King Charles III turns 74 as he celebrates first birthday as monarch

Gun salutes and military bands to play ‘Happy Birthday’ across the capital

Kate Ng
Monday 14 November 2022 07:05 GMT
King Charles appears emotional during Remembrance Sunday's two-minute silence

King Charles III will mark his 74th birthday today (Monday 14 November), his first birthday celebration since he ascended the throne just over two months ago.

The monarch assumed his new role following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on 8 September.

While he was the Prince of Wales, the King would sometimes be away on official foreign tours during his birthday and would celebrate it overseas with a cake.

Today, his milestone will be asked by the Band of the Household Cavalry performing “Happy Birthday” during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Gun salutes will be fired across London in honour of the King’s birthday for the first time, with the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery firing 41 volleys from midday at Green Park.

Immediately afterwards, the Band of the Scots Guards will perform the birthday song in the park.

The King’s Troop is a mounted ceremonial unit in the British Army that fires salutes on royal anniversaries and major events like state visits. They also provide a gun carriage and a team of black horses for state and military funerals.

The Honourable Artillery Company will also fire a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.

Apart from the gun salutes and and band music, the King is expected to mark the occasion privately.

On Sunday (13 November), His Majesty spent the day leading the UK in the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in honour of war veterans who have died.

His floral tribute to the fallen left at the memorial in Whitehall featured the words: “In memory of the glorious dead. Charles R.”

Last year, the King marked his 73rd birthday (his last birthday as the Prince of Wales) by releasing a new portrait taken in the gardens of his Highgrove House.

The photograph showed him smiling at the camera while dressed in a blue pinstripe suit at his official residence with Camilla, Queen Consort, in Gloucestershire.

Additional reporting by PA

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