Down Under
01 Mar 05 |  In Pictures


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