King marks 75th birthday a day early with three-tiered cake at Highgrove
The King celebrated has his 75th birthday a day early after he was presented with a three-tiered cake at a party staged in his honour.
Charles joined a host of people, from community stalwarts nominated by friends and family who are also turning 75 this year, to representatives from organisations marking the same milestone, from the NHS to members of the Windrush generation.
Among the famous faces at the event in grounds of the King’s Highgrove home in Gloucestershire were celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, The Repair Shop host Jay Blades and singer Leee John from the 1980s group Imagination.
A local choir sang Happy Birthday for the head of state at the end of the cream tea party, and after debating which of the three tiers of the Victoria sponge to cut Charles opted for the bottom.
He was cheered and applauded after cutting a slice and holding up the knife in celebration and peering at the sweet treat.
Blades, an ambassador for the King’s Foundation, paid tribute to Charles, saying: “He’s the new King but he’s also about community, he’s always been about community, always been forward thinking about what we’re doing about the environment but also including community members.
“So to have this group of people here, that’s just unbelievable – that’s part of him, that’s what he does.”
At Dumfries House in Scotland, the home of the King’s Foundation, a similar gathering of community figures to mark the King’s birthday was held.
Singer Leee John joined his 96-year-old mother Jessie Stephens, a leading figure in Britain’s Caribbean community, at the Highgrove celebration.
She was one of the Windrush generation chosen to have their portrait painted and exhibited nationally to mark their contribution to British society.
John said at the time of the launch of the paintings, commissioned by Charles when he was the Prince of Wales, the King and Queen “said out of all the portraits my mum’s was the best”.
He added: “I met him in the 80s when Imagination did a gig at the Royal Albert Hall, back then we did some work for the Prince’s Trust and we were helping the youth in that time, 1985.
“So he was always very much about the community and very much about the environment.”
The King was born on November 14 1948. Tuesday will be a normal working day for the monarch who will officially launch the Coronation Food Project with Queen Camilla, which aims to bridge the gap between food waste and food need.
Charles will also host a Buckingham Palace reception to celebrate nurses and midwives as part of the NHS 75 celebrations.
Gun salutes will also be fired across the capital and the nation to mark the King’s milestone.
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