Britain’s Prince Charles celebrates his 70th birthday with a tea party and a banquet in Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.
In two official photographs released to mark the Prince of Wales’s milestone, Charles – who has been heir to the throne for more than six decades – is shown surrounded by his wife Camilla, two sons William and Harry and three grandchildren.
A fourth grandchild is on the way after Prince Harry’s wife Meghan announced her pregnancy following the couple’s Windsor Castle wedding this year.
Charles is set to attend a tea party later on Wednesday with “inspirational people” who are also turning 70 this year.
In the evening, Queen Elizabeth II is holding a banquet which friends, family and European royals are expected to attend.
There will be gun salutes in London and lawmakers will voice their congratulations for the king-in-waiting in parliament.
Charles also edited an edition of Country Life to mark his birthday where he told the magazine about his fondness for red pheasant crumble pie and “groussaka” — a version of the Greek dish moussaka but with grouse instead of lamb, AFP writes.
He also said he allowed red squirrels, which are being pushed out by American grey squirrels in Britain, to run around his home on the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland.
The prince has spent a lifetime forging his own path during a record wait for the throne, overshadowed by public adulation for his mother.
He also battled a string of public relations headaches and accusations of being cold towards his first wife Diana as well as of interfering in political affairs.
Charles has been outspoken on issues close to his heart, notably architecture, the environment, farming, faith and alternative medicine.
But he recently told a BBC documentary marking his 70th birthday that he won’t be a meddling king.