Little-Known Facts About King Charles III: Biography, Personal Life, Royal Family and Career
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King Charles III is the first child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Upon the death of his mother on Sept. 8, Charles succeeded her as king of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.
King Charles III’s Early Life
|In this Nov. 14, 1952 file photo, Prince Charles, right, sits with his sister, Princess Anne, as they pose for a photo, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.Photo AP|
At 9.14 p.m. on November 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace, The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, welcomed their eldest child. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, blessed Charles Philip Arthur George on December 15 in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace.
When King George VI passed away on February 6, 1952, at the age of 56, the Prince's mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was 25. Prince Charles, the Sovereign's eldest son, was made the heir apparent at the age of three upon The Queen's accession to the throne.
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King Charles III’s Education
|Charles walks in Cambridge in 1967 when he began his term at Trinity College. Photo Getty|
The Prince should attend school, rather than receiving tutoring at the Palace, according to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. On November 7, 1956, The Prince enrolled at Hill House School in West London.
The young Prince transferred to Cheam School, a prep school in Berkshire, after ten months. While the Prince was studying at Cheam in 1958, the Queen gave him the titles of Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. Nine was the Prince's age.
The Duke of Edinburgh had attended Gordonstoun, a school in eastern Scotland close to Elgin, where The Prince started his first term in April 1962.
In 1966, the Prince of Wales attended Timbertop, a remote outpost of Melbourne, Australia's Geelong Church of England Grammar School, for two terms as an exchange student.
The Prince of Wales was chosen to serve as school guardian (head boy) when he returned to Gordonstoun for his final year. The Prince, who had already completed six O Levels, also took A Levels. In July 1967, he received a grade of B in history and a grade of C in French as well as a distinction on an optional special history paper.
King Charles III In The Navy
The future king enlists in the Royal Navy in September 1971, following in his father's footsteps. serves on two frigates as well as the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk.
He obtains his helicopter pilot license in 1974 and joins an air squadron that is based out of the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. He is already a trained jet pilot.
Before leaving the Royal Navy in 1976, Charles is in command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington. He establishes The Prince's Trust charity using the £7,400 in severance pay from the navy.
King Charles III: Loss, Love and Children
|Photo Royal UK|
August 27, 1979: Charles's great-uncle and closest confidant Lord Louis Mountbatten is assassinated by the Irish Republican Army.
July 29, 1981: The prince marries Lady Diana Spencer at London's St. Paul's Cathedral in a fairy-tale wedding watched by an estimated 750 million people worldwide. She becomes Princess of Wales.
June 21, 1982: The couple's first son, Prince William, is born, ensuring the succession. Prince Harry follows on September 15, 1984.
March 10, 1988: Charles escapes uninjured in an avalanche while skiing in Klosters, Switzerland, but one of his friends is killed and another injured.
|The Princess of Wales stands next to her husband, Charles the Prince of Wales, during a function held in their honor February 11, 1987 in Bonn, Germany. Photo CBS News|
King Charles III: Divorce and Tragedy
|Charles and William, pictured with Prince Harry in 1997, came together personally and professionally when Harry stepped back from his royal duties in 2020. Photo Getty|
December 9, 1992: Charles and Diana announce their separation. The royal family is rocked by revelations about the couple's marriage and infidelities. They formally divorce on August 28, 1996.
August 31, 1997: Diana, her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul are killed in a high-speed car crash in Paris as they try to flee paparazzi photographers.
Charles repatriates her body and insists she be granted full royal honours in death.
September 6, 1997: Charles accompanies William, Harry and their uncle, Charles Spencer, on foot behind her coffin to the funeral.
April 9, 2005: Charles marries his longtime mistress Camilla Parker Bowles at Windsor Guildhall in a civil ceremony. She becomes the Duchess of Cornwall.
April 29, 2011: William marries Kate Middleton, a commoner, at Westminster Abbey.
July 22, 2013: Charles becomes a grandfather after the birth of William and Kate's son, Prince George. Princess Charlotte follows in 2015, then Prince Louis, in 2018.
May 19, 2018: Charles walks Meghan Markle down the aisle at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, as she marries his youngest son, Prince Harry.
May 6, 2019: Charles becomes a grandfather again, as Meghan gives birth to Archie. Lilibet Diana follows in 2021.
