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he Prince of Wales can’t exactly get away with celebrating his 70th birthday in private, so apart from an opera and arts musical evening at Buckingham Palace on 25 October the Queen will throw him a special party on his actual birthday, 14 November. She is expected to pay tribute to her firstborn, acknowledging his tremendous philanthropic contribution to so many aspects of British and Commonwealth life over his seven decades.

   The event is being organised by his long-time party organiser, Michael Fawcett, through his company Premier Mode in conjunction with Buckingham Palace. Fawcett is an old hand at the palace, having started work there as a junior footman aged 17. His is the kind of success story Charles loves and earlier this year Fawcett was appointed chief executive of the new Prince’s Foundation, a charity that aims ‘to achieve His Royal Highness’s goal of creating harmonious communities through three core tiers’ – education, projects and attractions.

   The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, which wasn’t expected to be televised live, was picked up by various international media outlets, including ITV’s This Morning show and Channel 7 in Australia. Full coverage of the celebrations, including the wedding ceremony, will appear in our December issue.

   Meanwhile, another royal wedding, that of Lady Gabriella Windsor, the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Mr Thomas Kingston, is being planned for Spring 2019. Ella and Tom have been an item for more than three years and he proposed to her on Sark, one of the Channel Islands, in August.

   The Queen has always been fond of Ella and her elder brother Freddie, who is married to actress Sophie Winkleman, so she will certainly attend the wedding if she can.

   Ella, who is 37 and an expert Spanish linguist, works as a senior director for Branding Latin America, a brand-positioning platform that specialises in the region. She is also a board director for the Playing for Change Foundation, an arts education body, and a freelance writer too. Forty-year-old Tom, whose father is a Queen’s Counsel, once worked for the Foreign Office and spent time in Baghdad but is now in frontier market investment as a director of Devonport Capital.

   The Queen, who returned to London at the beginning of last month, had to survive much of her Balmoral sojourn without the haunting sound of her piper, who usually plays for her every morning at 9am. The tradition dates back to the days of Queen Victoria but for the first time since 1843, apart from the war years, the monarch had no piper because Pipe Major Scott Methven had to suddenly relinquish his position, which he had held since 2015, for family reasons. It is said her piper travels with her even more than her husband and he normally plays under her window, whether she is at Buckingham Palace, Windsor, Holyroodhouse or Balmoral.

   The Queen, always compassionate to her staff, who she regards as part of her extended family, agreed to let him leave his post straight away. It was a typically kind gesture from Her Majesty and now she is back from Scotland a suitable replacement has been found.

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