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Paul O’Grady leads tributes to Camilla ahead of 70th birthday

A private party for the Duchess is being held at Highgrove, before her birthday on Monday.

The Duchess of Cornwall will celebrate her 70th birthday on Monday and has been receiving plaudits ahead of the big day.

TV presenter Paul O’Grady has praised his friend Camilla for embracing her position as a member of the royal family late in life.

Later on Saturday, a birthday party for the Duchess will be staged at the Prince’s Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, with a large gathering expected at the private event.

The Duchess of Cornwall speaks to guests during a reception to mark her 70th birthday at Clarence House (Tim P Whitby/PA)

It is thought family members – from her son Tom Parker Bowles and daughter Laura Lopes to the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who are playing polo in Gloucestershire – are likely to be among the guests.

When asked about the Duchess becoming a member of the monarchy late in life, O’Grady, speaking during a Clarence House birthday garden party on Thursday, replied: “It’s taken a lot of guts, you know, it really has.”

He added, laughing: “She could have sat there watching daytime telly.”

The Blind Date presenter said: “But it’s like she’s embraced it, that’s it, she’s really embraced it and gone for it and all her charity work. She’s so easy to talk to and she’s passionate about animals which is something else I really respect.”

Charles and Camilla married in 2005 (PA)

Over the years, friends of Camilla have spoken of her dry wit, her love of her family and her devotion to husband Charles who she married in 2005.

She endured scathing criticism for being the long-term love of the heir to the throne, but friends said she laughed off unflattering photographs, using her humour as a buffer.

An affectionate grandmother with five grandchildren, she is also an avid reader, and loves food, TV, films and listening to the radio – especially The Archers.

Now as she approaches her seventh decade, she continues to be adept at switching from glamorous high profile royal occasions, like the recent state banquet for the King of Spain, and kicking off her high heels for her much loved wellies.

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