King Charles III, the 62nd British monarch to serve in the past 1,200 years, ascended the throne on September 8, 2022, following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. At 73, the oldest heir in British history was officially proclaimed king two days later in a ceremony at St. James’s Palace near Buckingham Palace, making him the oldest person to assume the title.
The youth of King Charles III
Born on November 14, 1948 at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was the first child of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip and grandson of King George VI. On February 6, 1952, at the age of 3, he became heir apparent when his mother ascended the throne.
At the age of 4, Charles was depicted sitting between the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret at Elizabeth’s coronation ceremony and went on to spend his life in the public eye.
According to Royal.uk, the official website of the British royal family, Charles’ parents chose to send him to school, making him the first heir to receive an outside education, rather than from private tutors. He attended several schools, including a private boarding school in Scotland and two terms as an exchange student in Melbourne.
Charles was also the first heir to the British crown to earn a bachelor’s degree, attending Trinity College, University of Cambridge from 1967 to 1970. He studied archaeology, anthropology and, eventually, history. It was at this time, in 1969, that at the age of 20, he was crowned Prince of Wales.
Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfathers, Charles served in the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976 where he flew helicopters, training first as a Royal Navy pilot. Air Force and eventually serving as commanding officer of the minesweeper HMS Bronington.
Marriage and Divorce
Charles began dating Lady Diana Spencer in 1980, when she was 19 and he was 31. Charles had met Diana three years earlier while dating her older sister, Sarah. In February 1981, their engagement was announced, causing a media frenzy around their relationship. When asked during a TV interview if they were in love, Diana replied, “Of course”, while Charles replied, “Whatever ‘in love’ means.”
They married on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in a ceremony attended by a record 750 million viewers worldwide. The day has been declared a national holiday in Britain. Diana became the first English woman since 1660 to marry an heir to the throne.
The couple’s first son, Prince William, was born on June 21, 1982, and Prince Harry was born two years later on September 15, 1984.
Beloved by the public for her beauty, her grace and her humanitarian work which included working with HIV/AIDS and leprosy patients and advocating for mine clearance and homelessness causes, Diana had the support of the public. when the couple separated in 1992. This became especially true after Charles’ admission that he had embarked on a longtime affair with Camilla Parker Bowles during an interview in 1994. “There were three of us in this marriage,” Diana later replied. Charles and Diana divorced in 1996. Tragically, on August 31, 1997, Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris, along with her partner, Dodi Al-Fayed and her driver, Henri Paul.
In 2004, Charles and Parker Bowles announced their engagement and the following year married Parker Bowles who received the title of Duchess of Cornwall.
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Ascension and coronation
When Queen Elizabeth died aged 96 after serving as Britain’s longest-serving monarch on September 8, 2022, Charles immediately became king, with an official proclamation on September 10.
“My mother set an example of love for life and selfless service,” he told the Assembly Council. “Even as we mourn, we give thanks for this most faithful life. I am deeply aware of this great heritage and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now been handed down to me.
A coronation date has yet to be announced, but is likely to take place in 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London, where he will become the 40th monarch crowned there in the 900-year ceremony held. at this historic location. As king, Charles is at the head of the Commonwealth, which comprises 54 countries, including 14, plus the United Kingdom, of which he is also the head of state.
With Charles’s ascension, his son William inherited his father’s former title, Prince of Wales, and became heir to the throne. Camilla’s title was changed to Queen Consort. Charles has five grandchildren: Prince George (the closest to the crown after William), Princess Charlotte and Prince Louie, all born to Prince William and Kate Middleton; and Archie and Lilibet, children of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Causes and interests
As a young man, Charles competed in polo, played around the world, was a competitive jockey and was often photographed surfing, skiing and playing other sports, earning him the nickname of “man of action”.
According to Royal.uk, he has helped set up more than 20 charities, including The Prince’s Trust, The Prince’s Foundation and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. Causes he has publicly supported include those related to the environment, sustainability and climate change, healthcare and alternative medicine, education, and the arts.
“King Charles III, the new monarch”, September 19, 2022, BBC News.
“After a lifetime of preparation, Charles takes the throne”, September 9, 2022, Associated Press.
“Key Dates in the Life of Charles, Britain’s New King”, September 8, 2022, Associated Press.
“The King”, Royal.uk
“Charles III, the new British monarch in conflict”, September 8, 2022, Reuters.