Buckingham Palace released a new picture to mark the 74th birthday of King Charles – his first since he acceded to the throne in September. In the snap by photographer Chris Jackson, the monarch can be seen resting with his back on an ancient oak tree at Windsor Great Park.
The Palace also announced Charles has today officially become the Ranger of The Great Park.
The monarch took on the role 70 years after his father Prince Philip was appointed to this post, which saw him overseeing and guiding the Deputy Ranger and his team in the day-to-day stewardship of Windsor Great Park and the surrounding estate.
The roots of this role can be traced back to 1559, when Queen Elizabeth I appointed to the post Sir Henry Neville.
Another illustrious holder of this title was the King’s grandfather, King George VI, who held it throughout his reign – from 1936 to 1952.
Paul Sedwig, The Crown Estate’s Managing Director, Rural and Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park praised Charles for his “commitment to the natural world” following the announcement.
He said: “We are honoured to have His Majesty as Ranger of Windsor Great Park, continuing a long tradition of the Sovereign and members of the Royal Family holding this role.
“Windsor has a wonderful heritage with many precious natural habitats. His Majesty’s passion and commitment to the natural world will be invaluable as we seek to become a centre of excellence for environmental best practice, preserving and enhancing the Great Park for generations to come.”
The King is not expected to step out today to carry out public duties, and will likely celebrate his birthday privately with his wife Queen Camilla.
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Nevertheless, his birthday will be publicly marked by military troops in different parts of London.
At 11am, during the traditional Changing of the Guard, the Band of the Household Cavalry performed a special rendition of Happy Birthday dedicated to the King.
While Charles was not in residence at the London palace, a large crowd gathered to view the special show.
At 12pm, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will be firing 41 volleys at London’s Green Park, followed by a rendition of Happy Birthday by the Band of the Scots Guards.
One hour later, the Honourable Artillery Company will fire a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.
King Charles’s birthday comes one day after the sovereign led the Royal Family and the country in honouring the nation’s war dead during a deeply poignant National Service of Remembrance.
At the Cenotaph, Charles laid a poppy wreath – for the first time as the monarch – which gave a nod to those created for King George V, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II by featuring a ribbon in their racing colours.
On Saturday, the monarch marked another first, as he attended as sovereign with other senior royals the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance, which included a tribute to his late mother.