Prince William’s ‘death stare’ unleashed on King Charles during childhood Christmas play

Prince William's 'death stare' was directed at his father after his performance in a festive play didn't go quite as planned...

Prince William's 'death stare' anecdote revealed; here he and King Charles are seen at different occasions
(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images // Image 2:Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William’s “death stare” was reportedly once unleashed on his father King Charles during a Christmas play in his childhood.  


Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without some special seasonal traditions and the Royal Family certainly have plenty of these. From the Royal Christmas tradition that honors their heritage to their walk from Sandringham House to the Church of St Mary Magdalene for the Christmas Day service, they are known for their way of celebrating the festivities. And in the run-up to the big day itself it seems that just as nativity plays are performed by children at schools across the world, one of the late Queen’s grandchildren once took part in a very memorable Christmas production.

According to Hello! (opens in new tab), Prince William discussed this play in ITV's 2016 documentary, When Ant and Dec Met The Prince: 40 Years of The Prince’s Trust. And it seems King Charles had to face Prince William’s “death stare” after a surprising mishap… 

Prince Charles talking to his son, Prince William

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

When asked on the documentary if there were any moments where he felt embarrassed by his father, the now-Prince of Wales is understood to have recalled this particular anecdote. Remembering he was in “some sort of Christmas play” during his childhood, he delightedly revealed that he’d played a wizard.

“I came on, I narrated it,” Prince William explained. “And I jumped on stage and there was meant to be a bit of pyrotechnic explosion in front of me.”

However, even the best laid plans often go wrong and the young royal was left “panicky” after this spectacular entrance was a little less impressive than he’d hoped.

He continued animatedly, “I jumped on stage and nothing happened! And so I started reading it and, of course, at this point I was quite panicky and then the pyrotechnic went off. And so I was like, err…” 

Prince William Starts At Eton and stands next to Prince Charles,

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

It was this that the now-King Charles reportedly found hilarious - much to his eldest son’s dismay and annoyance.

“And literally, I mean, the laughter. The whole way through he couldn’t stop laughing. The whole way through the production,” the Prince of Wales declared. “And so even - several times - I’d stop and listen to my lines and I’d cast a little eye across.”

Mimicking this response he’d made as a child as he turned to look directly at the camera, Prince William described it as a “big death stare”, before adding, “And then I’d try and get back to my lines. It was terrible, honestly!”

Prince William and Prince Charles smile as they attend a meeting of 'United for Wildlife'

(Image credit: Photo by Eddie Mulholland-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Though it might have felt “terrible” at the time, Prince William’s good-natured re-telling of this Christmas play disaster and his frequent smiles and laughter showed that in the years since he’s definitely come to see the funny side - just like King Charles did! 

Although it's not known exactly where this Christmas production took place, nativity plays and festive plays are commonly put on by schools each year. And it's possible Prince William has enjoyed attending any plays that his own children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have been involved in over the years - though hopefully without any technical mishaps!

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.