Charles celebrates 69th birthday privately

Royal visit to Malaysia

The Prince of Wales is celebrating his 69th birthday.

Charles, now in the last year of his sixties, is the country's longest serving heir to the throne.

On Remembrance Sunday, the Prince took on a symbolic duty on behalf of the Queen when he led the nation in honouring the country's war dead.

Royal visit to Malaysia

The king-in-waiting, dressed in military uniform, placed a wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph in Whitehall as the monarch, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, watched from a balcony.

In a break with tradition, it was the first time Elizabeth II, now 91 and the nation's longest reigning monarch, has not performed the symbolic duty when at the poignant service.

The Prince is marking his birthday privately.

Gun salutes will fire in Green Park and the Tower of London, and at Edinburgh Castle in his honour.

Royalty - Christening of Prince Charles - Buckingham Palace, London
Prince Charles sleeps in the arms of his mother, Princess Elizabeth, after his christening at Buckingham Palace (PA)

The eldest child of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 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 February 6, 1952 when he was just three-years-old.

Royalty - Princess Elizabeth and family - Clarence House, London
Three-year-old Prince Charles in the arms of his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, with Princess Elizabeth and baby Princess Anne in 1951 (PA)

He was created Prince of Wales on July 26, 1958 when he was nine-years-old.

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

The oldest was Sophia of Hanover who died aged 83 in 1714. Charles has overtaken William IV who became monarch in June 1830, aged 64 years, 10 months and five days.

Charles also passed the record for longest serving heir to the throne set by his great-great grandfather Edward VII, who became monarch aged 59 when Queen Victoria died in 1901.

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