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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Robert Dex

King Charles at 75: Tributes to monarch as he marks milestone birthday

The King is celebrating his 75th birthday on Tuesday with a business-as-usual approach and the launch of a project to help people facing food poverty.

The Evening Standard marked the occasion with a specially-commissioned front page inspired by Sir Peter Blake’s classic cover for the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, referencing some of the famous faces who have crossed paths with the King during his long career of public service.

They include members of the royal family, the King’s beloved great-uncle Lord Mountbatten and His Majesty himself at different stages of his life.

Also among the crowd are Stella McCartney, The Three Degrees, Rowan Atkinson, Kylie Minogue, David and Victoria Beckham, Edward Enninful and Stephen Fry — who have all met or worked with the King over the years.

Public service rather than celebrating was the order of the day for the King, although it is expected that there will be a private dinner for close family and friends.

His eldest son, the Prince of Wales, led the tributes, writing: “Wishing His Majesty The King a very happy 75th birthday!”

His youngest son Prince Harry will not be at Tuesday night’s gathering but it is understood he will make a birthday phone call to his father despite a rift. This was being seen as an olive branch following a period of little contact between the pair.

The King’s birthday celebrations began on Monday when he was guest of honour at a party in the grounds of his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire.

The centrepiece of the public side of his birthday was the official launch of his Coronation Food Project, which aims to bridge the gap between food waste and food need. He and the Queen were set to visit a surplus food distribution centre outside London and meet staff and volunteers to hear about the ways in which food that is destined to be wasted can be redistributed to those in need.

It is not his first foray into the issue of food waste. Earlier this year he was given a tour of the Felix Project’s warehouse and kitchens in Poplar, east London, and last year he gave the organisation, which is supported by the Evening Standard, a “substantial personal donation” to help people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

(Evening Standard)

The money donated by the King was used to supply fridges and freezers to hundreds of organisations in London and the rest of the UK, enabling them to rescue and store more fresh and frozen food. Felix Project chief executive Charlotte Hill said: “Now, as he celebrates his 75th year, The Felix Project is celebrating being able to once again work in partnership with FareShare on the Coronation Food Project which was inspired by His Majesty.

“This exciting new initiative will continue the work we started last year and supercharge our efforts to save more food and circulate it to people in desperate need.”

Shoshana Stewart, president of Turquoise Mountain, which was set up by the King in 2006 to help preserve traditional skills around the world, said: “I think he believes that cultural heritage and our inheritance really matters in the world. It is about preserving what is beautiful in our civilisation, that these craft traditions have an amazing power to connect people.”

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