Queen pays tribute to son Prince Charles as he turns 70

Queen Elizabeth paid tribute to her son Prince Charles as he celebrated his 70th birthday at a party at Buckingham Palace. “It is a privilege for any mother to be able to propose a toast to her son on his 70th birthday,” the queen said at the palace party for friends and family she hosted in his honour.

“It means that you have lived long enough to see your child grow up. It is rather like — to use an analogy I am certain will find favor — planting a tree and being able to watch it grow.”

Charles, Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip’s eldest son, was born at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 14, 1948, four years before his now 92-year-old mother ascended to the throne following the death of her father George VI. As Britain’s heir apparent, Charles has waited longer than any of his predecessors to become monarch and would be its oldest-ever king. The prince has used his position to campaign on issues including climate change, architecture and farming, often challenging orthodox views.

In her toast, Elizabeth paid tribute to her son’s work, “Over his 70 years, Philip and I have seen Charles become a champion of conservation and the arts, a great charitable leader — a dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history — and a wonderful father,” she said.

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