RIYADH: Crowds at a public execution in Saudi Arabia were given an extra something to cheer about yesterday, with a visit from none other than Great Britain’s Prince of Wales.
The British royal, who is on an official tour of the Kingdom, was guest of honour at a beheading in central Riyadh, delighting the enthralled audience by posing for photos and displaying his trademark wit.
“So this poor fellow’s for the chop is he?” the Prince was heard asking, as the weeping victim – a 24-year-old Bangladeshi accused of adultery and witchcraft – was paraded before the crowd.
“He seemed genuinely interested in the ins and outs of public executions,” said Chief Executioner Walid Al-Rabi. “We even let him swing the sword a couple of times. He’s a natural!”
“You didn’t really have to try very hard to talk to him, he’s very polite,” said Fatima Gergash, who had brought her four children to watch the state-sponsored open-air killing.
“He gave a big roar when the sword came down for the first time. We all thought he was utterly charming,” she added, as workers loaded the headless corpse into a truck.