Royal Family

Charles at 75: King celebrates birthday alongside Camilla with full schedule

The King celebrated his 75th birthday by busily highlighting causes close to his heart.

With Queen Camilla at his side, Charles visited a project that helps feed those in need by redistributing food that might otherwise go to landfills.

He then hosted a party for 400 nurses and midwives, saluting the National Health Service’s own 75th birthday.

For good measure, the king also appeared on the cover of this month’s Big Issue, which gives marginalized people the opportunity to earn money by selling the magazine on the street.

It’s the sort of day that’s been typical of the king’s first 14 months on the throne.

After the seven-decade reign of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Charles has rushed to show that the monarchy remains relevant in modern British society. He’s made three overseas visits, pledged to open the royal archives to researchers investigating the crown’s links to slavery and expressed “sorrow and regret’’ for “abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence” committed against Kenyans during their struggle for independence.

Charles’s reign has gotten off to a steady start, but he still needs to set out a clear vision for the future, said Ed Owens, an historian and author of “After Elizabeth: Can the Monarchy Save Itself?’’

“It’s a difficult moment for the monarchy because it’s going through this period of transition from being adulated as a default position to now being questioned and challenged in new ways,’’ Owens said.

“And I just wish that the king and his heir would set out more clearly what they want to do rather than take for granted what they think the British public want from the monarchy.”

Charles’ long apprenticeship meant he was a grey-haired septuagenarian when he finally took the throne, fueling concerns he would have a hard time connecting with a country that no longer takes deference to the monarchy for granted.

But all those decades also gave him more training and experience to draw upon than his mother, who was just 25 when she became queen.

In another royal first, Charles earned a degree in history from the University of Cambridge. He later spent six years in the Royal Navy before leaving to focus on his duties as heir to the throne.

As Prince of Wales, the future king founded a charity that helps young people get jobs and training. He started an organic food company and dabbled in urban planning. He was also an early advocate for conservation and environmental protection — something that helps him appeal to his younger subjects.

But it is his heir, Prince William, who is now focused on the younger generation, seeking a leading role in the environmental movement with his Earthshot Prize, a global competition to find ways to combat climate change. He is also working on initiatives to fight homelessness and raise awareness of the importance of mental health.

While William may be easing the strain on his father, his younger brother has offered public challenges.

Over the past year Prince Harry released a Netflix series and a memoir that exposed rivalries within the royal family, criticized the palace’s relations with the media and said his wife, Meghan, was subjected to racism as a working member of the royal family.

The duke will reportedly wish his father a happy birthday over the phone, after he and wife Meghan said they were not invited to the monarch’s celebrations in London.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex issued a formal response to media reports suggesting Harry, 39, had turned down an invite to the gathering at Clarence House on Tuesday (14 November). A spokesperson for the couple said there had been “no contact” from Buckingham Palace.

Now, according to a BBC report, Charles’s youngest son will call him from Montecito, California, where Harry and Meghan currently reside with their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

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