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Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ( ...
to the
British throne The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises authority in accordance with a written or ...
as the eldest son of
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke of York, Duke and Duchess of York (later Kin ...

Queen Elizabeth II
. He has been heir apparent as well as
Duke of Cornwall Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union 1707, Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Peerage of ...
and
Duke of Rothesay Duke of Rothesay (; gd, Diùc Baile Bhòid, sco, Duik o Rothesay) is a Substantive title, dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the current Duchess ...
since 1952 and is both the oldest and the longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He is also the longest-serving
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ...

Prince of Wales
, having held the title since July 1958. Upon the death of his father, Prince Philip, on 9 April 2021, Charles also inherited the title of
Duke of Edinburgh Duke of Edinburgh, named after the city of Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midloth ...

Duke of Edinburgh
. Charles was born in
Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace () is the London official residence, residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospita ...
as the first grandchild of
King George VI George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the ...

King George VI
and
Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth
. He was educated at
Cheam Cheam () is a town, in the London Borough of Sutton, in South London, England. Cheam is southwest of Charing Cross. It is made up of North Cheam and Cheam Village, which contain both retail and residential roads, and South Cheam, which is just ...
and
Gordonstoun Gordonstoun School is a co-educational Independent school (United Kingdom), independent school for boarding and day pupils in Moray, Scotland. It is named after the estate owned by Sir Robert Gordon, 1st Baronet, Sir Robert Gordon in the 17th cent ...
schools, both of which his father attended as a child. He later spent a year at the
Timbertop Timbertop is a full-time boarding, co-educational campus of Geelong Grammar School located near Mansfield, Victoria, Mansfield, Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia. Established in 1953, by then Headmaster James Ralph Darling, James Darling, ...
campus of
Geelong Grammar School , motto_translation = 1 Corinthians 1:30: "For us, Christ was made wisdom"( 1 Corinthians 1:30: Christ, who has been made for us in wisdom) , city = Corio , state = Victoria , country = Australia Australia, officially the Commonwea ...
in
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...

Australia
. After earning a
Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through ...
degree from the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
, Charles served in the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's Air force, air and space force. It was formed towards the end of the World War I, First World War on 1 April 1918, becoming the first independent air force in the world, by regrouping the Royal ...
and
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and int ...
from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he
married in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, that establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between them ...
Lady Diana Spencer Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was a member of the British royal family The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict lega ...
, with whom he had two sons:
William William is a popular given name of an old Germanic origin.Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges, ''Oxford Dictionary of First Names'', Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of University of Oxford. It is the la ...

William
and
Harry Harry may refer to: TV shows *Harry (American TV series), ''Harry'' (American TV series), a 1987 American comedy series starring Alan Arkin *Harry (British TV series), ''Harry'' (British TV series), a 1993 BBC drama that ran for two seasons *Harr ...

Harry
. In 1996, the couple divorced following well-publicised extramarital affairs by both parties. Diana died as the result of a car crash in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, ...

Paris
the following year. In 2005, Charles
married in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, that establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between them ...
his long-term partner
Camilla Parker Bowles Camilla may refer to: People * Camilla (given name), including a list of people with the name * Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (born 1947), wife of Charles, Prince of Wales Places * Camilla, Georgia Camilla is a city in Mitchell County, Georgia, ...
. As the Prince of Wales, Charles undertakes official duties on behalf of the Queen. He founded
The Prince's Trust The Prince's Trust is a charity in the United Kingdom founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest s ...
in 1976, sponsors
The Prince's Charities The Prince's Charities is a non-profit organisation that has associations with Charles, Prince of Wales Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent to the British throne as the elde ...
, and is a patron, president, or a member of over 400 other charities and organisations. As a self-described
environmentalist Image:Voynet Montreuil 2008-01-06.jpg, Dominique Voynet, 2008 An environmentalist is a person who is concerned with and/or advocates for the protection of the environment. An environmentalist can be considered a supporter of the goals of the envir ...
, Charles has spoken publicly about issues such as
organic farming Organic farming is an agricultural system that uses fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure Image:Hestemøj.jpg, Animal manure is often a mixture of animal feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable. Manure is orga ...
and
climate change Climate change includes both global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century ...
, which has earned him
awards and recognition An award, sometimes called a distinction, is something given to a recipient as a token of Recognition (sociology), recognition of excellence in a certain field. When the token is a medal, ribbon or other item designed for wearing, it is known as ...
from environmental groups. His support for
alternative medicine Alternative medicine is any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive me ...
, including
homeopathy Homeopathy or homoeopathy is a pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine Alternative medicine is any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) ...
, has been the subject of criticism. His views on the role of architecture in society and the conservation of historic buildings have received significant attention from British architects and design critics. Since 1993, Charles has worked on the creation of
Poundbury Poundbury is an experimental new town or urban extension on the outskirts of Dorchester in the county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Ch ...
, an experimental
new town New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Albums and EPs * ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartney, 2013 * ''New'' (EP), by Regurgitator, ...
based on his architectural tastes. He is also an author or co-author of a number of books.


