Tomorrow, the Prince of Wales turns 60.
There has been some speculation the the Queen may pass the crown onto Prince William upon her death, bypassing Charles altogether, but these rumours have almost been blasted out of the water by the Queen's comments about her eldest son, delivering an endorsement of his fitness to reign.
Our pride in Charles: Queen marks son's 60th birthday with glowing tribute to his fitness to reign
By Rebecca English
13th November 2008
The Queen has delivered an unequivocal endorsement of her son's fitness to succeed her as monarch.
She made the unprecedented public tribute on the eve of Prince Charles's 60th birthday.
The Queen, 82, was speaking as she and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the headquarters of the Prince's Trust in London, the charity Prince Charles set up more than 30 years ago to give disadvantaged young people a start in life.
Mother's praise: The Queen visits The Prince's Trust in central London where she says she is 'enormously proud' of her son's (right) contribution to the charity
She rarely talks about her family in public and has not enjoyed the closest of relationships with the prince in the past - so her words yesterday were doubly moving.
'As we celebrate the many extraordinary achievements of the Prince's Trust today, so too I should like briefly to reflect on the role of the Prince of Wales, who has given enduring inspiration to it,' she said.
'In public life, highlighting the success of individuals can be a hazardous and invidious occupation.
'But as the Prince of Wales, our son, approaches his own 60th birthday, may I say that we are both enormously proud to have been reminded here today of his personal contribution to this remarkable organisation.
Prince Charles pictured in 1965 with his mother and brothers Edward and Andrew will celebrate his 60th on Friday
'Countless lives have been transformed by the Prince's Trust to which the Prince of Wales has brought vision and conviction.'
Significantly, she added: 'For Prince Philip and me there can be no greater pleasure or comfort than to know that into his care are safely entrusted the guiding principles of public service and duty to others.'
Her words ride a coach and horses through the arguments of those who claim the monarch has considered passing the crown directly to her grandson William.
In a BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary shown last night, Charles - who turns 60 tomorrow - repaid the compliment, describing his mother as a force of 'continuity'.
'My mother provides this remarkable degree of continuity which matters a great deal,' he said.
'In an age that is so full of constitutional change it is useful to have someone to hang on to.'
Last night's documentary, entitled Charles: A Passionate Prince, was the culmination of a year of filming, following the future king around on his daily round of engagements and while he relaxed at home at Highgrove.
The picture that emerges is of a man who passionately believes he is in a unique position to bring people together to tackle the issues of our time such as young opportunity, crime, farming and the environment.
Charles, who has long been accused of flouting the British constitution by dabbling in politics, however, insisted that he would continue to irritate his critics and 'meddle' in public affairs when he becomes king.
Birthday treat: Prince Charles shares a laugh with comedy legend Robin Williams at the We Are Not Amused comedy gala in London
'I don't call it meddling - I call it mobilising . . . but you can call it meddling if you want to,' he laughed.
'Perhaps [though] that after all this, eventually people might realise some of things I have been trying to do aren't all that mad.'
Also last night, Prince Charles had one of this birthday treats at the We Are Most Amused comedy gala in London.
The special event for his 60th featured comedy legends such as Robin Williams, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and Joan Rivers.
The show, which will be broadcast on ITV on Saturday night, went down a storm with the prince, his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, and son Prince Harry.
Charles couldn't hide his mirth as comedian Jon Culshaw congratulated him on 'finally qualifying for the government's winter fuel allowance'.
He also guffawed as Williams asked whether Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was the 'love child of Ronald Reagan and Posh Spice'.
Well said, Ma'am. Our royals are a beacon of light in these troubled times, I say!
- bob roberts, worcester, uk
i agree with the queen, but i have not been led by the nose by the media for the past decade. camilla does not have to become queen, it is said she doesn't even want to. and if you do not agree that the duke of windsor should have abdicated, because of his marriage, then you do not agree that charles should. if you agree that charles should do this, then you are implying that the duke of windsor was right to do so. you can't have it all ways. it was right, or it was wrong, if it was wrong, then it is still wrong, now, and charles is fit to rule.
- patricia maughan, england.,
Glad he is somebodys favourite, he aint mine. Time he had a proper job instead of "hanging around" waiting for you know what and I hope she lives for ever. God save our Queen but not her pride and joy.
- Durham DUCK, Durham ENGLAND
I would suggest that Durham Duck do a little research before he makes such comments! Prince Charles probably does more in a day than he does in a month, he helps youngsters, businesses and many others, he is a very hard working, like his mother, greatly respected by most intelligent people in all walks of life. As for the comments of Robert Morgan, well, more ignorance there I fear, how can people be so blind and follow the misinformation put out by some sections of the media, once we are rid of Brown and his cronies, we will return Britain to it's rightful place in the world and win back the respect due, a great part of that will be done by Prince Charles!
- Nigel, Somerset