Britain’s Duchess of Cornwall received a shock when she was warned by a council official that she was singing too loudly.
The duchess – the wife of Prince Charles – was switching on the Christmas lights at London’s Burlington Arcade when the man arrived to ask her and the 500-strong crowd to be quiet.
However, she saw the funny side when he revealed himself to be Howard Ellis from singing group Incognito and burst into ‘La Donna e Mobile’ from Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’.
A Clarence house spokesperson said: “This gentleman came up from Westminster Council and said ‘you’re singing too loud, you’re making too many decibels – I don’t want any more singing’.
“The duchess’s face was a wonderful picture. There was a definite moment and then he burst into this most amazing opera and it was just beautiful.”
The evening was held to raise money DecAid – a national appeal for charities that help current and former Armed Services personnel who have served in Afghanistan and their families – and Camilla donated a bottle of Champagne and cut-glass Champagne flutes from Highgrove to a raffle.
The duchess – who is patron of the charity – said: “I’m a very proud patron of DecAid – young people doing their finest. They’re from Exeter University Officer Training Corps.
“What a wonderful example of the youth of this country. If more people followed their example we would be in a better place.”