Early life, family and education

Charles was born in Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948, during the reign of his maternal grandfather
George VI George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was concurrently the last Empe ...

George VI
, as the first child of
Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh
Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh
, and
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark,Multiple sources: * * * * later Philip Mountbatten; 10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021), was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. He was the consort of the British monarc ...
. He was baptised there by the
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby ...
,
Geoffrey Fisher Geoffrey Francis Fisher, Baron Fisher of Lambeth, (5 May 1887 – 15 September 1972) was an English Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity o ...
, on 15 December 1948. The death of his grandfather and the accession of his mother as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 made Charles the
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ( ...
. As the monarch's eldest son, he automatically assumed the titles
Duke of Cornwall Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union 1707, Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Peerage of ...
,
Duke of Rothesay Duke of Rothesay (; gd, Diùc Baile Bhòid, sco, Duik o Rothesay) is a Substantive title, dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the current Duchess ...
,
Earl of Carrick Earl of Carrick or Mormaer of Carrick is the title applied to the ruler of Carrick, Scotland, Carrick (now South Ayrshire), subsequently part of the Peerage of Scotland. The position came to be strongly associated with the Scottish crown when Rob ...
, Baron of Renfrew,
Lord of the Isles The Lord of the Isles ( gd, Triath nan Eilean or ) is a title of Peerage of Scotland, Scottish nobility with historical roots that go back beyond the Kingdom of Scotland. It began with Somerled in the 12th century and thereafter the title was ...
, and
Prince and Great Steward of Scotland Prince and Great Steward of Scotland are two of the titles of the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a ...
. Charles attended his mother's coronation at
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic architecture, Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is ...

Westminster Abbey
on 2 June 1953. As was customary for upper-class children at the time, a
governess 300px, In Rebecca Solomon's 1851 painting ''The Governess'', the title figure (seated right, with her charge) exhibits the modest dress and deportment appropriate to her quasi-invisible role in the Victorian household. A governess is a woman e ...

governess
, Catherine Peebles, was appointed and undertook his education between the ages of five and eight. Buckingham Palace announced in 1955 that Charles would attend school rather than have a private tutor, making him the first heir apparent to be educated in that manner. On 7 November 1956, Charles commenced classes at
Hill House School Hill House International Junior School is a preparatory day independent school File:Share enrolled in private institutions at the tertiary education level, OWID.svg, Share enrolled in private institutions at the tertiary education level (201 ...
in west London.About the Prince of Wales
royal.uk - 26 December 2018
He did not receive preferential treatment from the school's founder and headmaster, Stuart Townend, who advised the Queen to have Charles train in
football Football is a family of team sport A team is a Cheam_Preparatory_School_in_Berkshire,_England,_from_1958,_followed_by_Gordonstoun Gordonstoun_School_is_a_co-educational_Independent_school_(United_Kingdom),_independent_school_for_boarding_and_day_pupils_in_Moray,_Scotland._It_is_named_after_the__estate_owned_by_Sir_Robert_Gordon,_1st_Baronet,_Sir_Robert_Gordon_in_the_17th_cent_...
_in_the_north-east_of_Scotland,_beginning_classes_there_in_April_1962._ Though_he_reportedly_described_Gordonstoun,_noted_for_its_especially_rigorous_curriculum,_as_"Colditz_Castle.html" "title="Cheam_School.html" ;"title="roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg Sch ...
because the boys were never deferential to anyone on the football field. Charles then attended two of his father's former schools, Cheam School">Cheam Preparatory School in Berkshire, England, from 1958, followed by
Gordonstoun Gordonstoun School is a co-educational Independent school (United Kingdom), independent school for boarding and day pupils in Moray, Scotland. It is named after the estate owned by Sir Robert Gordon, 1st Baronet, Sir Robert Gordon in the 17th cent ...
in the north-east of Scotland, beginning classes there in April 1962. Though he reportedly described Gordonstoun, noted for its especially rigorous curriculum, as "Colditz Castle">Colditz Colditz () is a small town in the district of Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
in kilts", Charles subsequently praised Gordonstoun, stating it had taught him "a great deal about myself and my own abilities and disabilities. It taught me to accept challenges and take the initiative." In a 1975 interview, he said he was "glad" he had attended Gordonstoun and that the "toughness of the place" was "much exaggerated". He spent two terms in 1966 at the
Timbertop Timbertop is a full-time boarding, co-educational campus of Geelong Grammar School located near Mansfield, Victoria, Mansfield, Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia. Established in 1953, by then Headmaster James Ralph Darling, James Darling, ...
campus of
Geelong Grammar School , motto_translation = 1 Corinthians 1:30: "For us, Christ was made wisdom"( 1 Corinthians 1:30: Christ, who has been made for us in wisdom) , city = Corio , state = Victoria , country = Australia Australia, officially the Commonwea ...
in
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...

