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Royal photographer reveals the story behind Prince Charles' 70th birthday portraits

Royal photographer reveals the story behind Prince Charles' 70th birthday portraits

(L-R bottom row) The royals - Prince William of Cambridge, Prince Charles of Wales, Camilla of Wales, Kate Middleton of Cambridge, Prince Andrew of York, Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York - attended the wedding in full force in their fashionable best.

"It was particularly special to capture such an informal and relaxed family portrait over a fun afternoon in the gardens of Clarence House", Getty photographer Chris Jackson said of the shots.

The images, taken in the grounds of Clarence House, show Charles and Camilla sitting on a bench with grandchildren Prince George, five, and Princess Charlotte, three, either side of them.

Prince Charles turns 70 on Wednesday.

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The bells at Westminster Abbey will be ringing out on Wednesday to mark the milestone birthday. "Give it a rest", one wrote, while another highlighted there was also only one photo of the prince with his grandfather.

Outlining how a "drive for 'efficiency" has led to negative changes to Britain's countryside, leaving "farms amalgamated, hedges torn out, ponds and wetlands drained, [and] river dredged", he noted the social change that has seen the closure of village shops, rural railways lines and pubs. "Because when he's there, he's brilliant. but we need him there as much as possible".

Her words, in a family not known for their gushing sentiments in public, were remarkable, coming at a dinner in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace thrown in the Prince's honour. The couple exchanged rings while looking each other in the eyes. "So the question is how can we ensure that those same life-enhancing, timeless opportunities are there when future generations look for them?" "He's reached his seventieth year, it's a ideal time to consolidate a little bit because as most families would do, you are anxious about having them around and making sure their health's OK, and he's the fittest man I know but equally I want him to be fit until he's 95".

"I have now lived long enough to see it all beginning to change - but at what cost?"