Charles III

King of the United Kingdom since 2022 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is King of the United Kingdom and the 14 other Commonwealth realms.[note 1]

Quick facts: Charles III, King of the United Kingdom and o...
Charles III
Head of the Commonwealth
Photograph of Charles III
Charles III in 2023
King of the United Kingdom
and other Commonwealth realms[note 1]
Reign8 September 2022  present
Coronation6 May 2023
PredecessorElizabeth II
Heir apparentWilliam, Prince of Wales
BornPrince Charles of Edinburgh
(1948-11-14) 14 November 1948 (age 75)
Buckingham Palace, London, England
  • (m. 1981; div. 1996)
  • (m. 2005)
Charles Philip Arthur George[note 2]
FatherPrince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
MotherElizabeth II
ReligionProtestant[note 3]
EducationGordonstoun School
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge (MA)
Military career
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Years of active service1971–1976
RankFull list
Commands heldHMS Bronington

Charles was born in Buckingham Palace during the reign of his maternal grandfather, King George VI, and became heir apparent when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, acceded to the throne in 1952. He was created Prince of Wales in 1958 and his investiture was held in 1969. He was educated at Cheam School and Gordonstoun, and later spent six months at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. After completing a history degree from the University of Cambridge, Charles served in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer. They had two sons, William and Harry. Charles and Diana divorced in 1996, after they had each engaged in well-publicised extramarital affairs. Diana died as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash the following year. In 2005, Charles married his long-term partner, Camilla Parker Bowles.

As heir apparent, Charles undertook official duties and engagements on behalf of his mother. He founded the Prince's Trust in 1976, sponsored the Prince's Charities, and became patron or president of more than 800 other charities and organisations. He advocated for the conservation of historic buildings and the importance of architecture in society. In that vein, he generated the experimental new town of Poundbury. An environmentalist, Charles supported organic farming and action to prevent climate change during his time as the manager of the Duchy of Cornwall estates, earning him awards and recognition as well as criticism; he is also a prominent critic of the adoption of genetically modified food, while his support for alternative medicine has been criticised. He has authored or co-authored 17 books.

Charles became king upon his mother's death on 8 September 2022. At the age of 73, he became the oldest person to accede to the British throne, after having been the longest-serving heir apparent and Prince of Wales in British history. His coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 6 May 2023.

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