Australia
, during which time he visited
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania tha ...

Papua New Guinea
on a school trip with his history tutor, Michael Collins Persse. In 1973, Charles described his time at Timbertop as the most enjoyable part of his whole education. Upon his return to Gordonstoun, Charles emulated his father in becoming
Head Boy Head boy and head girl are roles of prominent representative student responsibility. The terms are commonly used in the British education system and in private school Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private", by Dusty Springfiel ...
. He left in 1967, with six GCE O-levels and two
A-levels The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the educational auth ...
in history and French, at grades B and C respectively. On his early education, Charles later remarked, "I didn't enjoy school as much as I might have, but that was only because I'm happier at home than anywhere else." Charles broke royal tradition a second time when he proceeded straight to university after his A-levels, rather than joining the
British Armed Forces The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military, military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom, its British Overseas Territories, overseas territories and the Crown dependencies. They al ...
. In October 1967, he was admitted to
Trinity College, Cambridge Trinity College is a Colleges of the University of Cambridge, constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII. Trinity is one of the oldest and largest colleges in Cambridge, with the large ...
, where he read
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biological, geological ...
and
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture ...
for the first part of the
Tripos TRIPOS (''TRIvial Portable Operating System'') is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations kn ...
, and then changed to
history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 millio ...

history
for the second part. During his second year, Charles attended the
University College of Wales , mottoeng = A world without knowledge is no world at all , established = 1872 (as ''The University College of Wales'') , former_names = University of Wales, Aberystwyth , type = Public In public relatio ...
in
Aberystwyth Aberystwyth () is a university town and community in Ceredigion, Wales. Historically in the historic county of Cardiganshire, the literal meaning of the cy, Aberystwyth is the mouth of the Ystwyth. In one form or another, Aberystwyth Uni ...
, studying Welsh history and
language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to inscribe the original soun ...
for a term. He graduated from the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
with a 2:2
Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through ...
(BA) degree on 23 June 1970, the first British heir apparent to earn a university degree. On 2 August 1975, he was awarded a Master of Arts (MA Cantab) degree by Cambridge. At Cambridge, Master of Arts is an academic rank, not a postgraduate degree.


Prince of Wales

Charles was created
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ...

Prince of Wales
and
Earl of Chester The Earldom of Chester (Welsh: ''Iarllaeth Caer'') was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England, extending principally over the counties of Cheshire and Flintshire. Since 1301 the title has generally been granted to heirs apparent to ...
on 26 July 1958, though his investiture was not held until 1 July 1969, when he was crowned by his mother in a televised ceremony held at
Caernarfon Castle Caernarfon Castle ( cy, Castell Caernarfon ) – often anglicised as Carnarvon Castle or Caernarvon Castle – is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic envir ...
. He took his seat in the
House of Lords The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster ...

House of Lords
in 1970, and he made his
maiden speech A maiden speech is the first speech given by a newly elected or appointed member of a legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social beh ...
in June 1974, the first royal to speak from the floor since the future
Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert ...
in 1884. He spoke again in 1975. Charles began to take on more public duties, founding
The Prince's Trust The Prince's Trust is a charity in the United Kingdom founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest s ...
in 1976, and travelling to the United States in 1981. In the mid-1970s, the prince expressed an interest in serving as
Governor-General of Australia The governor-general of Australia is the representative of the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore ...
, at the suggestion of Australian prime minister
Malcolm Fraser John Malcolm Fraser (; 21 May 1930 – 20 March 2015) was an Australian politician who served as the 22nd prime minister of Australia, in office from 1975 to 1983 as leader of the Liberal Party of Australia The Liberal Party of Austral ...

Malcolm Fraser
, but because of a lack of public enthusiasm nothing came of the proposal. Charles commented: "So, what are you supposed to think when you are prepared to do something to help and you are just told you're not wanted?" Charles is the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having surpassed the record held by
Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert ...
on 9 September 2017. He is the oldest and longest-serving British heir apparent, the longest-serving Duke of Cornwall, and the longest-serving Duke of Rothesay. If he becomes monarch, he will be the oldest person to do so, the current record holder being
William IV William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

William IV
, who was 64 when he became king in 1830.


Official duties

In 2008, ''
The Daily Telegraph ''The Daily Telegraph'', known online and elsewhere as ''The Telegraph'' (), is a national British daily broadsheet newspaper published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed across the United Kingdom and internationally. It was fo ...

