- King Charles, who turns 74 today, is said to be one of the most successful living artists in the UK.
- His paintings were first exhibited in Windsor Castle in 1977.
- The king favors outdoor scenes and only paints in watercolor.
King Charles started painting in the 1970s after he was inspired by Robert Waddell, his art master at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. The school has a 200-acre woodland campus, and it is within walking distance of the beaches of the Moray Firth.
He works exclusively in watercolor, and his paintings were first exhibited in Windsor Castle in 1977. They were displayed alongside works from Queen Victoria, herself an avid watercolorist, and the Duke of Edinburgh, a painter and designer, whose sketches helped create the stained-glass windows in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle.
Castle Mey is located in Caithness, on the north coast of Scotland. It was the home of Queen Elizabeth II's mother, the Queen Mother, with whom King Charles was particularly close.
He enjoys painting at a pond in Helmsdale, Scotland, where he also fishes, according to The Telegraph.
The king, who has donated all profits from his artwork to The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund, prefers to paint outdoor scenes, favoring mountains, streams, and the surrounding areas of the Queen's estate at Balmoral.
Balmoral Castle is located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and was occupied by Queen Elizabeth II until her death. The home was first purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852.
Queen Elizabeth spent her summer holidays at Balmoral, and it was believed to be her favorite residence.
"I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands," said Princess Eugenie in the documentary "Our Queen at Ninety."
He was taught by some of Britain's most famous artists, including John Napper, John Ward, Hugh Casson, Edward Seago, and Derek Hill, according to The Telegraph.
Following his first exhibition, King Charles continued to show his work, which became hugely popular in the UK and abroad. Though he modestly refers to himself as an "enthusiastic amateur," he made an estimated £2 million from the sales of copies of his watercolors from 1997 to 2016, making him one of the country's best-selling living artists, The Daily Telegraph reported in 2016.
His work has been shown by the Royal Collection Trust. He also had a large exhibition at Buckingham Palace for his 70th birthday.
In 1980, he and Hugh Maxwell Casson published a children's book, "The Old Man of Lochnagar," which is about an old, cave-dwelling man who meets a Scoticus, a bubble-blowing god of the sea.
In 2018, he praised "unsung" work by nurses and highlighted the work of those who treated victims of the Grenfell Fire, in which 71 people died when a residential building caught fire.
In 1989, the former prince and his wife, Princess Diana, visited Hong Kong to open the Cultural Center, a $600 million complex on the waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui.
In 1986, King Charles and Princess Diana visited Kyoto, where they visited temples, Zen gardens, and partook in a tea ceremony, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Klosters in Switzerland is King Charles' favorite ski resort, according to the Daily Mail.
In 2018, he celebrated 40 years of skiing at Klosters with a private party. In 1988, he narrowly escaped an avalanche there. The Daily Mail reported him saying: "I've never forgotten the sound of it. The whole mountain apparently exploding outwards … vast clouds of snow. I thought to myself My God, the horror …"
In 1994, the Royal Mail honored the king by putting his watercolors on its stamps, including this painting of Arkle mountain in Sutherland, Scotland.
Arkle is located in the far northwest corner of the Scottish Highlands. Much of the mountain is made up of Cambrian quartzite, which gives it a glistening appearance when seen up close.
The royal family has a home in Dersingham where they often spend Christmas.