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20th Sep 2022

Charles will get a second birthday now that he’s King

April Curtin

LONDON, NOVEMBER 13: (NO PUBLICATION IN UK MEDIA FOR 28 DAYS) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait to mark his 60th birthday, photo taken on November 13, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Hugo Burnand/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage)

The tradition actually started because of the British weather

King Charles III will get not one, but two birthdays now he is the UK’s monarch – just like his mother the Queen did.

The tradition of a reigning monarch having two birthdays dates back to 1748, when King George II was in power. And it actually comes down to the British weather.

The King’s birthday fell in autumn, which wasn’t deemed suitable for a large, public celebration. So, the monarch’s birthday bash was combined with the Trooping the Colour parade in summer to increase the chance of good weather.

King Charles III’s ‘real’ birthday is on November 14, when he will turn 74-years-old, but it is understood he will continue the tradition with the Trooping the Colour ceremony taking place on a different date.

Whatever cake the new King is presented with on either of his two birthdays, let’s hope his staff choose carefully about how they wrap it up for party bags.

Because according to one authorised biography, the monarch had no idea what cling film was the first time he saw it, and “shrieked” at the sight of it.

Author Tom Bower said he interviewed over 120 people for his biography of Charles, entitled ‘Rebel Prince’. The book delves into Charles’s struggles to overcome unpopularity, and includes some pretty unexpected tales along the way.

Explaining how the royal reportedly had his first encounter with cling film, Bower wrote: “He walked into the dining room and shrieked. Fearing the worst, Camilla dashed in after him. ‘What’s this?’ asked her husband, pointing at the food.

“’It’s cling film, darling,’ she replied.”

The Guardian contacted a Clarence House spokesperson at the time of publication, but they declined to comment on the allegations made in the book.

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