King Charles turns 74: A look at special ceremonies that will honour his first birthday as monarch

King Charles celebrates his 74th birthday this year but it is a special one given that it will be his first one after being appointed as Britain's new monarch following Queen Elizabeth's demise.

Published on Nov 14, 2022 01:54 PM IST  |  91.3K
King Charles III
King Charles turns 74 on November 14.

King Charles is all set to celebrate his first birthday as Britain's monarch after ascending the throne two months ago following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. King Charles turns 74 on November 14 and there will be several special ceremonies held to honour his first birthday as a King in the UK. The monarch celebrates his birthday after recently leading an emotional Remembrance Day service. 

A day after emotionally honouring the dead who sacrificed themselves for their nation during the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, King Charles will celebrate his birthday. At the age of 73, King Charles became the oldest person to accede to the British throne following the death of his mother, Elizabeth II, on 8 September 2022. Charles was born in Buckingham Palace during the reign of his grandfather, King George VI. He was was three-years-old when Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952. King Charles served as the Prince of Wales for 64 years between 1958 and 2022.  As the King prepares for his 74th birthday, here's a look at how it will be celebrated in the UK. 

Changing of the Guard honour 

As reported by Sky News, the King's 74th birthday will see the Band of the Household Cavalry performing Happy Birthday during the Changing of the Guard ceremony that will take place at the Buckingham Palace. The Queen's Guard in Windsor had previously played an arrangement of Happy Birthday during the Changing of the Guard ceremony on her 96th birthday which was celebrated in April this year. 

Gun salutes

Reports have also suggested that in honour of King Charles' 74th birthday, gun salutes will be fired across the capital for the first time, with the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery firing 41 volleys from midday at London's Green Park. For the unreversed, The King's Troop is a ceremonial unit in the British Army that fires salutes on royal anniversaries and major events like state visits, and also provides gun carriages for state and military funerals.

Two birthdays 

While Queen Elizabeth II celebrated two birthdays, one in the summer and another in the spring it is not yet known whether King Charles will also be announcing a separate Spring birthday. According to BBC, since the 1700s, monarchs who did not have a summer birthday have had to choose a second one to coincide with the Trooping the Colour parade. As for his birthday plans, it seems King Charles will be celebrating the special day privately with his family and close ones as no public engagements have been planned for the King on the day. 

Birthday portrait 

A new portrait of King Charles may get released by Buckingham Palace honouring his 74th birthday. Last year, he marked his last birthday as the Prince of Wales by releasing a new portrait taken in the gardens of his Highgrove House. The photo showcased him smiling at the camera while dressed in a blue pinstripe suit at his official residence with Camilla, Queen Consort, in Gloucestershire. The King is also expected to receive warm birthday tributes from family members including his son, Prince William and his wife, Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may also share a statement wishing the new King. 

While King Charles ascended the throne immediately after the Queen's passing an official coronation ceremony for the new monarch is still due. It was announced in October that King Charles III's coronation will be held on Saturday, May 6, at Westminster Abbey as confirmed by the Buckingham Palace. Camilla, the Queen Consort, will also be crowned alongside Charles in the ceremony. In their announcement, the Palace revealed minor details about the ceremony and said that it will combine the ancient and modern and that the ceremony will be "rooted in longstanding traditions" but will also "reflect the monarch's role today and look towards the future." 

King Charles will be 74 at the time of his coronation which makes him the oldest that a new monarch has been crowned in the UK. The date holds a special meaning for the royal family also because it will also be the fourth birthday of his grandson Archie, the son of Prince Harry and Meghan. Due to the date of Archie's birthday and Charles' coronation being the same, there have been speculations about whether Harry and Meghan will skip the UK visit to attend the coronation ceremony. 

ALSO READ: King Charles leads an emotional service, Prince Harry sends a special message on Remembrance Day

Credits: Sky News, BBC, Getty Images

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