Prince Charles apologised for son Prince William's reckless driving recently - but the British royal was once a racy driver too.

Ex-royal bodyguard MICHAEL VARNEY remembers an occasion when Charles encouraged him to drive faster with sarcastic remarks like, "Move over, Varney, there's a funeral trying to overtake."

The pair were pulled up for speeding and while Varney took the blame, Charles hid his face by blowing his nose with a handkerchief.

Another time, Charles was late for an appointment and missed a turn-off.

Michael recalls in his 1989 memoirs BODYGUARD TO A PRINCE, "Before I could work out the best place to turn, he shot down a side road. He undertook a three-point turn of sorts.

"The trouble was, it involved reversing out on to and across part of the road. At night."

17/06/2003 13:53