Prince Charles’ 60th
Prince Charles Turns 60
Born Charles Philip Arthur George on November 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace in London, England, Charles was only three when his mother became Queen making him, as her first-born son, next in line for the throne. Celebrating his 60th birthday now makes Prince Charles one of the longest-serving heirs to the British throne. After years of questionable popularity and personal discontent, Prince Charles seems to have at last found acceptance emerging among his fellow countrymen as within himself. While most people readying to blow out 60 birthday candles are nearing long-awaited retirement, Prince Charles has not yet attained his destined life’s position.
Week of Royal Birthday Celebrations
The birthday celebrations have been plentiful enough that they needed to be spread over multiple days. On Wednesday, the 12th, at the New Wimbledon Theatre in South London, a comedy show featuring performances by celebrities such as John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Bailey, and Robin Williams was held in his honor. On Thursday, the 13th, a formal black-tie banquet, hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, had around 400 guests in attendance. Friday morning, the 14th, Queen Elizabeth marked the day with a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park (a first in the Prince’s honor), and later in the day the Prince attended a children’s concert at the Royal Opera House. On Saturday, Rod Stewart graciously agreed to waive his typical $1,000,000 private party fee to perform at a more informal gathering at the Prince’s rural Gloucestershire estate. And somewhere in between all of hoopla of the birthday week, Prince Charles, along with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, paid a visit to the Beckton Community Centre in East London to launch Youth Week, one of the many charitable projects for which the Prince is involved.
10 Interesting Facts about Prince Charles
On the Telegraph.co.uk site, there is an article with 60 facts of interest about Prince Charles. Here are my favorite 10 (with some changes) from that list:
- In May of ‘62, Prince Charles was enrolled at the Gordonstoun boarding school and describes his time there as very unhappy. (Apparently, even exclusive institutions of education such as Gordonstoun had its share of insulting and hurtful bullies.)
- Prince Charles graduated from Cambridge in 1970 having studied anthropology and archaeology and later history, earning a 2:2 (lower second class degree).
- In ‘71, already holding a private pilot’s license, he joined the Royal Air Force and attended RAF College at Cranwell, Lincolnshire, receiving his wings. Also, trained as a helicopter pilot in ‘74.
- To date he has helped more than 500,000 unemployed young people obtain skills needed to find work.
- The Prince is interested in architecture, inner-city regeneration, organic farming (grows and promotes organic food - even talking at times to his plants and has published a book on the subject), conservation and environmental sustainability, alternative medicine and holistic healing, Islam and the Middle East, and education.
- The Old Man of Lochnagar, a children’s book, was originally written by Charles and then published in 1980 for his younger brother Prince Edward. Charles is an experienced watercolourist and has been painting for most of his adult life.
- The Queen and Philip gave their son an Aston Martin sportscar for his 21st birthday present, which he still owns. He’s taken a keen interest and has collected numerous Aston models over the years and even has a “Prince of Wales” Edition that showcase his favorite color and trim combinations.
- The Prince is said to “care deeply about issues such as the environment, architecture, inner-city renewal, and the quality of life.” He’s developed the village of Poundbury in Dorset, an eco-friendly “model” village based on a master plan of Krier. Along the same interest, he published a book and produced the documentary A Vision for Britain, and in ‘92 established The Prince of Wale’s Institute of Architecture as well as a magazine publication which eventually merged with another magazine and is no longer in publication.
- Charles is patron or president of around 400 organizations and President of 16 charities.
- (Most people are familiar with the romantic life of Prince Charles - his escapades, loves, and two marriages. So the tenth fact I chose will instead mention a new book dedicated to his 60th birthday and for which all proceeds will benefit his charity for children.) In celebration of Prince Charles’ 60th birthday, The Birthday Book, featuring a collection of beautifully illustrated stories and verse, along with entries from renowned writers such as J.K. Rowling, was released in early November. All of the royalties from the book will benefit the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.