Britain's Prince Charles has paid tribute to CHARLES DICKENS.

The royal described the author - who wrote a number of classic books such as 'Great Expectations' and 'A Tale of Two Cities' - as "one of the greatest writers of the English language" earlier today (07.02.12) on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Charles was joined by his wife Camilla, The Duchess Of Cornwall, to pay tribute to Dickens in a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.

In a message from the prince read out at an event at Dickens' birthplace in Portsmouth, Hampshire, to celebrate the novelist's birth, he said: "My wife and I would like to send our special greetings from Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey to the Lord Mayor and all the assembled guests at St Mary's Church in Portsmouth as we simultaneously celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of your most famous son, who was born 200 years ago at Mile End Terrace and later baptised in St Mary's Church.

"Despite the many years that have passed, Charles Dickens remains one of the greatest writers of the English language, who used his creative genius to campaign passionately for social Justice."