King celebrates his birthday a day early – with host of famous faces

UK

The King has celebrated his 75th birthday a day early – with a host of famous faces.

The monarch was joined in the grounds of his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, The Repair Shop host Jay Blades and singer Leee John from the 1980s group Imagination.

There were also community stalwarts who are turning 75 this year too, and representatives from organisations marking the same milestone, from the NHS to members of the Windrush generation.

A local choir sang Happy Birthday at the end of the cream tea party and the King was cheered and applauded after cutting a slice of his three-tiered Victoria sponge cake.

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The monarch holds a knife in the air after cutting his birthday cake

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The King was joined by The Repair Shop host Jay Blades

Blades, an ambassador for the King’s Foundation, paid tribute to the monarch – who featured on an episode of The Repair Shop – saying: “He’s the new King but he’s also about community, he’s always been about community, always been forward thinking about what we’re doing about the environment but also including community members.

“So to have this group of people here, that’s just unbelievable – that’s part of him, that’s what he does.”

Read more from Sky News:
King on Big Issue cover to mark 75th birthday
Emotional monarch unveils statues of late parents
Boos and policies condemned – King’s Speech can’t have been easy

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A choir sang Happy Birthday to the King

At the event, Singer Leee John joined his 96-year-old mother Jessie Stephens, a leading figure in Britain’s Caribbean community, at the Highgrove celebration.

She was one of the Windrush generation chosen to have their portrait painted and exhibited nationally to mark their contribution to British society.

The paintings were commissioned by the King when he was the Prince of Wales.

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The King shakes hands with Jessie Stephens

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King unveils statue of late Queen Elizabeth

The King, who was born on 14 November 1948, will be spend his birthday on Tuesday with the Queen launching the Coronation Food Project, which aims to bridge the gap between food waste and food need.

He will also host a Buckingham Palace reception to celebrate nurses and midwives as part of the NHS 75 celebrations.

Gun salutes will also be fired across London and the nation to mark the King’s milestone.

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