Prince Charles celebrates his birthday today. The future King of England is now 71 years old. You’ll recall, it was around now, last year, as he approached his milestone 70th birthday, when all the mess started about his two sons. He covered Vanity Fair and the feature story included all kinds of tea about the temperament of Princes William and Harry in comparison to his. Then there was the biography, written by Robert Jobson, with even more gossip about the Cambridges and the Sussexes, stories about temper tantrums and tears, all meant to present Charles as a stable, steady elder statesman with much more maturity than his more popular heirs. And from there it’s been one drama after another. It’s been a while since anyone’s called for the crown to skip Charles and land on Will’s head, hasn’t it? Coincidence or conspiracy? 

To honour Charles’s birthday, the royal family social media accounts have all posted tributes to him. House Cambridge put up a shot of Charles sharing moment with Prince Louis in Kate’s arms (a photo we’ve seen before), the first in a carousel of three that also includes a rather unflattering image of Charles mid-joke at a state dinner as William smiles behind him, and then a picture of Charles flanked by William and Harry which some might see as a throwback to happier times: 


A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

Over at House Sussex, not surprisingly, as Royal Meghan understands the power of fresh and exclusive, especially on Instagram, they’ve chosen a black and white photo, previously unseen from Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor’s christening, of Harry holding the baby as Charles looks on: 


A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

And then there’s Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who also went with a baby photo for his birthday post for Prince Charles – a shot of him in his older brother’s arms: 


A post shared by The Duke of York (@hrhthedukeofyork) on

As we know, Charles and Andrew have infamously had their differences. Charles is not interested in funding Andrew and when Charles is king, when the Queen is no longer around to protect Andrew, when Charles will likely be tightening the inner royal circle even more, and in particular the royal budget, there are a lot of questions about where that will leave his brother – a brother who, well, hasn’t exactly been a star for the family, especially not this year, what with his friendship with the dead rapist pedophile Jeffrey Epstein under the microscope and being accused of participating in sex trafficking and having to wave his fat fingers in the air to defend himself.

If ever there was a time for Prince Andrew to suck up to Prince Charles, it would be now. And if ever there was a time for Prince Andrew to gain favour with Charles and William, to stay close to the power source, it would be now. Happy Birthday, big bro!