Charles hosts Age UK event as part of 70th birthday celebrations

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The Prince of Wales met ballroom dancer and Age UK ambassador Len Goodman at a Buckingham Palace charity event.

Charles met representatives and workers from the charity at a reception on Wednesday as part of his 70th birthday celebrations.

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman said it is important to help older people suffering from loneliness.

“Older people can be isolated and don’t see anyone and we’re trying to make the public aware that it’s not a big job to pop two doors along and make sure they’re OK,” he said.

“I’m fortunate to have a son and loving wife but I can well imagine if I didn’t have that how lonely you can get.”

Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales meets Jane Asher and Lesley Joseph (John Stillwell/PA)

“My mother was in a care home and I saw a lot of people in there who never got a visitor and that really broke my heart, that anyone could get to the later part of their lives and have nobody,” she added.

“It can be so easily overcome, if you know somebody on your street to offer to do shopping or go for a coffee.”

Games Of Thrones actor Charles Dance read the poem Time Flies by Roger McGough before Charles was presented with a plant pot sown with herb seeds symbolising ageing.

Actor Jane Asher, Age UK ambassador, said she has no plans to retire and that staying in work can help keep people active.

She added: “I will keep going until I fall off the stage.

“I feel lucky to be doing a job that I enjoy – so many people long for retirement but I can’t imagine it.”

Charity worker Ted Davies, 80, said he was based at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire while Charles was having flying lessons as a jet pilot.

“I never actually met him but I waved to him a lot of times – I would give him a thumbs up to go and he would give a thumbs up back,” he added.

“I enjoyed meeting him today and found him charming – we reminisced about those times.”

Charles also met charity worker and activist Ruth Rose, 85, who champions transgender rights after having realignment surgery at the age of 81.

She said: “I do broadcasting and write articles and act as an ambassador for older transgender people and what they can do.

“I started living as a woman eight to 10 years ago and had the operation at 81, I think I’m the oldest person in the world to have had it.”

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