The Time Ian Kiernan Tackled A Man To Save Prince Charles

It was Australia Day 1994.

Ian Kiernan was seated on a podium at the Australian of the Year awards at Sydney's Darling Harbour.

Just as Prince Charles took the stage to make a speech, a student upset by the plight of Cambodian boat people dashed towards him.

The student, 23-year-old David Kang, fired two shots from a starter's pistol loaded with blanks at the Prince.

Ian Kiernan, along with other politicians and security members, tackled Kang to the ground, saving Prince Charles from harm.

Prince Charles meets Ian Kiernan.  Image: AAP.

"As I took him down, I saw that he'd dropped the firearm, so I thought 'well that's gone, but he might have a knife', so I cranked up the headlock a bit more", Kiernan later told Network Ten .

"I didn't think about it. I just knew we had to get this bloke, and we got him."

At the time, Police said Kang had written to Prince Charles protesting the fact that Cambodian people were being held in detention camps in Australia. Charles' private secretary replied on the Prince's behalf saying he was not able to get involved in the matter.

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Charles calmly continued with the event following the incident, where Kiernan was awarded Australian of the Year.

Charles was in Australia on a 12-day visit at the time.

Charles' youngest son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are currently touring Australia as part of a 16-day pacific visit.

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Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au