During his current royal tour of Australia, Prince Charles was treated to an early 70th birthday party hosted by the Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey and at the bash, the 69-year-old royal candidly revealed his true feelings about turning the big 7-0 in November. “I do know only too well the strange feeling of disbelief that this is actually happening. Never again for instance will it be possible to squeeze into a pair of budgie smugglers… I don’t know about you, but now bits of me keep falling off,” he joked. “Don’t worry, they keep telling me, you have brilliant genes, but honestly I can’t even get into them either!”
If you’re wondering what “budgie smugglers” are, you’re certainly not alone. Apparently, it’s an Australian term used to refer to skimpy men’s swim trumks — basically a speedo! During his early birthday party, Charles also had the opportunity to catch up with some of his closest friends while visiting Down Under.
Charles chatting with singer Katie at the party.
Australian singer Katie Noonan — who beautifully performed at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony just a few days before — was in attendance, and the Prince told her his favorite part of the ceremony’s musical performances was the didgeridoo orchestral piece. “It was amazing talking to him,” Katie told The Australian Women’s Weekly. “My [mom] met his dad when she performed in The Tempest as an opera singer 36 years ago. It’s nice that I now get to meet Prince Philip’s son.”
Michael Collins Persse, 86 — who was Charles’ history tutor in Australia when the royal attended Geelong Grammar — also spent the evening with the prince. Michael has stayed in touch with the future King over the years and said that whenever they meet “we just pick up the same conversation we’ve been having for 52 years. He is a such a special person.” He also noted that Charles was fascinated with history and was a very diligent deep-thinking student. “He gives inspiration to those who know him,” he added.
Charles’ former French teacher, Dr. Janet West, 82, was also thrilled to be catching up with her former student. “He spoke beautiful French,” she mused. “He had perfect pronounciation. My husband taught him Latin and Greek but his favorite thing to do was to go off trout fishing. He’d go on his own, well with one of his police officers. He also liked going skiing on Mount Buller with the other boys.” It sounds like Prince Charles had a wonderful early birthday bash — we can’t wait for the real party when he turns 70 in the fall!
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This post originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.