Prince Charles celebrates 72nd birthday amid lockdown

14 November 2020, 10:00 | Updated: 14 November 2020, 12:37

Prince Charles is celebrating his 72nd birthday in lockdown
Prince Charles is celebrating his 72nd birthday in lockdown. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The Prince of Wales is celebrating his 72nd birthday amid coronavirus lockdown restrictions that have disrupted yearly traditions.

Charles has been busy supporting the Queen during Remembrance week - as he does every year - and is expected to mark his personal milestone privately.

Last weekend on Remembrance Sunday, the prince laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in honour of the country's war dead on behalf of the Queen.

During a tumultuous 2020 the heir to the throne has seen the Duke and Duchess of Sussex step down from official royal duties and move to the US, and experienced Covid-19 first hand, contracting the virus in March.

Like the rest of the royal family he adapted his engagements during the first national lockdown, taking them online by holding video calls and posting messages of support on social media.

Prince Charles visited RAF Fairford on Friday following Armistice Day
Prince Charles visited RAF Fairford on Friday following Armistice Day. Picture: PA

The eldest child of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948, weighing 7lb 6oz.

He became heir apparent on the death of his grandfather King George VI, when his mother succeeded to the throne on 6 February 1952 when he was three.

He was made Prince of Wales on 26 July 1958 when he was nine years old.

Charles, who is the patron of more than 400 organisations, is the oldest heir to the throne the UK has had for more than 300 years.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among those to send birthday wishes, posting a picture of a smiling Charles on their official Instagram and Twitter accounts to mark the occasion.

"Wishing a very Happy Birthday to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales!" the couple said on Twitter.

Gun salutes would normally be fired in celebration of Charles's birthday from Green Park, the Tower of London and other locations around the country.

But a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said Covid restrictions meant they would not take place this year.

She said: "We can confirm that, following consultation with key stakeholders, ceremonial gunfire from all saluting stations continues to be temporarily suspended due to national Covid-19 restrictions.

"As such, the gun salute due to take place on Saturday 14 November for the birthday of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will now not take place.

"Future such events will continue to be regularly reviewed in conjunction with current Government Covid-related guidance."