1. ITV Report

Stephen Fry and Judi Dench among entertainers at Charles’s birthday gala

The Prince of Wales talks to Stephen Fry as he attends a gala concert at Buckingham Palace (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA) Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh all took to the stage at a 70th birthday celebration for the Prince of Wales.

The event, held in Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening, was to recognise Charles’s support for the arts.

Fry thanked Charles, who is patron of more than 70 artistic organisations, for the support he has given to the industry, as well as offering some advice.

The gala concert took place at Buckingham Palace Credit: Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA

“The autumn of our years can be most fruitful,” he told the prince.

He added: “Everyone who works in the field of arts in this country knows how extremely and freakishly lucky we are that our Prince of Wales has such a genuine knowledge of, unquenchable thirst for, and understanding of the role and value of the arts in our public and our personal lives.”

At a time when the country is questioning its place in the world “more quizzically and uncertainly than we have for some time”, the strength of our arts should remain a “source of pride”, Fry added.

Around 300 guests were entertained with performances from the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh on stage during the show Credit: Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA

Excerpts of Shakespeare plays were performed for Charles and the guests, with Dame Judi playing Titania in a piece from Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Sir Kenneth delivered the opening prologue from Henry V at the beginning of the gala show.

Actor Simon Beale and singer Sir Bryn Terfel also performed.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the gala concert at Buckingham Palace Credit: Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA

After the show, which was held in the Palace’s ballroom, Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met with the performers.

Organisations which Charles is a patron of include the Royal College of Music, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Television Society.

The Prince of Wales will turn 70 on November 14.