NZ woman receives royal birthday surprise

Wellington woman Jenny Clark had a right royal surprise this year when a 60th birthday gift from Prince Charles appeared in her mail.

Ms Clark said her birthday had always been somewhat overshadowed by the prince, who was born two days before her on November 14, 1948.

"This year was a big one, our 60th, so I thought, 'Blow this. He can come to my party this time'," she told The Wellingtonian newspaper.

In jest, Ms Clark said she wrote to Prince Charles inviting him to her 60th birthday party, not imagining she would receive a reply.

"I got a nice letter, very formal on Clarence House letterhead, from one of his staff, thanking me for thinking of them. It said: "As you can imagine, Their Royal Highnesses are having their own celebrations', and thanked me for the invitation," Ms Clark said.

"That took me by surprise and I thought it was a lovely gesture."

When a courier package arrived with Buckingham Place on the envelope a couple of days later, Ms Clark said she thought her husband was playing a joke.

"But when I opened it, I found it contained a tin of Prince Charles' own shortbread, Duchy Originals, along with a handwritten letter from the prince.

"He said he knew I shared my 60th birthday with him, and that 1948 was a very good vintage.

"He sent his warmest and most heartfelt congratulations, wished me countless happy returns, and said he was sending a small token to mark the special occasion."

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