Prince Charles celebrated his 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace Wednesday evening with a private party hosted by his mother.
Besides the fashion that has come from Kate Middleton and Megan Markle, a more intimate moment has taken the spotlight. In order to commemorate her son’s birthday, Queen Elizabeth II gave a speech highlighting how wonderful it has been to watch him grow up.
Charles’ birthday is a major milestone because it makes him not only the longest-serving heir to the throne in British history, but also the oldest. The Queen also poked fun at her son’s age, saying, “My mother saw me turn 70, of course. And she was heard to observe that 70 is exactly the age when the number of candles on your cake finally exceeds the amount of breath you have to blow them out.”
Read the full heartfelt message the Queen gave her son below:
It is a privilege for any mother to be able to propose a toast to her son on his 70th birthday.
It means that you have lived long enough to see your child grow up. It is rather like —to use an analogy I am certain will find favour — planting a tree and being able to watch it grow.
My mother saw me turn 70, of course. And she was heard to observe that 70 is exactly the age when the number of candles on your cake finally exceeds the amount of breath you have to blow them out.
Over his 70 years, Philip and I have seen Charles become a champion of conservation and the arts, a great charitable leader — a dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history — and a wonderful father.
Most of all, sustained by his wife Camilla, he is his own man, passionate and creative.
So this toast is to wish a happy birthday to my son, in every respect a duchy original.
To you Charles. To the Prince of Wales.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar US.
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