We pay tribute to No1 royal snapper Arthur Edwards on his 80th birthday

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LEGENDARY Sun photographer Arthur Edwards is 80 today . . . and has no plans to retire after 45 years taking pictures of the Royal Family.

He took his first royal photo in 1975, a shot of Prince Charles at Windsor, and has since visited 120 countries in the course of his work, which has been admired by millions.

Arthur doing what he does best, in Deptford, South East London, in 1979
Arthur and Charles at the prince’s 70th birthday party in 2017

King Arthur has just one big ambition left: To cover King Charles’s coronation.

Taking pictures for Britain’s No1 paper for nearly five decades means Arthur has become a favourite with three generations of the Royal Family.

And many famous faces, friends and colleagues send fond birthday wishes. From royals to footballers – and a clutch of Prime Ministers – messages have poured in.

Boris Johnson said: “Many happy returns, Arthur. You are a living legend of Fleet Street.”

Lady Diana, as she was known in 1980, made headlines with this snap of her see-through dress

Princess Diana often stared right into the camera

The Duchess of York, a big fan, said: “I will never forget the way he has always protected me. When Arthur is around, I know he’ll have my back.”

Tony Blair praised him, saying: “Arthur has been an extraordinary feature of British journalism for so many years. He is a true gentleman and a pleasure with work with.”

Father-of-three Arthur says: “I’m excited about reaching 80 because I have had a wonderful life and never thought I would get to this age.

“My father died at 50 and my mother not long after that. I figured maybe the long-life gene wasn’t in our family.

The People’s Princess in a red bikini on the King of Spain’s yacht, The ­Fortuna in 1990

The first royal wedding Arthur covered was at a ­register office in Vienna in June 1978 when Prince Michael of Kent married divorcée Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz

Prince Charles with a false nose in Klosters in 1979

Princess Diana on her Landmine crusade in Tusla, Bosnia in July 1997

Prince Charles and Princess Diana on tour in Livorno Italy in 1985

“But when I reached 65, I was asked to stay on for five more years – and nobody’s told me to stop!

“I have the best job in the world and no plans to retire. When you enjoy what you do, it’s not work.”

Many happy returns, Arthur, from all of us at HOAR and our readers.

Arthur took this picture of Harry and Meghan at the opening of the Nelson Mandela ­exhibition at London’s Royal Festival Hall just two months after their 2018 wedding

Wills and Kate Katherine flew to the Pacific island of Tuvalu to represent the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year, 2012

Fergie with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie on a picnic in Tuscany, Italy, in October 1997

This photo of the Prince of Wales in a feather headdress meeting an indigenous tribe won Arthur an award

Arthur recalls how Prince Charles one saw a painting of a nude woman and said: ‘You should put that on Page 3’

Arthur has photographed the Queen hundreds of times

Arthur took his first royal photo in 1975

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