Two new family photographs have been released of Prince Charles with his wife, children and grandchildren to mark his 70th birthday.
The pictures were taken in the garden of his London home, Clarence House, back in September and show the Prince of Wales sitting on a bench with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, surrounded by the rest of his family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, their three children and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
One photograph shows the whole group laughing, with Prince George sitting on his grandfather’s knee and Camilla with her arm around Princess Charlotte pointing to the camera.
The Duchess of Cambridge is holding her youngest son Prince Louis, now six months old. The last time we saw the baby was on his christening back in July.
Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan also feature in the family photos.
The pictures were taken by Getty photographer Chris Jackson. He said: “I was delighted to have been asked to take these portraits of The Prince of Wales surrounded by his family to celebrate the important milestone of his 70th birthday.
“It was particularly special to capture such an informal and relaxed family portrait over a fun afternoon in the gardens of Clarence House.”
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The pictures officially mark the prince’s 70th birthday.
Born on 14 November 1948, he has been heir to the throne since 1952, when he was only three years old, after his mother became Queen following the death of her father King George VI.
As Britain’s longest serving heir apparent he has redefined the role, championing causes including protecting the environment, architecture, supporting young people and inter-faith work.
Applauded by some as a visionary, others have criticised him for straying into political matters.
Last week in an interview ahead of his birthday Prince Charles denied suggestions he will be a meddling monarch when he becomes king, saying “I’m not that stupid”.
Ahead of his birthday Sky News spoke to some of his contemporaries, and fellow baby boomers, about the impact the prince has had on society and what we can expect from him as a future monarch.
Tony Juniper, from the World Wildlife Fund, has worked as a special adviser on environmental issues and written books with him.
He said: “He has built an incredible track record of being ahead of the curve on all sorts of subjects whether it was global warming, whether it was the loss of the tropical rainforests, whether it was the question of sustainable agricultural or plastics in the sea.
“He’s always been there setting the agenda … I think if you had to count the leading environmentalists of the past half century he would be amongst them possibly the top environmentalist.”
Author Kathy Lette has written jokes for the prince in the past, and says she’s always been impressed at his sense of humour.
She said: “Most upper class Englishman you have to do open heart surgery to find out what’s going on inside them but with Prince Charles you know he’s always stripped off his emotional undies and it’s a psychological striptease that has revealed all.
“We know what he’s passionate about, we know what he’s sensitive about and in today’s world that’s actually a strength in a man, it’s not a negative aspect.”
Asked how he might feel about this big birthday, she added: “We’ve got to remember that 70 is really the new 50 and he’s such a healthy rascal.”
This year Tom Bower wrote the book “Rebel Prince” exploring the last 20 years of the prince’s life from the death of Princess Diana, to his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and exploring the dynamics within his royal court.
Asked about the kind of man he discovered he said: “I thought that he was a selfish individual but who could be generous, he was very conflicted and very contrary.
“He is a person who demanded huge loyalty but could be utterly disloyal to people who showed him loyalty.
“He was a man who didn’t understand very often his position in the world. He wanted influence.”
Asked about his future as king, Mr Bower added: “He is not loved. He is begrudgingly respected. I think he will find it very very hard to impose the sort of endearing legacy of his mother.”
Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has acted as a religious affairs adviser for his royal highness, and has always been impressed by his ability and desire to connect with all faiths.
He said: “Charles of course is of a generation that knows the full extent of the diversity in Britain.
“He goes out of his way to respect and visit and pay tribute to the various religious minorities in the country… he sees religion as a very powerful force that can lift people to the heights.
“But it can also be a source of conflict. And he has been very eloquent in talking about faith as inspiration and very wise and very sombre about warning of the dangers of religion as a source of conflict to violence.”
On Wednesday afternoon Prince Charles and Camilla will join 70 other people marking their 70th birthday this year for a special tea in central London.
The other guests have been nominated by Age UK and chosen for their work in local communities.
In the evening the Queen will host a private party for the Prince at Buckingham Palace.
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