How King Charles' First Birthday On The Throne Is Being Celebrated

After the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, a nation mourned its beloved monarch, who sat on the throne for 70 years, per BBC. Now, Great Britain has a reason to celebrate once more.

King Charles III, who ascended the throne after his mother's death, is celebrating his first birthday as king today. He turns 74. He will celebrate — not at Buckingham Palace — but perhaps at his permanent residence, Clarence House, where he is hoped to make a subtle appearance to those who have come to send their birthday wishes (via CNN). Previous monarchs have often opted to "officially" celebrate their birthdays during warmer months when the day falls on a cooler month. For example, Queen Elizabeth II would celebrate her day of birth, April 21, in the summer. King Charles III is expected to follow suit. Official or not, Buckingham Palace has laid out a birthday itinerary full of festivities. Here is what the throne had planned.

Meaningful gestures

It is a rite of passage at every birthday party to sing some rendition of "Happy Birthday" — this is how the royals commemorated Lilibet's first birthday and how they wished Meghan Markle happy birthday. Buckingham Palace planned not just one, but two renditions of the classic song to play for the king. Per CNN, the band of the Household Cavalry first played the tune during the Changing of the Guards, a video of which was filmed and posted on Twitter. The celebratory mood of the Changing of the Guards was depicted in another video. Then, a 41-gun salute was performed from Green Park, and another rendition of "Happy Birthday" was performed by the Brand of Scots Guards. Following this, another 62-gun salute from the Tower of London honored the king.

Another meaningful gesture of the day was a photograph released from Buckingham Palace, which captures King Charles III leaning against an old oak tree in Windsor Great Park. The photograph was accompanied by an announcement that King Charles III would become the Ranger of Windsor Park, "one of the country's oldest landed estates," spanning 5,000 acres, per the BBC. The role had once also been taken by his father, Prince Philip, and dates back to the 16th century. The palace stated in its announcement: "His Majesty's passion and commitment to the natural world will be invaluable as we seek to become a centre of excellence for environmental best practice, preserving and enhancing the Great Park for generations to come."