March 7, 2021: Harry hits out at his father in a television interview from the United States, where he moved after quitting royal life in 2020.
He accuses Charles of being suffocated by tradition and of cutting him off financially after the move, although royal officials later maintain he "allocated a substantial sum" to the couple to help them with the transition.
The women he has shared his public life with have played a significant role in shaping Charles' life in many ways. Finding a wife and bearing children was the boy-who-would-be-king's most important responsibility from an early age.
Although there were hints of the problems that would arise right away, Lady Diana Spencer seemed to be the ideal partner. He was 32, she was 20, and their wedding made international headlines.
Princes William and Harry were dutifully followed by two sons.
But it soon became clear to everyone that the royal couple wasn't content with each other. The tabloids dubbed them "The Glums" as more and more images of them revealed them to be distant.
Prince Charles frequently unintentionally portrayed himself as the villain for a voracious tabloid press in their highly public divorce drama.
Diana responded, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," when asked if she believed Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles' longtime confidante and love interest, had contributed to their breakup.
What is Charles' lLgacy as Prince of Wales?
Prince Charles has served as the Prince of Wales for the longest period of time in history, matching the reign of the queen, who ruled Britain for the longest period of time. But Bedell Smith says it's not just that.
"His record as Prince of Wales, in its breadth and depth, will be his real legacy," says Bedell Smith. He was an activist in a way that no other heir to the throne has ever been, making him the most inventive Prince of Wales ever.
The motivation behind much of what he did, such as his philanthropy, entrepreneurial endeavors, the institutions and traditions he helped to maintain, shows "his wish to prove himself worthy of being king," according to Bedell Smith.
As Prince of Wales, he had the freedom to engage in all of these activities, and although occasionally he did so, he was not subject to the same restrictions as the queen.
Prince William and Catherine Title Change
The Duke of Cambridge, also known as Prince William, was made the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge following the passing of the Queen. He received the dukedom as Charles's eldest son and will now be in charge of the Duchy of Cornwall's estate.
The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge will be the title given to his wife Catherine.
Though it is not a given, they will eventually be referred to as the Prince and Princess of Wales.
What are King Charles' Plans?
In order to "slim down" the monarchy and lower the multi-million pound annual cost of the royal show, Charles has made no secret of his desire to reduce the number of senior royals in government employment. There have been rumors that he might turn private royal residences like Scotland's Balmoral Castle into museums or make Buckingham Palace, which is currently only open to paying tourists during the summer.
Bedell Smith predicts that although he won't give up on his many causes (organic farming, urban planning, and combating climate change, to name a few), he will initially be preoccupied with mundane tasks like attending his weekly meetings with the prime minister and reading through the numerous red boxes of official documents he must read every day.
Will Camilla be Queen?
Camilla's future title had been a contentious issue, and in the early years of her marriage to Charles it had been expected she would be Princess Consort once he took the throne.
But the Queen herself ended the debate in February 2022 when she said it was her "sincere wish" that Camilla be Queen Consort.
At the time of her marriage to Charles there had been debate about whether Camilla should get the title of Princess of Wales.
But it was decided it would be inappropriate to give her a title so closely associated with Charles's first wife, the late Princess Diana, so she became Duchess of Cornwall instead.
Can Charles toe the Line as a 'Constitutional' King?
The majority of the rumors surrounding the new king have centered on whether Charles would transgress those restrictions by speaking out about political and other topics of public discourse in a way his mother was careful to avoid.
According to Clive Irving, a longtime British journalist and the author of "The Last Queen," a biography of Charles' mother that raises the issue of whether the monarchy will continue after her, as quoted by YSA today, Charles was not always as meticulous as his mother was.
The difference between her and Charles, according to Irving, is that Charles can't help himself. "She has always been neutral and apolitical; no one has ever called her out on her political views." "We don't know anything about her opinions, but we do know a great deal about Charles' opinions. It's very challenging to assume the role of (the queen's) kind of monarch.
However, according to British journalist and royal commentator Anna Pasternak, Charles has inherited valuable traits from his mother, including a strong sense of duty and a deep loyalty to the monarchy. Pasternak claims that he is more passionate than she is because she was direct and emotionless.
With a few notable exceptions, the majority of kings' wives have adopted the title Queen Consort, which is the traditional title for the spouse of a reigning monarch.
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