Charles, Prince of Wales: A Birthday Souvenir Album

Release date: 
Thursday, 17 April 2008

Royal Collection Publications, May 2008
Price £9.99 hardback
200 x 200mm, 120 pages, 270 illustrations
ISBN 978 1 905686 04 9

To celebrate the 60th birthday of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in November this year, the Royal Collection will publish an official ‘biography in pictures’ to accompany an exhibition opening at Windsor Castle on 16 May.

The book traces The Prince’s official and family life through material selected from the Royal Archives, the Royal Photograph Collection and His Royal Highness’s own collection and archive.  It covers The Prince’s childhood, time at school and university, his Investiture as The Prince of Wales, marriage to Lady Diana Spencer, the births of Princes William and Harry, and his marriage to the Duchess of Cornwall.

From early childhood are a number of photographs of the Prince at play with his sister, Princess Anne.
In one they are busily cleaning a life raft on HMY Britannia while on a tour of the Commonwealth countries with their parents in 1953-4.  It was Britannia’s maiden voyage, and the Royal Family was briefly joined on board by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.  A charming letter from the five-year-old Prince asks his grandmother if she enjoyed her visit.  Also included in the book are some of the Prince’s favourite toys – a trolley of wooden bricks decorated with the words ‘Prince Charles Express’ and a Sunbeam Coupé pedal-car, which he drove up and down the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle.

Today The Prince’s many roles in support of The Queen include his Chairmanship of the Royal Collection Trust. Woven through the book are some of His Royal Highness’s favourite items from the Collection,  accompanied  by  his  very  personal  responses  to  the  works  of  art,  including  paintings by Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Winterhalter, Landseer and Zoffany. The Prince’s love of art, which was encouraged by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, has extended to an enjoyment of painting in watercolour, and some of His Royal Highness’s own watercolours and sketches are reproduced in the album.  In 1985 The Prince reintroduced the practice of taking an artist on overseas tours, and a number of the resulting works are included in the book.

Charles, Prince of Wales: A Birthday Souvenir Album will be available from the Royal Collection shops at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse and all good bookshops, price £9.99 (hardback).  HRH The Prince of Wales: An Exhibition to celebrate his Sixtieth Birthday is at Windsor Castle, 16 May 2008 – 22 February 2009.

Further information and photographs are available from Public Relations and Marketing, the Royal Collection, telephone: +44 (0)20 7839 1377, e-mail: