Charles III

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King Charles III

King of England
Assumed office 
September 8, 2022
Preceded by Queen Elizabeth II

In office
April 9, 2021 – September 8, 2022
Preceded by Prince Philip

Born Charles Philip Arthur George
November 14, 1948 (age 74)
Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Diana (m. 1981, div. 1996)

Camilla Parker Bowles (m. 2005)

King Charles III, (November 14, 1948 at Buckingham Palace in London) is the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and other Commonwealth realms. He is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, and spent most of his life as heir apparent to the British throne (and to the thrones of the 14 other Commonwealth realms). Prior to becoming king, he held the titles Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, and Baron of Renfrew.

Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, and the couple had two children, Prince William, now Prince of Wales), in 1982, and Prince Henry (called Harry), now Duke of Sussex, in 1984. Charles and Diana were divorced in 1996, and the then-Prince was married to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. He has five grandchildren, three through Prince William: Prince George of Wales (born 2013), Princess Charlotte of Wales (born 2015), and Prince Louis of Wales (born 2018). And Prince Harry: Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (born 2019) and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor (born 2021).

Early Life

Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor was born at Buckingham Palace in London, England, on November 14, 1948, during the reign of his grandfather, King George VI. With his mother, then Princess Elizabeth, already George VI's heir, Charles was automatically second-in-line to the throne, being the first son born to his parents. Upon the king's death in February 1952, Charles' mother became Queen Elizabeth II, and he became the heir apparent.

Charles was initially privately educated in the Palace, later attending London's preparatory Hill House School and, as an adolescent, Gordonstoun School in Scotland, where his father, Prince Philip, had previously been a pupil. Having wanted to attend Eton College instead, Charles disparaged Gordonstoun afterwards, but later in life described it in more favorable terms. In 1967, he entered the University of Cambridge, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree; Charles was the first heir apparent in Britain to graduate from university.

Prince of Wales

Shortly before his 21st birthday in 1969, Charles was crowned as Prince of Wales by his mother at Caernarfon Castle (though he had actually held the title since 1958). From this point on, he began undertaking public official duties associated with the monarchy, regularly attending Welsh national events such as the opening of its legislature, the Senedd, and representing his mother on visits of various Commonwealth countries. Following in his father's footsteps, he entered the Royal Navy in 1971, serving on a series of warships and commanding the minesweeper HMS Bronington before retiring from active service in December 1976. He also entered the Royal Air Force, qualifying as a helicopter pilot. Charles was briefly considered for the position of Governor-General of Australia in the mid-1970s, though nothing came of this.