WINDSOR, UK.-To celebrate the 60th birthday of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 2008, a special exhibition will be shown at Windsor Castle, the royal home where The Prince spent much of his childhood. Photographs from the Royal Photograph Collection will document major public and family events in His Royal Highnesss life his Investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, marriage to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, the births of Princes William and Harry, and his marriage to the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005, while works of art and memorabilia selected from the Royal Collection and from The Princes own personal archive will reflect many of His Royal Highnesss lifelong interests. The exhibition will be on view 16 May 2008 22 February 2009.
Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948, the eldest son of Her Majesty The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was christened in the Music Room at the Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher, on 15 December. To mark the occasion, his great grandmother, Queen Mary, gave him a magnificent 18th-century silver-gilt cup that had been a christening present from George III to his godson in 1780. The cup will be shown with other gifts for the young Prince, including a silver carousel made for the christening cake by wounded ex-service men.
Among early family photographs is a series showing The Prince at play at Balmoral with his sister, Princess Anne. A small volume of first editions of Beatrix Potters works, originally given to His Royal Highnesss grandmother when Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother), was read to The Prince in the nursery. At the age of four The Prince attended his mothers Coronation, and his special hand-painted invitation will be shown in the exhibition.
In 1956 he enrolled at Hill House School in West London and ten months later became a boarder at Cheam, the preparatory school in Berkshire. The exhibition will include The Princes geometry set and History Notebook from 1960 with an account of the Battle of Hastings.
Family holidays on the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, The Queens private residence, instilled in The Prince a love of Scotland, the countryside and the natural environment. While at Gordonstoun school in Scotland, The Prince took part in The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, as documented by his record book and certificate in the exhibition. A photograph from 1965 shows His Royal Highness in the title role of Shakespeares Macbeth. The Princes continuing interest in the works of Shakespeare is reflected in his role today as President of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Although His Royal Highness has carried out public duties since 1964, his Investiture as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle on 1 July 1969 marked the start of his continuous public service in support of The Queen. He is the 21st holder of the title in the last 700 years. His spectacular gold Investiture coronet, designed by Louis Osman, will be shown with The Princes text for his Address to the People of Wales, written and delivered in Welsh.
After leaving university, where he read Archaeology and Anthropology, and then History, The Prince of Wales followed a military career. The exhibition includes photographs and memorabilia from these years. In 1971 he learnt to fly jet aircraft and obtained his RAF wings at RAF Cranwell. The exhibition includes His Royal Highnesss Flying Log Book and a photograph showing The Prince on a solo flight with his flying instructor Squadron Leader (now Sir Richard) Johns. Later that year The Prince entered the Royal Navy, serving on a guided-missile destroyer and two frigates. He qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1974 and then joined 845 Naval Air Squadron on Commando flying duties, operating from the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. In early 1976 he took command of his own ship, the coastal mine-hunter HMS Bronington.
His Royal Highness is Patron or President of nearly 400 charitable organisations, including the seventeen charities that he has personally founded. The Princes Trust, established in 1976, is dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK, a subject particularly close to his heart. Items relating to The Princes Trust, and examples of the work of students from The Princes Drawing School and The Princes School for Traditional Arts, will be shown in the exhibition.
Several of His Royal Highnesss personal interests will be represented in the exhibition, including the environment and built heritage, traditional crafts, gardening and organic farming. Among the many heritage projects with which The Prince has been closely involved is the Mary Rose Trust. In 1975 The Prince spent 47 minutes under water examining the wreck of the Tudor warship and during a dive in 1980 he recovered a wooden pulley block from the Mary Rose, which is included in the exhibition. His Royal Highness has been a keen painter in watercolours for many years and paints whenever his schedule allows. A small group of his watercolours and preparatory studies will be shown in the exhibition.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the book Charles, Prince of Wales: A Birthday Souvenir Album, (Royal Collection Publications), £9.99 hardback.