A New Zealand man who plotted a surprise assault on Prince Charles was arrested in downtown Auckland on Monday, less than hour before the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived, reported the Associated Press. His crime: planning to fling a bucket’s worth of horse manure at the Prince and the Duchess.
Authorities say the man, a 76-year old named Castislav “Sam” Bracanov, is a known anti-royalist with a history of protesting the British monarchy – somewhat of an aberration in a country known for its staunch loyalty to the throne. During a previous Auckland visit by the royals in 1994, Bracanov was convicted and fined for spraying air fresheners at the Prince. He said at the time that he had done it to “remove the stink of royalty,” according to a report by NBC.
This time around, however, Bracanov sought out less pleasant means of protest. “I was going to mix [the manure] with water, stir it around and make it easy to throw and then throw it at them,” he told reporters. “Royalty smells, so what difference does it make if I hit them?”
Auckland Police Spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said that Bracanov was arrested well before the royal couple arrived, and that he never presented a real danger to them.
In a hearing at the Auckland District Court on Tuesday, Bracanov pleaded not guilty to planning a crime in a public place. As a condition of his bail, he was ordered by the court to stay at least 550 yards (1600 ft.) away from the Prince and Duchess at all times, and ordered to reappear in court on Nov. 25.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are currently on a six-day visit to New Zealand, as they near the end of their Pacific tour in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th Jubilee.
Outside of the courthouse on Tuesday, Bracanov spoke to reporters while seated on an upturned garbage bin. "I went to get a bag of horse manure for $2 and I make it liquid, like a porridge, and then 'arrummm,’” he said, pantomiming the motion of throwing the bag at the Prince. “I would have done it.”