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he Prince of Wales will celebrate his 68th birthday on 14 November but prefers not to have any fuss made about it. It was recently discovered that his future coronation is codenamed ‘Operation Golden Orb’ and that the event has been under review for more than ten years. The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, who is in charge of all ceremonial occasions, is chairman of the group; he is also responsible for the planning of the Queen’s funeral (‘London Bridge’) and the Duke of Edinburgh’s (‘Forth Bridge’).

   This month the Queen and Prince Philip celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary and appear healthy and happy at their impressive ages.

   Prince Charles represented his mother at the state funeral in Jerusalem of the former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres. The Prince, who last visited Israel in 1995 for Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral, joined a multitude of world leaders including King Felipe of Spain, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and the American, French and German presidents.

   As a mark of respect Charles wore his custom-made blue velvet Jewish skullcap, the yarmulke, embroidered with Prince of Wales feathers, while other world leaders made do with standard-issue black silk versions.

   That afternoon, after a meeting with the President of Israel, the Prince visited the grave of his paternal grandmother Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece, in the convent church of St Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.

   When she died in 1969 Princess Alice was first interred at St George’s Chapel (she was born at Windsor Castle), but in 1988 her remains were transferred to the Jerusalem crypt in accordance with her wishes. In 1994 Prince Philip and his sister Sophie attended a ceremony in Israel to honour their mother’s valour during the Nazi occupation of Greece, when she hid members of a Jewish family in her Athens residence.

   The Princess Royal, normally so healthy, had a rare bout of sickness at the end of the summer while staying at Balmoral and was subsequently forced to cancel a trip to Botswana and Mozambique to allow her to recover from a severe chest infection. The Princess, who undertakes more than 500 engagements a year, had just been to Russia to mark the 75th anniversary of the first Arctic Convoy, and prior to that was in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games. She has amazing energy and rarely takes things easy, as it is not in her nature.

   On 4 November Netflix launches the first season of The Crown, a £100million 60-episode, six-series dramatisation by Peter Morgan of the Queen’s life from the time of her wedding in 1947. TV dramas, even one as expensive as this, can be tricky and seldom stand up to historical scrutiny, but having had good reviews this one will hopefully be enjoyed by many.

   Claire Foy, who played Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall, is the young Queen Elizabeth II struggling with her lack of a formal education and being thrown into such a role in the male-dominated world of the Fifties. Please let us know what you think.

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