The 60th birthday of Britain’s Prince Charles was marked Friday with a string of events that included a 41-gun salute, a glittering dinner party, a comedy gala and a youth charity launch.
Following the official part of the celebrations, the heir to the throne will throw a private dinner dance party Saturday for about 100 guests at his country seat of Highgrove in Gloucestershire, southwest Britain, where ageing rock star Rod Stewart will be the top performer.
Charles’ wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has said she will give him 60 individual birthday presents – one to mark every year of his life – including walking boots, a fishing rod, a chess game and organic Madeira wines.
On Friday, the couple visited youth projects initiated by the Prince’s Trust charity and launched a new educational scheme for youngsters in London’s East End.
Thursday evening Queen Elizabeth II hosted a lavish dinner party for her son at Buckingham Palace, attended by, among others, Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, former King Constantine of Greece, royalty from the Netherlands and Spain, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and political and civic leaders from Britain and around the world.
A comedy gala starring Rowan Atkinson, Robin Williams and John Cleese formed another part of the three-day celebrations.
An opinion poll published Friday showed that 53 percent of Britons believed Charles should become king, regardless of how old he would be, while 20 percent did not want him to become king at all.
However, some 45 percent said they liked the prince’s ‘outspoken manner’ and hoped he would continue to ‘speak his mind’ when he succeeded the 82-year-old queen.