The King's big food waste project to mark his milestone 75th birthday

King Charles turns 75-years-old today and to mark the occasion he's launched a new food waste project, as ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports

Most people celebrating their 75th birthday might do so on the golf course or have tea and cake with fellow pensioners.

King Charles, however, has spent his three-quarters of a century milestone on Tuesday with a characteristically busy day of engagements and a brand new campaign to cut down food waste.

The King and Queen, after a private birthday breakfast, launched the Coronation Food Project.

It is an issue which King Charles is passionate about and he wants to meet the growing demand for "food need" with the alarming rate of "food waste".

The King's new initiative will, according to Buckingham Palace, "bridge the gap" between the two issues.

At a distribution centre in Oxfordshire, the King and Queen visited a food warehouse which already meets the Coronation Food Project's goal of reusing surplus food.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrive to mark the King's 75th birthday at the official launch of The Coronation Food Project. Credit: PA

The centre redistributes food which would have gone to waste and shares it with 120 community organisations who support people in food poverty.

The King's passion for the environment and the health of the planet is well known, as he has campaigned on the issue for 50 years as the Prince of Wales.

But as Monarch, he must be extra cautious in his campaign work to ensure it does not stray into the political arena.

An example of this was a recent speech the King made in France, where he said we should go "as fast as possible" to combat climate change. This contrasted with Rishi Sunak’s sudden decision to loosen many of the carbon targets the government had set itself.

However, it will be hard to find anyone - even a politician - who disagrees with the aim of cutting food waste by distributing it to those who do not have enough to eat.

The King will also meet representatives of the UK's big supermarket chains on Tuesday who have agreed to join a new "Food Alliance" to cut the amount of food wasted. 

Buckingham Palace says the Coronation Food Project has three key aims: Saving surplus food, growing food distribution networks and deliver funding to support new food-rescue schemes.

The King has previously made a personal donation to buy commercial fridges for charities who needed them to store food before distributing it to those who need it.

The portrait of King Charles, featured in the Big Issue. Credit: Big Issue

He also appears on the front cover of the Big Issue magazine this week, where he has shared his birthday wish for "our people and planet" and wrote about his new Coronation Food Project.

Palace aides are acutely aware that in a cost of living crisis, the King must show he understands the needs of those who are struggling to make ends meet - despite his own personal wealth and privilege.

When King Charles has finished at the food centre on Tuesday, his birthday will continue with a reception at Buckingham Palace.

He is hosting nurses and midwives from across the UK as part of the NHS' own 75th anniversary celebrations.

The King was due to meet the previous Health Secretary Steve Barclay, but since Monday's reshuffle, it will be a job for his replacement, Victoria Atkins.

It's been reported the King's younger son Prince Harry may make a phone call to his "Pa" on Tuesday from his home in California, however, relations between the two remain severely strained. 

For the latest royal news, listen to our podcast, the Royal Rota...