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August 18, 2002
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Prince Charles and his longtime companion Camilla Parker Bowles, currently summering in Scotland together, were all smiles when they arrived for what promised to be one of the best bashes of the year – Billy Connolly’s 60th birthday celebrations.

The hugely popular Scottish entertainer and actor threw the party - three months ahead of his actual birthday date - at his Highland mansion Candacraig House, just 16 miles away from the Royal Family's summer residence at Balmoral.

The VIP guest list included not only Charles and Camilla, but Prince Andrew and a slew of variegated celebrities such as Sir Bob Geldof, Hollywood funnymen Steve Martin and Robin Williams, actors Steve Buscemi and Ewan MacGregor, screenwriter Ian La Frenais, author of the hit TV series Auf Widersehen Pet, and chat show host Michael Parkinson.

The area was a hive of activity for the bash, with star-gazers gathering at Aberdeen airport to catch a glimpse of incoming celebrities, and helicopters standing by to shuttle guests over to Candacraig, where Billy lives with his wife Pamela Stephenson and their three children.

Although some guests said they were looking forward to seeing Billy’s home because they’d never visited it, Charles wasn’t one of them – he has been a frequent guest before, with and without his sons William and Harry.

The day after the party, royal watchers were agog to see whether Camilla would make history by accompanying the Royal Family to morning service at Crathie Kirk, the tiny church they attend when staying at Balmoral. But Prince Charles attended church with the rest of the royals only, and Camilla was not to be seen.

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Photo: ©
Charles and Camilla clearly looking forward to a great evening at Billy's birthday bash
Photo: ©
Royal watchers were agog to see if Camilla would attend church next day with the Royal Family, but she didn't. Prince Andrew, who'd also been at the party, beamed as he accompanied his mother the Queen and his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie to morning service at Crathie Kirk

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