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Charles at COP21 in 2015

King Charles III Facts

On 8th September 2022, at the age of 73, Prince Charles became King Charles III. Read on to find out about his life as he begins his reign as King of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth.

Charles, Prince of Wales in 2021
King Charles III when he was the Prince of Wales in 2021


When was King Charles III born?

Charles III was born 14 November 1948 in Buckingham Palace. His full name is Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor. His mother was Queen Elizabeth II and his father was Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Charles Christening Family Portrait
Prince Charles Christening Family Portrait


When did Charles become king?

Charles became King of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms on 8 September 2022 upon the death of his mother, Elizabeth II. Charles was officially proclaimed King on Saturday 10 September 2022 at St James's Palace in London. This happened in front of a ceremonial body known as the Accession Council.

When he became king, Charles gave up his title, ‘The Prince of Wales’. This title was passed on to his oldest son, William.


When was the coronation of King Charles III?

The coronation of King Charles III took place on Saturday 6th May 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London. 


What happened during the coronation of King Charles III?

The coronation was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Charles was crowned alongside his wife, Queen Camilla. During the ceremony, the King was anointed with holy oil. Lots of important objects were included in the ceremony. The King received the Sovereign's Orb, coronation ring and sceptre. He was crowned with St Edward's crown. Another important object in the coronation is the Coronation Chair. This chair was commissioned by King Edward I in 1296 and has been part of coronations for over 700 years.


Lights in London announcing coronation of the King Charles III on the 6th of May on Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben lit up to announce the coronation of the King Charles III



Where does King Charles III live?

Before he became king, Charles’ official residence, was Clarence House in London, as well as Highgrove in Gloucestershire. Highgrove is where Charles and Camilla have lived since their 2005 wedding.

It is expected that King Charles will take up residence in Buckingham Palace now that he is king, but this is not yet confirmed.


Is King Charles III married?

Charles is married to Camilla Parker Bowles. When he became king she became queen. They first met at a polo match in 1970 and had been involved romantically until the then Prince left to serve in the Royal Navy. 

Charles’ first marriage was to Lady Diana Spencer. They were married in 1981 and had two children: William and Henry (known as “Harry”). The couple separated and later divorced in 1996. Sadly, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris just one year later.

President Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana in the Yellow Oval Room
President Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana in the Yellow Oval Room in 1985


Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ engagement was announced on 10 February 2005. As both Camilla and Charles were divorcees, their wedding was a civil wedding and not a church wedding. This meant Charles was the only member of the royal family to have a civil rather than a church wedding in England (Princess Anne’s second marriage had to be held in Scotland , not England for the same reason). The marriage took place in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall on 9 April 2005. The civil ceremony was followed by a Church of England Service of Prayer and Dedication at St George's Chapel.  

Duchess of Cornwall, Prince of Wales
Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales in 2005


Who are the children of King Charles III?

Charles has two children. Princes William, who was born in 1982, and Henry (known as "Harry"), who was born in 1984. Charles was the first royal father to be present at his children's births. 

William Arthur Philip Louis was born 21 June 1982 and is the elder son of King Charles III by his first wife Diana, Princess of Wales. When his father became king, William became the heir apparent to the British throne and received the titles: Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. Prince William has been married to Catherine Middleton since 2011 and the couple have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. 

Prince William's Birth Stamp
Prince William's Birth Stamp


Henry Charles Albert David was born 15 September 1984. He is a member of the British royal family. He is the younger son of King Charles III and Diana, Princess of Wales. Harry is married to American actress Meghan Markle. They have two children, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor. In January 2020, the couple stepped down as senior members of the royal family and moved to the Duchess's Southern California. 

Queen Mother with Prince Henry - 1985 Stamp of Seychelles
Queen Mother with Prince Henry - 1985 Stamp of Seychelles


What charities does King Charles III support?

Charles founded the Prince's Trust in 1976. The Prince’s Trust helps vulnerable 11 to 30-year-olds get their lives on track by supporting people struggling at school and at risk of exclusion and helping them with employment. 

Since setting up the Prince’s Trust, Charles established 16 more charitable organisations and, while he is currently president of all of them, it is expected that this work will continue instead in the hands of trusted advisors now he is king. These charities are called the Prince's Charities. They raise over £100 million annually for areas including education and young people, environmental sustainability, and enterprise.  

Charles was one of the first world leaders to express strong concerns about the human rights record of a Romanian dictator and to support the FARA Foundation, a charity for Romanian orphans and abandoned children.


How does King Charles III support environmental issues?

Charles has promoted environmental awareness since the 1970s. When he was 21 years old, he delivered his first speech on environmental issues as the chairman of the Welsh Countryside Committee. 

He has worked hard over the years to decrease his carbon footprint and impact on the environment. In Birkhall, his estate in Scotland, he has used biomass boilers for heating and installed a hydroelectric turbine in the river beside the estate. He uses solar panels at Clarence House and Highgrove and electric cars on his estates.

When he moved to Highgrove House, Charles developed an interest in organic farming. This led to him launching his own organic brand in 1990 called Duchy Originals. Duchy Originals now sells more than 200 different sustainably produced products and the profits are donated to the Prince's Charities. 

In 2007, he received the tenth annual Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment. The director, Eric Chivian, stated: "For decades the Prince of Wales has been a champion of the natural world ... He has been a world leader in efforts to improve energy efficiency and in reducing the discharge of toxic substances on land, and into the air and the oceans".

In 2011, Charles received the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Medal for his environmental work including advocacy for rainforest conservation.

In December 2015, Charles delivered a speech at the opening ceremony for COP21, making a plea to industries to put an end to practices that cause deforestation. 

In September 2021, he launched the Food for the Future initiative, a programme with contributions from Jimmy Doherty and Jamie Oliver which aims to educate secondary school children about the food system and how to eliminate food waste.


Charles at COP21 in 2015
Charles at COP21 in 2015


Five fun facts about King Charles III:

  1. He was the longest serving heir apparent in British history. 
  2. He was the first royal baby born at Buckingham Palace in the 20th Century.
  3. He was the first British royal heir to earn a degree - studying Anthropology, Archeology and History to earn a Bachelor of the Arts. 
  4. He can play the cello. 
  5. In August 2019, Charles collaborated with British fashion designers Vin and Omi to produce a line of clothing made out of nettles found in his Highgrove estate. 
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qwrada - May 17, 2023


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