King Charles III has been partying nonstop ahead of his 75th birthday on Nov. 14.
First there was a tea party at Dumfries House, part of Charles' Ayrshire estate in Scotland, where the bulk of the guest list consisted of fellow 75-year-olds whose contributions to their community had been nominated for recognition. And then, a similarly themed group of revelers were treated to a three-tier cake with the king at Highgrove, his Gloucester home.
And, no matter what day the monarch was actually born, his official birthday bash known as Trooping the Colour occurs annually in June for thousands to enjoy, so the party automatically re-starts in seven months.
None of which is to be confused with the private celebration Charles will enjoy now with his wife, Queen Camilla—only 25 years after she wasn't invited to the 50th birthday reception Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip hosted for him and 850 of their nearest and dearest at Buckingham Palace.
Camilla has, of course, been by his side for every major milestone since. But you don't have to tell Charles that life can change in an instant, let alone over the course of a quarter-century.
And it's not as if Charles didn't know it was coming, his knowledge of how succession works being one of the stranger facts that future monarchs—including the king's firstborn son, Prince William—have to live with.
But still, day one for Charles was devoted to proving he was up to the job his mother shouldered without complaint for 70 years. And that's pretty much what every day since has been like, as well.
Not the average itinerary for one's golden years, to be sure, but he knew the road he'd been traveling his entire life was going to lead him exactly there.
In honor of his 75th birthday, take a spare moment to revisit King Charles III's journey to the throne: