King Charles III celebrates his birthday: what's in store for him?

King Charles III (74) is celebrating his first birthday as a monarch - having made a seemingly effortless transition from heir apparent to regent.

King Charles III celebrates his birthday: what's in store for him?

King Charles III (74) is celebrating his first birthday as a monarch - having made a seemingly effortless transition from heir apparent to regent. The now 74-year-old was well prepared. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022), had become increasingly withdrawn before her death on September 8, and had given her firstborn significant responsibilities for years.

King Charles and his royal wife Camilla (75) can therefore not only celebrate their 74th birthday on November 14, but also that they - despite some egg throwers - are shown a lot of goodwill.

Will Netflix change that? The streaming service has just released the fifth season of the royal series "The Crown". It revolves around the life of Queen Elizabeth II and her family. The new episodes shed light on the royal family in the 1990s - and with it some of the worst chapters in Charles' life. His marriage to Princess Diana (1961-1997) broke up - with loud noise, tell-all book, scandalous interview and overheard oaths of love between Charles and his then lover Camilla. Incidentally, Prince Charles also spins intrigues against his mother in "The Crown".

It's all just entertainment and fiction, it's often said soothingly when criticism is leveled at "The Crown". This certainly does not apply to the autobiography of Charles' son Prince Harry (38). Will the book become a real problem for the king?

In July 2021, Prince Harry announced that he was working on his memoir. The publisher Penguin Random House described the work as "intimate and coming from the heart". Harry promised the book would be an "accurate and absolutely truthful" account of his life. He writes about his childhood, growing up as a royal, his military service, his marriage to Duchess Meghan (41) and his experiences as a father.

Harry and Meghan had stepped down as senior members of the royal family in 2020 and moved to California. It became clear that they do not shy away from speaking critically about Harry's family when they appeared in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey (68) in March 2021. In it they raised, among other things, racism allegations against the royals. Harry could now drop further bombshells in his autobiography, which may also bring his father into discredit again.

The book was originally scheduled for release in fall 2022. There has been much speculation in the British tabloids that the memoirs may have contributed to tensions between Prince Harry and his brother, heir apparent Prince William (40), and his father Charles. When Queen Elizabeth II died in September, royal insiders claimed Harry revised the book at the last minute, fearing some of what he wrote would come off as "insensitive". According to insiders from the publishing industry interviewed by the "New York Times", Harry allegedly got "cold feet" several times.

The work is now due to appear on January 10th. An anonymous source warned in The Sun: "The book is a lot worse than people think." Even the title suggests what's coming: "Spare" is the original (German title: "Reserve"), an allusion to "an heir and a spare" ("The Heir and the Replacement").

Not only "the heir" Prince William and King Charles should be nervous about the book. Harry's memoirs could also do great damage to the image of the king's wife Camilla. Some royal experts even see the entire monarchy in danger should Harry reveal explosive information about his family. After all, the royal family lives from the respect and goodwill of the people.

Since not even the royals were supposedly able to take a look at the book in advance, you have to wait behind palace walls. Preparations are also underway there for the coronation of Charles III. at full speed. The British will get an extra public holiday next year on May 8th. The celebrations themselves will take place on May 6th at Westminster Abbey in London.

"The coronation ceremony will reflect the monarch's role today and look to the future, while being rooted in long-standing traditions and celebrations," the palace said. Whether Harry and Meghan will be present at the coronation is not yet known.