Prince Charles becomes pensioner with eye on the throne

LONDON, November 11, 2013 (AFP) – Britain’s heir to the throne Prince Charles can draw his state pension from Thursday when he turns 65 — despite having yet to start the job he has eyed for a lifetime. But when most Britons his age will be settling into their retirement, Charles can be expected to take over more and more duties from his mother.

At least when his time finally comes, he will have a firm understanding of the job.

“Charles has had 40 years to go round the world, to meet world leaders,” Junor told AFP.

“He’s incredibly well-prepared.” Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son has endured the longest wait in history by a British heir, and it hasn’t been easy.

But as his 87-year-old mother cuts back on her workload, Charles is increasingly taking centre stage.

Fresh from a tour of India, he will take the queen’s place Friday at the Commonwealth heads of government summit in Sri Lanka — an event the monarch, in power since 1952, has only ever missed once.

Twenty years ago Charles was battling calls to give up his right to be king in the wake of lurid revelations of his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles and split from his glamorous first wife, Diana.

But Charles has