LONDON – Britain’s Prince Charles celebrated his 72nd birthday Saturday following an eventful year that saw him contract the coronavirus and his son Prince Harry step down from official royal duties.
Gun salutes would normally be fired from London’s Green Park and the Tower of London for the heir to the throne’s birthday, but officials said the traditional ceremonies would not take place this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Charles’ eldest son, Prince William, and his wife, Kate, were among those wishing him a happy birthday on social media. The royal family's official Twitter account posted a photo of Charles as a baby sitting on Queen Elizabeth II's knee, while the account of Charles and his wife, Camilla, shared a photo of the prince dressed in a kilt and smiling to the camera.
Charles tested positive for the coronavirus in March and self-isolated for a week in Scotland with mild COVID-19 symptoms. He later told Sky News he was lucky to have “got away with it quite lightly.”
Last week, the royal laid a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial on behalf of his mother to honor the country’s war dead on Remembrance Sunday.
But like the rest of the royal family, Charles has had to adapt his many official engagements by moving them online during the pandemic.
The year also saw Charles’ son Harry and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, move abroad after quitting royal duties. The couple, who said they wanted to seek financial independence, have settled in California with their son, Archie.
Charles, known as the Prince of Wales, is the queen’s eldest son. He became heir apparent at age 3, when his mother was crowned monarch in 1952.