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Queen's touching tribute to son Charles at his 70th birthday party

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
Charles and Camilla attended a tea party before the evening party (PA)

The Queen delivered a touching speech to her son Charles as she hosted a lavish birthday party for his 70th at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday night.

Her Majesty described The Prince as “passionate”, “creative” and as “a duchy original,” as she raised a toast to her heir in front of family, friends and members of European royalty.

She also paid tribute to Charles’ passion for the causes he cares about the most, namely conservation and the arts, and mentioned his wife Camilla by name rather than title.

“It is a privilege for any mother to be able to propose a toast to her son on his 70th birthday,” The Queen said. 

“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.

Kate wows in a pink gown and statement earrings (Getty)

“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.

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“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.”

Charles was joined by his closest family members at the bash, including his sons William and Harry and their wives Kate and Meghan.

His daughter-in-laws were spotted arriving at the palace, both sporting some jaw-dropping earrings and what appeared to be off-the-shoulder gowns.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive (PA)

Charles’ wife Camilla looked elegant in a navy satin dress by Bruce Oldfield and a diamond necklace.

Earlier in the day, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended a tea party at Spencer House to celebrate with a group of 70 septuagenarians. 

Clutching a balloon and a gift bag, he told the press as he arrived: “How am I feeling? Older, older.

“It’s rather like indigestion, many happy returns are not quite the same thing as you get older.”

This week Clarence House also released two new family portraits of Charles and Camilla with his sons William and Harry, their wives Kate and Meghan and his three grandchildren, George, Charlotte and Louis.