The prince of Wales, who has been heir to the throne for 61 years, longer than anyone else in the history of the English and British monarchy, was in India on a quick tour, The Daily Telegraph reported. The visit is a preliminary to the Commonwealth heads of state meeting in Sri Lanka, where he will be filling his mother's role for the first time.
His wife, Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, marked Charles' impending birthday with an 8-minute chat with reporters Wednesday in Cochin. The duchess, a year older than her husband, joked he has now joined her in the pensioner ranks.
Last year, the couple was in New Zealand for Charles' birthday.
"He quite likes birthdays," Camilla said. "He said it was really nice in New Zealand last year when everyone gave him a bit of a party. He likes people giving him a cake, a bit of a sing song. Some of us go a different way, but he quite likes it."
The duchess said life with Charles can be "exhausting," because he is always "working, working, working." Charles had three events in Cochin on his schedule Thursday, The Telegraph said.
The Guardian gave Charles a sort of birthday un-present -- an editorial suggesting he is another argument for replacing the monarchy with a republic. The newspaper contrasted Charles's history of activism, including meetings with government ministers, with Queen Elizabeth II's "conscientious formality and her scrupulous avoidance of public controversy."