Prince Charles the conductor

Prince Charles may conduct the orchestra at his 60th birthday party later this year.

The future king – who reaches the milestone in November – has been asked to participate with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music, at the bash.

Although, Charles refused to play an instrument he still might take charge of all the musicians.

Peter said: “I did ask if he would like to perform in it, but he joked that he gave up the cello when he joined the Navy. Charles loves conducting and would find it amusing to conduct it. I think it will all depend on how he is feeling nearer the time.”

It would not be the first time Charles has taken control of the baton.

David Whelton, managing director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, of which Charles is patron, recalled: “It all started when we did an event at Buckingham Palace. The orchestra played some Strauss waltzes in the ballroom, conducted by our concertmaster, Christopher Warren-Green. It was going so well that Chris turned round and said, ‘Sir, would you like to take over?’

“It started off with waltzes and polkas, but he has subsequently conducted the orchestra in much more complex Strauss at Highgrove and St James’s Palace. He treats it very seriously and takes a lot of advice and lessons from Chris.”