Love, loss and more: The many ups and downs in the life of King Charles III

As Charles is officially proclaimed monarch, we take a look at his life – from the Queen’s coronation to his marriage to Diana, from the divorce and tragedy of the princess’ death to finding joy with Camilla and finally becoming king

FP Staff September 10, 2022 08:57:06 IST
Love, loss and more: The many ups and downs in the life of King Charles III

Britain's King Charles III, looks at flowers outside Buckingham Palace following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, in London. AP

London: Even before Charles ascended to the thrown, he has made it to history books. Britain’s new king is the longest-serving heir-apparent in the country’s history. At 73, he will be the oldest monarch to be coronated, which again is months away.

He has been heir to the throne since the age of just three when his mother became Queen Elizabeth II.

As he is officially proclaimed monarch on Saturday, we take a look at his life.

The early years

14 November 1948: His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of Edinburgh is born in Buckingham Palace, second in line to the throne.

15 December 1948: Charles is christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the palace’s Music Room.

6 February 1952: The death of Charles’s grandfather, King George VI, and the ascent of Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign’s eldest son, Charles, aged just three, becomes heir to the throne.

2 June 1953: Charles becomes the first heir to the throne to attend his mother’s coronation.

26 July 1958: He becomes the 21st Prince of Wales, aged nine.

April 1962: Charles starts at Gordonstoun, a boarding school in northeast Scotland, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, attended.

Gown and crown

1967: Charles leaves Gordonstoun and goes to Trinity College at Cambridge University to study archaeology and anthropology, then history.

1 July 1969: He is invested as Prince of Wales in a televised ceremony at Caernarfon Castle, after spending a term at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, learning Welsh.

1970: Charles graduates from the university, the first heir to the throne to do so.

Time in the navy

September 1971: The future king joins the Royal Navy, a path also taken by his father. He serves on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates.

1974: Already a trained jet pilot, he qualifies as a helicopter pilot and joins an air squadron operating from the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

1976: Charles commands the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington before leaving the Royal Navy. He uses his navy severance pay of £7,400 to set up The Prince’s Trust charity.

Also read: Long Live the King: How different will Charles be from his mother Queen Elizabeth II?

Loss, love and children

27 August 1979: Charles’s great-uncle and closest confidant Lord Louis Mountbatten is assassinated by the Irish Republican Army.

29 July 1981: The prince marries Lady Diana Spencer at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral in a fairytale wedding watched by an estimated 750 million people worldwide. She becomes Princess of Wales.

21 June 1982: The couple’s first son, Prince William, is born, ensuring the succession. Prince Harry follows on 15 September 1984.

10 March 1988: Charles escapes uninjured in an avalanche while skiing in Klosters, Switzerland, but one of his friends is killed and another injured.

With inputs from AFP

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