Enlarge image

King Charles: Attention to issues close to the heart

Photo: Adrian Dennis / AFP

Britain's King Charles III is celebrating his 75th birthday with several public appointments instead of big celebrations. For the evening, however, a birthday dinner with family and friends is apparently planned.

Charles used his special day to draw attention to issues that are particularly close to his heart. Together with his wife Camilla, he gave the go-ahead for the Coronation Food Project, in which discarded but still edible food is distributed to those in need instead of ending up in the garbage. In the afternoon, on the occasion of the founding of the British health service NHS 75 years ago, the King is scheduled to welcome 400 carers, nurses and midwives.

William and Kate publicly congratulate

Gun salutes were fired at the Tower of London and Green Park, as well as in other parts of the country, in honour of the king. Traditionally, the birthday of the British monarchs is not celebrated until June, when the weather is better.

Family members and close friends are invited to the evening birthday dinner. His youngest son, Prince Harry, who has a difficult relationship with his father and older brother Prince William and has been living in the US with his wife Meghan and their two children for a few years, will not be there.

Harry and Meghan had previously denied reports that they had turned down a birthday invitation from the king. There had been no such invitation, it said. However, according to the BBC, Harry is expected to call his father later in the day.

Charles' elder son Prince William and his wife Kate (both 41) congratulated with a post on X (formerly Twitter) and posted several photos that showed, for example, Charles and William on a skiing holiday in the mountains. In another picture, William and Kate could be seen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace along with their children and the royal couple. They wrote: "We wish His Majesty the King a very happy 75th birthday!"

Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, now King Charles III, was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948. After decades as crown prince, he ascended the throne in September 2022 following the death of his mother, Elizabeth II. His ceremonial coronation took place in May this year. At the beginning of November, Charles III gave his first speech from the throne as king in the British Parliament, and he also made several state visits this year, including to Germany at the end of March.