Why Does Prince Charles Celebrate His Birthday Twice a Year?

Like a true prince, one party won't suffice.

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Prince Charles turns 70 years old on November 14, but it won't be the first time he's celebrating the big 7-0. Shortly after his son Prince Harry and daughter-in-law Meghan Markle were married in May, the Prince of Wales held a garden party at Buckingham Palace six months (!) before his actual birthday. This left many fans wondering what prompted the early celebrations (you know, besides being royalty), and what he'll do on his actual birthday.

Why do royals celebrate their birthday so often?

Not every royal celebrates their birthday multiple times per year. The only one who makes this a true tradition is Queen Elizabeth because, well, she's the Queen. The annual Trooping the Colour parade in June is her "official birthday," and she celebrates her actual birthday in private on April 21st.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles, who's next in line to the throne, is celebrating his birthday a lot this year because he's celebrating a milestone. (He did the same thing for his 60th birthday.) BBC will release a documentary Prince, Son, and Heir: Charles at 70, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the prince's life and commemorates the 50-plus years he has dedicated to public service.

How did Prince Charles celebrate his 70th birthday the first time?

In May, the Queen hosted a garden party for the Prince of Wales, known as his 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration at Buckingham Palace. His mother invited family, friends, and 400 charities to honor the work "close to the Prince's heart." It was Harry and Meghan's first appearance as a royal married couple.

To continue the celebrations, Charles recently hosted a concert gala at the Royal Opera House in London to show his continued support for the arts, and throughout the year he held a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace that featured his favorite artwork and family pieces.


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What will Charles do on his real 70th birthday?

According to Hello!, the Queen will host a private party in the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace on November 14 for the Prince. The Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will reportedly be in attendance alongside hundreds of other important guests.

As for which royal family members will attend the reception and dinner, Charles' wife Camilla will be there (obviously) and his father, Prince Philip, is expected to make a rare appearance alongside the Queen. It's unconfirmed whether Harry, Meghan, Will, and Kate will attend, though it's very unlikely they would miss the festivities for such a special birthday.


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Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.