Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Charles celebrates 64th birthday

The Prince of Wales is handed a birthday card as he meets Mark Hadlow who plays Dori in the new Hobbit film in New Zealand
The Prince of Wales meets wellwishers during a walkabout along the wharf waterfront in Wellington, New Zealand
The Prince of Wales cuts his 64th birthday cake at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand

The Prince of Wales may be getting older and losing his hair, as Sir Paul McCartney famously sang, but turning 64 has left the royal in good spirits.

To the strains of the Beatles tune When I'm Sixty-Four the Prince cut his birthday cake - one of 64 waiting to be eaten - and danced to the song.

Charles celebrated his milestone with the Duchess of Cornwall in New Zealand, the final stop of their Pacific tour to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee which has already taken them to Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The Prince was joined by 64 Kiwis, aged from 18 to 101 who were also born on November 14, and Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae, 58, and Bronagh Key, 49, wife of the Prime Minister John Key, who also share their birthday with Charles.

Earlier in the day when the royal couple opened a Diamond Jubilee gift for the Queen - a visitor centre in the grounds of Wellington's Government House - Charles joked: "It's a jolly good day for Scorpios to unite."

He added: "But of course I couldn't think of a better, happier place to spend my birthday then here with all of you in New Zealand."

Charles got an unusual birthday present when he travelled to the Wellington suburb of Miramar, which has been dubbed "Wellywood" because of the movie-making companies in the area.

The Prince was given a sneak preview of costumes and props from the new blockbuster by Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson who is bringing The Hobbit, another classic children's story by JRR Tolkien, to the silver screen.

A dwarf from the movie, played by actor Mark Hadlow, offered his sword and service to the royal, much to his amazement. When the Prince came across the diminutive creature during his tour of a movie special effects company, the dwarf dropped to one knee and said in a booming voice he had been released by Jackson "for you to command as you see fit, your servant Dori".

Charles laughed and said: "This is the best birthday present I've had for a long time."

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