Charles ascends to the throne with Elizabeth’s death.
Charles III is the longest-serving heir-apparent in British history.
Aged 73, he has been heir to the throne since the age of just three, when his mother became Queen Elizabeth II.
Following are key dates in his life:
November 14, 1948: His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of Edinburgh is born in Buckingham Palace, second in line to the throne.
December 15, 1948: Charles is christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the palace’s Music Room.
February 6, 1952: Death of Charles’s grandfather, King George VI, and ascent of Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign’s eldest son, Charles, aged just three, becomes heir to the throne.
June 2, 1953: Charles becomes the first heir to the throne to attend his mother’s coronation.
July 26, 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 archeology and anthropology, then history.
July 1, 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 university — the first heir to the throne to do so.
In the navy
September 1971: The future king joins the Royal Navy, a path also taken by his father. 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 pounds to set up The Prince’s Trust charity.
Loss, love and children
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.
Divorce and tragedy
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.
Camilla and grandchildren
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.
November 14: Charles turns 70.
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.
November 30, 2021: Charles attends a ceremony in Barbados as the Caribbean islandbecomes a republic.
June 2022: Charles’ role as future monarch becomes increasingly prominent as he deputises for the ailing queen at several of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
September 8 2022: The queen dies in Balmoral, Scotland at the age of 96. Charles ascends to the throne, becoming King Charles III, and his wife Camilla is named queen consort.
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