King Charles III was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948.
He may be the last ruler of England not to be born in a hospital. Both of his sons Prince William and Prince Harry were born in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London. Prince George, who is currently second in line to the throne, was also born at St Mary’s Hospital.
Charles became heir apparent to the throne at just three years old.
Queen Elizabeth was crowned monarch on February 6, 1952, after the death of her father King George VI. She was just 25 years old at the time. Her eldest child, 4-year-old Charles, then became heir to the throne.
Charles ascended to the throne on September 8, 2022, following the death of his mother. He was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, a position which he held for 70 years. At the age of 73, Charles is also the oldest person to assume the British throne.
Despite being royalty, Charles didn’t have an easy childhood and was picked on at school for his appearance.
Charles was the first royal heir apparent to be educated outside of the palace. The young prince attended Hill House School in London, where he mingled with other students. He later transferred to Cheam School in Hampshire, a boarding school that his father Prince Philip had attended.
According to Vanity Fair, Charles was homesick during his time away at school and sent letters home on a weekly basis. He was also reportedly bullied at school by other children who taunted him for his protruding ears and weight. Sensitive and not particularly gifted athletically, Charles preferred his own company and loved to paint and draw.
Some of Charles’ favorite foods include plums, boiled eggs, and lamb with wild mushroom risotto.
A former royal chef told Delish that the royal’s typical breakfast includes plums from his own garden and granola. He also shared that one of Charles’ favorite meals is lamb with mushroom risotto.
Charles only met Princess Diana 13 times before they were wed in 1989.
According to Town and Country, many of Charles’ and Diana’s first conversations took place over the phone. Less than a year after the couple began dating and after only 13 in-person meetings, then-Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement.
On July 29, 1981, Charles and Diana were married in a spectacular televised ceremony. It was then called the “wedding of the century.” Roughly 750 million people in 74 different countries tuned in to watch the couple tie the knot, in addition to the 600,000 spectators who lined the streets of London.
Charles broke royal precedent by being present at the births of his two children.
Princess Diana was the first royal to give birth in a hospital — it was custom for members of the royal family to give birth at the palace. Charles was also present at the birth of both of his sons, which broke royal precedent.
Diana and Charles reportedly disagreed on what their first son should be named. According to Diana herself in Andrew Morton’s book, “Diana: Her True Story,” Charles originally wanted William to be named Arthur.
Charles met his future wife Camilla at a polo match at Windsor Castle in 1970.
Despite Camilla and Charles’ blossoming romance, things fizzled out after he was deployed in the Royal Navy in 1972. He then began courting the future Princess Diana, who he would marry in July 1981.
Charles is both the godfather and stepfather of Camilla and her ex-husband Andrew Parker Bowles’ first son, Tom Parker Bowles.
While Charles was serving in the Royal Navy, Camilla became engaged to an Army cavalry officer, Andrew Parker Bowles. They married in 1973, but the couple remained good friends with the prince.
Camilla and Charles remained connected over the years, perhaps resulting in the dissolution of both of their marriages. Charles and Camilla officially married after years of courtship on April 5, 2002.
King Charles hasn’t been immune to scandal. His affair with Camilla Parker Bowles made national headlines in November 1992.
As Insider previously reported, an “intimate transcript of a 1989 phone call” between Charles and Camilla was released to the public in November 1992. The call was scandalous and sexual in nature, with Charles reportedly joking he would like to be transformed into a pair of Parker Bowles’ “knickers” or her tampon.
“I’ll just live inside your trousers or something,” he said. “It would be much easier.”
In August 1996, Charles and Diana officially filed for divorce after 15 years of marriage.
Following the death of Princess Diana, Charles traveled to Paris to bring her body back to England.
In the early hours of August 31, 1997, Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were involved in a car crash that killed them both and their driver Henri Paul in Paris, France.
According to the Telegraph, Fayed and Paul were both killed on impact, while the Princess of Wales, then just 36, died due to injuries sustained in the crash at a French hospital a few hours later. King Charles (then Prince Charles) traveled to Paris immediately to retrieve his ex-wife’s body and bring her back to the UK.
Charles also reportedly halted plans to formally announce Camilla as his partner.
Charles is a staunch environmentalist and recently took on a new role as park ranger of Windsor Great Park.
Charles has been open about his love of gardening and nature throughout his life.
“I just come and talk to the plants, really – very important to talk to them, they respond I find,” the then-prince said in a 1986 interview. Charles also recently praised his youngest son Prince Harry’s efforts on climate-change awareness and his charity Archewell’s commitment to being net zero.
Charles has now taken on a role previously held by his father Prince Philip and is now the ranger of Windsor Great Park, one of England’s oldest landed estates.