Britain's Prince Charles is leading ceremonies marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, one of English literature's most famous and celebrated novelists.
The prince will lay a wreath at Dickens' grave Tuesday at Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner, where the writer was buried in 1870 alongside Geoffrey Chaucer, Tennyson, Samuel Johnson and other literary greats.
Actor Ralph Fiennes is among celebrities who will give readings at the special service. Dickens' biographer, Clair Tomalin, and many of the writer's descendants also will attend.
More events are being held in the southern city of Portsmouth, where Dickens was born on February 7, 1812.
Dickens' difficult early life led him to campaign for social reform in Victorian England through his writing. His novels, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, have been read by millions of people worldwide. In championing the problems of the poor and underprivileged, his stories about social inequality, greed and corrupt politicians remain relevant today.