Prince Charles turned 71 on Friday, which means that eventually he’ll be the oldest king to assume the British throne from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
But that’s not the only record he has broken at his age. He’s also the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history. (The current record is held by William IV, who succeeded to the throne in 1830 at 64 years old.)
Charles is also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, a title he was awarded in 1958.
Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor, @ClarenceHouse @RoyalFamily, was born at Buckingham Palace at 9:14 p.m. on November 14, 1948. He is the first child of then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and will be the 63rd king of Great Britain.
“The perpetual prince,” as he’s sometimes called by the British media, responds to his age records with a sense of humor, noting that he doesn’t see himself on “standby,” but simply doing another job and enjoying the freedom.
Meanwhile, he keeps up a heavy load of duties that sees him working seven days a week and attending to an increasing number of royal duties that the queen has relegated due to her advanced age.
As Prince of Wales, he undertakes official duties on behalf of the queen and the Commonwealth. He founded The Prince’s Trust in 1976, a charitable organization under whose umbrella more than 15 institutions have been working for years and he’s a patron, president and member of over 400 other charities and organizations.
“Prince Charles, whose title is also the Duke of Cornwall, wants to turn his country—as well as the whole world—into a place that is more environmentally aware, filled with culture, more social and above all, greener,” writes DW. “He planted an entirely new forest in honor of his grandson George.”
Prince Charles frequently talks about his role helping to protect the future of younger generations.
Rather than taking things easy at 71, he’s been performing more royal duties than ever in recent years.
For his birthday on Thursday, he was in Mumbai and New Delhi, #RoyalVisitIndia, for a two-day official tour. He celebrated first with local children, whose education is supported by his charitable foundation, the British Asian Trust, and then discussing sustainable market initiatives with leaders of India’s business world.
The children gave him presents and a garland of flowers as they serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” as he cut a large chocolate cake.
He also met pop singer Katy Perry, who was there for a performance at a music festival.
He then joined his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in Bangalore, ahead of the rest of the tour that will take them to New Zealand on Sunday. For his birthday, she had prepared a special gift: a stay at her favorite holistic health center, Soukya, a 30-acre organic farm where they had vegetarian dinner and yoga.
The other members of the royal family posted congratulatory messages on their social media accounts.