Charles at 60: Will He Ever Be King?

Oldest-ever Prince of Wales has much to celebrate on his birthday
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2008 9:11 AM CST
Britain's Prince Charles, a proponent of organic and local food, with a butcher at Clarence House, his London home, Thursday Nov. 13, 2008. The prince celebrates his 60th birthday today.   (AP Photo/Eddie Mulholland, pool)
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(Newser) – Prince Charles turns 60 today, heir to the British throne since the age of 3. Barring calamity, he will one day be king—though perhaps not for a long while, as his mother remains in good health and rejects the idea of abdication. Yet the oldest-ever Prince of Wales has something to celebrate, writes the Guardian: Once derided and even reviled, Charles has slowly, begrudgingly won his country's respect.

Charles faced widespread mockery a quarter-century ago for his promotion of organic foods and environmental protection—ideas that don't seem so ridiculous now. At 40, his marriage to Diana was breaking down, and at 50 the British tabloids cast him as the villain that produced her tragedy. But today, married to a woman he loves, Charles cuts a more serene figure—even as he waits to take the throne.