Charles – The eldest son of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch has ascended to the throne in place of his late mother.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh had their first child, King Charles III. After his mother died on September 8, Charles ascended to the throne of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms.
Charles, 73, was born in 1948 at Buckingham Palace in London. He was only three years old when his mother ascended to the throne as queen after the death of her father, King George VI, and he is the first heir to see his mother crowned, according to a biography on the royal family’s official website.
Queen Elizabeth II, in uniform as Colonel Chief of the Grenadier Guards, waves from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, June 1953, with Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Charles went to school instead of receiving tutoring at the family’s palace home. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge in 1970, making him the first heir apparent to do so. He later received a Master of Arts degree from Cambridge.
After spending a term at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth, where he learned Welsh, Elizabeth made her eldest son the Prince of Wales, among other royal titles, in 1969. Charles was elected to the House of Lords, the United Kingdom’s upper house of parliament, two years later.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Charles spent the next few years serving in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.
Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, who became Princess of Wales, in 1981. William and Harry, the couple’s two sons, are second and sixth in line to the throne, respectively.
“Prince of Wales,” by Jonathan Dimbleby, a biography authorized by Charles in 1994, revealed that he felt pressured by his father to marry Diana and that he was never in love with her. Charles began an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986, according to the book. They had met several years before at a polo match.
According to the royal family’s official website, Charles and Diana agreed to divorce in late 1992, and their marriage was dissolved about four years later.
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Diana’s suspicion and jealousy over Charles’s clandestine romance, as well as how she came to consider Camilla as the “third person” in their relationship, were revealed in a 1992 biography on the princess of Wales, “Diana: Her True Story,” in which she collaborated with the author, Andrew Morton.
Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997. Both the driver and Diana’s boyfriend, Egyptian socialite Dodi Fayed, who was a passenger in the car, died. Just minutes before the driver lost control and crashed, a swarm of paparazzi on motorcycles had been chasing them. An investigation later revealed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs at the time of the crash, and that the paparazzi were not to blame.
Charles married Camilla, who became the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005. According to the royal family’s official website, the couple lives together in Clarence House, a British royal residence on The Mall in London. They are expected to relocate to Buckingham Palace now that he is king.
Charles and Camilla, 75, are also expected to be coronated side by side, in accordance with Elizabeth’s request that Camilla become queen consort – the title given to a reigning king’s wife.