HRH The Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday rounds off what has been a truly unforgettable year of royal celebration. And with the arrival of new grandson HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge and the marriage of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, many of the high points in 2018 have been especially close to the prince’s heart. Now it’s time to honour our longest-serving heir apparent and a lifetime spent dedicated to making a difference to the lives of people in Britain and beyond.
The Prince of Wales was only in his fifth year – the same age that HRH Prince George of Cambridge is now – when he sat between his grandmother and aunt at the coronation that elevated his mother to queen. In that moment the young prince became first in line to the throne, and like his mother, he has shown a commitment to serve ever since.
As a young adult, the nation saw the first signs of a personal connection to the British people and desire to make a difference at his investiture in 1969. Before the ceremony, The Prince of Wales spent several months getting to know Wales and learning the language to use in his speech, which has served him well as he continues to speak Welsh on visits to this day.
It was just seven years later, after a period of active military service, that The Prince’s Trust was founded. With the original aim of helping vulnerable young people get their lives on track, The Prince of Wales has continued to build on this promise, establishing a further 16 charitable organisations under the broader banner of The Prince’s Charities. In the last ten years alone, The Prince’s Trust has returned £1.4 billion in benefits to society across the Commonwealth through its help for disadvantaged young people.
Now in his 70th year, many might expect the prince to relax with some of his slower-paced hobbies, such as gardening and watercolour painting. However, having attended a remarkable 546 official occasions in 2017 alone, it seems the prince is more focused on giving Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a little more time to themselves as they share their royal duties with family.
But we can be sure that the prince will take a moment out from his charitable work and royal duties to celebrate his milestone birthday with family and friends. We’ve joined many of The Prince of Wales’ celebrations over the years, striking coins for his 50th and 60th birthdays. Now a new coin continues The Royal Mint’s long tradition of marking achievements in the Royal Family. A portrait of the prince has been created by experienced engraver Robert Elderton, whose previous coin designs include the 40th anniversary of The Queen’s coronation in 1993 and portrait of HRH The Duke of Sussex’s on his 21st birthday. The depiction is paired with the official portrait of Her Majesty on the reverse, and appears on limited editions of both £5 and £25 coins – the only official UK coins to mark the occasion.