Charles gives acting class to Ian McKellan, Benedict Cumberbatch at RSC #Shakespeare400

Prince Charles taught some famous thespians a thing or two about acting yesterday, as he got up on stage at the RSC Stratford to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th birthday.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench, David Tenant and Harriet Walter were some of the big names to feature in a segment based on Hamlet’s most famous line, ‘To be, or not to be – that is the question’. Prince Charles got involved by making a surprise appearance on the stage at Shakespeare Live!

The sketch showed numerous actors and actresses giving advice on how to say the famous line, and where to place the stress. The Heir Apparent walked onto stage to give his advice on how it should be said, to cheers and applause from a surprised audience.

The Prince of Wales was in Startford-upon-Avon, the Bard’s birthplace, to honour the writer’s 400th birthday, also St George’s Day. Charles laid a wreath on Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity church, and then joined a number of famous actors on stage for a light-hearted tribute to Britain’s most famous writer.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, joined her husband for the day, including his visit to the playwright’s former home. During Charles’ performance, she was hiding backstage.

The couple later met with actors and members of the RSC to mark the Bard’s birthday.

Prince Charles is the acting president of the RSC and reports have it that he rehearsed with Sir McKellen prior to his performance.

See Charles’ appearance below, or you can catch up on the entire Shakespeare Live! event on BBC iPlayer (UK only) here.

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