Prince Charles Will Burn a Pile of Clothes to Prove a Point

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Photo: Tim Graham/Getty images

Prince Charles — connoisseur of textiles, sheep enthusiast, and casual scientist — has planned an exciting experiment in his garden in London. He will light clothes, duvets, and carpets on fire to demonstrate that wool can act as a natural flame retardant. He's installed a fireproof metal stage at Clarence House for this very purpose, and perhaps for future parties — who knows? It seems like a useful garden feature. 

Charles's concerns about the decline of wool sales are many: He finds cheap garments environmentally unfriendly and has concerns about labor practices in factories abroad. The sheep-raising industry is in a terrible spot. And house fires seem to be quickened by synthetic fibers. 

The Prince will start his fires on Thursday. The Daily Mail reports that the London Fire Brigade has officially stated that they support Charles's experiment. They're not at all concerned and certainly not waiting with their hands on the hose nozzles and fingers hovering over the specially installed CALL BACK-UP, PRINCE CHARLES'S SCIENCE FIRE IS TOO MUCH FUN button.