Dame Judi Dench, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Stephen Fry Take to the Stage for Prince Charles' 70th Birthday

Evening Standard, 26 October 2018
By Patrick Grafton-Green

Dame Judi Dench, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Stephen Fry entertained hundreds of guests at a celebration for the Prince of Wales' 70th birthday.

The event, held in Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening, was to recognise Charles's support for the arts.

Fry thanked Charles, who is patron of more than 70 artistic organisations, for the support he has given to the industry, as well as offering some advice.

"The autumn of our years can be most fruitful," he told the prince.

He added: "Everyone who works in the field of arts in this country knows how extremely and freakishly lucky we are that our Prince of Wales has such a genuine knowledge of, unquenchable thirst for, and understanding of the role and value of the arts in our public and our personal lives."

At a time when the country is questioning its place in the world "more quizzically and uncertainly than we have for some time", the strength of our arts should remain a "source of pride", Fry added.

Around 300 guests watched performances from the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Excerpts of Shakespeare plays were performed for Charles and the guests, with Dame Judy playing Titania in a piece from 'Midsummer Night's Dream'.

Sir Kenneth delivered the opening prologue from 'Henry V' at the beginning of the gala show.

Actor Simon Beale and singer Sir Bryn Terfel also performed.

After the show, which was held in the Palace's ballroom, Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met performers.

Organisations which Charles is a patron of include the Royal College of Music, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Television Society

The Prince of Wales will turn 70 on November 14.

Back to Articles Listing | Back to the Compendium