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King Charles Salutes Everest Conquerers

Britain's King Charles III (L) receives Peter Hillary, son of Sir Edmund Hillary, during an audience at Buckingham Palace, in London, on June 14, 2023, to mark the seventieth anniversary of the ascent of Mount Everest.

LONDON — King Charles III on Wednesday received the sons of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa to mark the 70th anniversary of the first confirmed ascent of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. The king also received the daughter of the expedition's chief.

King Charles received Peter Hillary and Jamling Norgay, the sons of the two mountaineers who themselves have successfully scaled Everest, as well as Hunt's daughter Sue Leyden, Buckingham Palace said.

In a message read out at a Royal Geographical Society celebratory event earlier this week, Charles hailed the historic climb as "one of the greatest examples of endurance, combined with careful planning and collaboration."

He said his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, had received news of the expedition's success on the eve of her coronation in 1953.

"It has not escaped my notice that there is a wonderful symmetry in the coinciding of the 70th anniversary of that achievement with my own coronation," he added.

Known for his keen interest in the environment, Charles also noted the challenges posed by climate change, "which endangers fragile ecosystems, including the Himalayan range.

"I dearly hope we can take inspiration from the Everest Expedition of 1953 in order to work together in a similar fashion to safeguard our beautiful world for future generations," he added.

In the past seven decades, more than 6,000 climbers have climbed Everest, according to the Himalayan Database.

It remains dangerous, with more than 300 losing their lives in the same period, including 12 this year. Five others are missing, putting 2023 on course to be a record deadly year.