LONDON (Reuters) – Prince Charles celebrates his 70th birthday on Wednesday by attending public and private parties, while his office publishes new photographs of the heir to the British throne with his close family.
FILE PHOTO: Charles, Prince of Wales, of Great Britain, stands in honor of the fallen heroes of the two World Wars in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 8, 2018. Pius Utomi Ekpei / Pool through REUTERS / File Photo
The Prince of Wales and the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth, Charles, was born in Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948, four years before his mother, now 92, ascended the throne after the death of her Father, Jorge VI.
To celebrate her birthday, she will attend a special tea party featuring 70 inspiring people who also turned 70 this year, before heading to a private function for friends and family organized by the queen.
As the heir apparent to Britain, Charles has waited longer than any of his predecessors to become a monarch and would be the oldest king of a lineage dating back 1,000 years.
Charles has used his position to campaign on issues that include climate change, architecture and agriculture, often expressing concern for the environment, his supporters say.
"When my mother was successful and became a queen and my grandfather died so young, 57 years old, I ended up being an heir to the throne at the age of four," Charles said in a BBC documentary broadcast last week.
"You must make this what you think is right: there is nothing established, so that is what makes it so interesting, challenging and, of course, complicated."
However, critics have accused him of inappropriate interference because British monarchs are bound by Britain's unwritten constitution to stay out of politics.
In last week's documentary, Charles said he would stop "meddling" in campaigns that he felt strongly about.
"I'm not that stupid," he said. "I realize that it is a separate exercise to be sovereign."
The new photographs show Charles in the garden of his house in London, Clarence House, along with his second wife Camilla, his children William and Harry, their wives Kate and Meghan along with the children of William and Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis .
In the BBC film, William said he expected his working father to spend more time with his grandchildren.
"Now that he's 70 years old, it's a perfect time to consolidate a little as most families would, he's worried about having them around, making sure his health is good," he said. "He's the fittest man I know, but I still want him to be in shape so he's 95 years old, so having more time with him at home would be lovely."
However, William acknowledged that Charles still believed he had a lot to accomplish.
"He has not even reached the point where he should do his natural progression, that is, be a monarch, so he has yet to do his job," he said.
Edited by Stephen Addison