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Charles III

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Charles III
Head of the Commonwealth
Photograph of Charles III
Formal portrait, 2019
King of the United Kingdom
Reign 8 September 2022 – present
Coronation 6 May 2023
Predecessor Elizabeth II
Heir apparent William, Prince of Wales
Born Prince Charles of Edinburgh
14 November 1948 (1948-11-14) (age 75)
Buckingham Palace, London, England
Spouses Diana Spencer
Camilla Parker Bowles
Issue William, Prince of Wales
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Full name
Charles Philip Arthur George
House Windsor
Father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Mother Elizabeth II
Signature Charles III's signature
Religion Protestant

Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the King of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms. He became king when his mother, Elizabeth II died on 8 September 2022. He was formally proclaimed King after a meeting of the Accession council on Saturday 10 September, 2022. His son, Prince William, had the title Prince of Wales given to him during a televised speech by His Majesty the King on Friday 9th September, 2022. William inherits this title from his father, because as the King of the UK, he cannot hold both titles.

Early life

With his parents and sister Anne in 1957

Charles was born at Buckingham Palace, London, on 14th November 1948. Charles is the oldest son of the then Princess Elizabeth (1926 - 2022) and Prince Philip (1921 - 2021), who later had three more children: Anne, Andrew and Edward.

At the age of 3, his grandfather (King George VI) died; this made his mother Queen Elizabeth and Charles heir to the throne.

Charles broke tradition when he began school aged 9 (rather than being homeschooled) attending Hill House Prep School, West London. He attended many different schools throughout his education, including schools in Scotland, Wales and Australia.

Prince of Wales

On 1st July 1969, Charles was invested as Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle. This title is traditionally given to male heirs to the throne. The event was watched on television by millions of people worldwide.

Between 1967 and 1970, Charles attended Cambridge University to study History, becoming the first heir to gain a University Degree. He holds an MA in History, from the University of Cambridge.

Military Life

After gaining his degree, Charles followed royal tradition by commencing training in the armed forces. Charles served in the Royal Air Force and the Navy from 1971 until 1976. He received his RAF wings after training at Cranwell RAF College; he also qualified as a helicopter pilot at the Royal Naval Air Station in Yeovilton and then joined 845 Naval Air Squadron, operating from HMS Hermes. Afterwards, Charles embarked on a Navy career, which included the guided missile destroyer, HMS Norfolk, and the frigates HMS Minerva and HMS Jupiter.

The Prince’s Trust

The Prince’s Trust is a well-known charity founded by the then Prince of Wales in 1976. The Trust was started out of Prince Charles’ own money: a £7,000 pension he obtained after working in the military; this Trust would be the first of over 25 more charities founded by Charles.

Marriages

At the age of 32, Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St.Paul’s Cathedral on 21st July 1981. Together, Diana and Charles had two children: Prince William born on 21st June 1982 and Prince Harry on 15th September 1984. Charles became the first male member of the royal family to be present at his children’s births.

In 1992, the then Prime Minister, John Major, announced that Charles and Diana would be separating. Finally, four years later, their divorce became official. Then sadly, on 31st August 1997, Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris.

Prince Charles proposed to his long-term partner, Camilla Parker-Bowles, in 2005. They married on 9th April that year in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall.

Commonwealth and Travel

During his time as Prince of Wales, Charles travelled extensively throughout the Commonwealth and wider world. In 1970, Prince Charles visited Bermuda’s Parliament to represent the Queen, later visiting Fiji for their independence celebrations. He also attended many other independence celebrations: Bahamas in 1973; Papua New Guinea in 1973; Zimbabwe in 1980; and Brunei in 1984.

In February 1981, Charles visited the United States of America and met President Reagan. The Prince also became the first member of the Royal Family to visit the Republic of Ireland in an official capacity. On 1st July 1991, Prince Charles represented the Queen at the handover of Hong Kong. As his mother’s health deteriorated due to her advancing age, Charles took over many of her duties.

Hobbies

Over the years, Charles has developed many hobbies and interests from the places he has visited over the world; he enjoys skiing and he also enjoys fishing, painting, architecture and organic farming in the countryside. After visiting Wales to learn about the people and the environment there, his interest in keeping landscapes beautiful grew, so (at the age of 21) he gave his first speech about the environment, long before climate change was a well-established topic of discussion.

Ascension

Upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on 8th September 2022, Charles became King at the age of 73; the oldest person to ascend to the British throne. On 6th May 2023, King Charles will have his official coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey, London, declaring him King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla. After 70 years as heir, he is possibly the most prepared king ever.

Health

On February 5th 2024, following recent hospital treatment for an enlarged Prostate gland, an announcement was made by Buckingham Palace, confirming that The King had been diagnosed with Cancer. It was not made clear in the statement what type of Cancer, King Charles III has, but Prostate Cancer has been ruled out. The statement went on to say that the King has been advised to cancel public engagements, and will begin a regular course of treatment for his condition immediately [1].

Titles and styles

  • 14 November 1948 – 6 February 1952: His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Edinburgh
  • 6 February 1952 – 8 September 2022: His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall
    • in Scotland: 6 February 1952 – 8 September 2022: His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay
  • 26 July 1958 – 8 September 2022: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
  • 8 September 2022 – present: His Majesty The King


References