PICTURES

Britain's Prince Charles becomes a pensioner

Prince Charles attends the installation of Ephraim Mirvis as chief rabbi, at St John's Wood Synagogue in London, Sept 1, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn
Prince Charles attends the installation of Ephraim Mirvis as chief rabbi, at St John's Wood Synagogue in London, Sept 1, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
Prince Charles attends a convocation where he was bestowed with an honorary degree in forestry at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, India, Thursday, Nov 7, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65
Prince Charles attends a convocation where he was bestowed with an honorary degree in forestry at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, India, Thursday, Nov 7, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- PHOTO: AP 
Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, holds her son Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, following his christening on Dec 15, 1948. Seated at right is her grandmother Queen Mary, the mother of her father, King George VI  (background). Pr
Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, holds her son Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, following his christening on Dec 15, 1948. Seated at right is her grandmother Queen Mary, the mother of her father, King George VI  (background). Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- FILE PHOTO: AP 
Prince Charles poses for a photo dressed in his investiture regalia in 1969. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- FILE PHO
Prince Charles poses for a photo dressed in his investiture regalia in 1969. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- FILE PHOTO: AP 
Prince Charles and Princess Diana, look their separate ways, during a memorial service on their tour of South Korea on Dec 20, 1992. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he stil
Prince Charles and Princess Diana, look their separate ways, during a memorial service on their tour of South Korea on Dec 20, 1992. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- FILE PHOTO: AP
Prince Charles and Lady Diana pose following the announcement of their engagement on  Feb 24, 1981 . Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he
Prince Charles and Lady Diana pose following the announcement of their engagement on  Feb 24, 1981 . Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do.  -- FILE PHOTO: AP
Prince Charles poses with Princess Diana and their newborn son Prince William, as they leave St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London on June 22, 1982. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14,
Prince Charles poses with Princess Diana and their newborn son Prince William, as they leave St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London on June 22, 1982. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do.  -- FILE PHOTO: AP
Prince Charles and this two sons Harry (centre) and William wait in front of Westminster Abbey in London after the funeral ceremony of Princess Diana on Sept 6, 1997. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on T
Prince Charles and this two sons Harry (centre) and William wait in front of Westminster Abbey in London after the funeral ceremony of Princess Diana on Sept 6, 1997. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do.  -- FILE PHOTO: AP
Prince Charles, in the uniform of the Colonel in Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales, salutes at the Regiment's Colour presentation, at Cardiff Castle in Wales on June 11, 1969. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he t
Prince Charles, in the uniform of the Colonel in Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales, salutes at the Regiment's Colour presentation, at Cardiff Castle in Wales on June 11, 1969. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do.  -- FILE PHOTO: AP
Prince Charles arrives at St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday, July 22, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursda
Prince Charles arrives at St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday, July 22, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- FILE PHOTO: AP
Prince Charles smiles as he interacts with officials during a visit to a shipyard to see India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi, India, Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension whe
Prince Charles smiles as he interacts with officials during a visit to a shipyard to see India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi, India, Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- PHOTO:AP 
Prince Charles reacts to a comment as he meets guests during a reception in Clarence House, central London, on Oct 24, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 today, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't start
Prince Charles reacts to a comment as he meets guests during a reception in Clarence House, central London, on Oct 24, 2013. Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 today, Nov 14, 2013, but he still hasn't started the job he was born to do. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Prince Charles officially became a pensioner as he celebrated his 65th birthday on Thursday, another landmark in his patient wait for the grand role he was born to play.

The heir apparent, Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son, will mark the occasion in India, where he is currently touring with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, before flying to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo in the evening.

Prince Charles is set to visit a museum and a synagogue in Cochin, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, where he will receive a traditional blessing.

Following his arrival in Colombo, Prince Charles will attend a reception at the city's British High Commission, where a spokesman for the prince said there was "likely to be some singing and maybe even a cake".

In an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph, Camilla revealed that her husband "likes people giving him a cake" and enjoyed last year's celebrations in New Zealand "when everyone gave him a bit of a party." But she added he was "hopeless" to buy presents for, explaining that he composes detailed lists "so you get it exactly right." The celebrations began last week when he was presented with a homemade chocolate cake, decorated with the number 65, by schoolchildren from Govindpuri, one of Delhi's largest slums.

The prince and his wife on Wednesday enjoyed a rest day on their nine-day Indian tour, giving them time for private celebrations.

The couple relaxed at a new-age health spa near Cochin, which boasts of being "paradise untouched by time".

The five-star Kumarakom Lake Resort specialises in Ayurveda, a traditional therapy which derives from the country's Vedic culture.

But the future king will be thrown into the limelight on Friday when he takes the queen's place at the Commonwealth heads of government summit in Colombo.

The queen, 87, has only missed one such summit since coming to the throne in 1952, signalling an increase in the amount of power being handed to the prince.

He will meet with Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is under scrutiny by the international community over alleged war crimes committed by the country's military during their war against Tamil rebels.

Prince Charles is not expected to address the claims during his three-day visit, but British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday promised to "shine a spotlight" on Sri Lanka's rights record.

The prince is now entitled to a £110.15 ($176.70, 131 euros) per week state-pension, but will donate the fee to a charity for the elderly, in keeping with his role as a philanthropist.

"I feel more than anything else it's my duty to worry about everybody and their lives in this country, to try and find a way of improving things," he told Time magazine recently.

Prince Charles is set to be the oldest-ever person to ascend the British throne - and with the queen still in apparently rude health, it could be some time yet.

But royal expert Jonathan Dimbleby insisted that the prince was happy to wait.

"You might think that... this will be an especially poignant day," he wrote in Thursday's Guardian. "After all, he has yet to realise his royal inheritance or his constitutional raison d'etre. But you would be wrong.

"He has always known that he could become king 'this year, next year, sometime...'"