The Daily Telegraph
'' described Charles as the "hardest-working member of the royal family." He carried out 560 official engagements in 2008, 499 in 2010, and over 600 in 2011. As Prince of Wales, Charles undertakes official duties on behalf of the Queen. He officiates at
investiture Investiture (from the Latin preposition ''in'' and verb ''vestire'', "dress" from ''vestis'' "robe"), is the formal installation or ceremony in which a person is given the authority and regalia of a high office. Investiture can include formal dre ...
s and attends the funerals of foreign dignitaries. Prince Charles makes regular tours of Wales, fulfilling a week of engagements each summer, and attending important national occasions, such as opening the
Senedd Senedd (/ˈsɛnɛð/), a Welsh cognate of "senate", may refer to: * Senedd Cymru – the Welsh Parliament, the devolved legislature of Wales * Senedd building, the building which houses the Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament {{Disambiguation ...
. The six trustees of the
Royal Collection Trust The Royal Collection of the British royal family The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the British royal family. Many mem ...
meet three times a year under his chairmanship. Prince Charles travels abroad on behalf of the United Kingdom. Charles has been regarded as an effective advocate of the country. In 1983,
Christopher John Lewis Christopher John Lewis (7 September 1964 – 23 September 1997) was a New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the ...
, who had fired a shot with a .22 rifle at the Queen in 1981, attempted to escape a psychiatric hospital in order to assassinate Charles, who was visiting New Zealand with Diana and William. While visiting Australia in January 1994, two shots from a
starting pistol A starting pistol or starter pistol is a blank (cartridge), blank handgun that is fired to start track and field racing, races, as well as competitive swimming races at some meets. Starter guns "cannot fire real bullet, ammunition" without first be ...
were fired at him on
Australia Day Australia Day is the official national day of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the islan ...
by in protest of the treatment of several hundred Cambodian asylum seekers held in detention camps. In 1995, Charles became the first member of the royal family to visit the Republic of Ireland in an official capacity. In 2000, Charles revived the tradition of the Prince of Wales having an official harpist, in order to foster Welsh talent at playing the harp, the national instrument of Wales. He and the Duchess of Cornwall also spend one week each year in Scotland, where he is patron of several Scottish organisations. His service to the
Canadian Armed Forces The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; french: Forces armées canadiennes; ''FAC'') is the unified military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typ ...
permits him to be informed of troop activities, and allows him to visit these troops while in Canada or overseas, taking part in ceremonial occasions. For instance, in 2001 he placed a specially commissioned wreath, made from vegetation taken from French battlefields, at the , and in 1981 he became the patron of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. At the
funeral of Pope John Paul II The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death on 2 April. The Catholic funeral, funeral was followed by the ''novemdiales'' Catholic devotions, devotional in which the Catholic Church observes nine days of ...
in 2005, Charles unintentionally caused controversy when he shook hands with
Robert Mugabe Robert Gabriel Mugabe (; ; 21 February 1924 – 6 September 2019) was a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President of Zimbabwe, President from 1987 to 2017. He ser ...

Robert Mugabe
, the
President of Zimbabwe The President of Zimbabwe is the highest office in the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The exe ...
, who had been seated next to him. Charles's office subsequently released a statement saying: "The Prince of Wales was caught by surprise and not in a position to avoid shaking Mr Mugabe's hand. The Prince finds the current Zimbabwean regime abhorrent. He has supported the Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund, which works with those being oppressed by the regime. The Prince also recently met Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, an outspoken critic of the government." In November 2001, Charles was struck in the face with three red carnations by teenager Alina Lebedeva, whilst he was on an official visit to Latvia. In 2010, Charles represented the Queen at the
opening ceremony An opening ceremony, grand opening, or ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the official opening of a newly-constructed location or the start of an event.
of the
2010 Commonwealth Games The 2010 Commonwealth Games (Hindi: 2010 कॉमनवेल्थ गेम्स), officially known as the XIX Commonwealth Games (Hindi: XIX कॉमनवेल्थ गेम्स) and commonly known as Delhi 2010 (Hindi: दिल् ...
in
Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. * * * Straddling the Yamuna river, but primarily ...
,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
. He attends official events in the United Kingdom in support of Commonwealth countries, such as the
Christchurch Christchurch ( ; mi, Ōtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury, New Zealand, Canterbury Region. Christchurch lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula on Pegasu ...
earthquake memorial service at
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic architecture, Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is ...

Westminster Abbey
in 2011. From 15 to 17 November 2013, he represented the Queen for the first time at a
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM; or) is a wiktionary:biennial, biennial summit meeting of the List of current heads of state and government, ''de facto'' leaders from all Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations. De ...
, in
Colombo Colombo ( si, කොළඹ, translit=Koḷam̆ba, ; ta, கொழும்பு, translit=Koḻumpu, ) is the commercial capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction betwee ...
,
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
. Letters sent by Prince Charles to government ministers during 2004 and 2005 – the so-called
black spider memos The "black spider" memos are Letter (message), letters and memorandums written by Charles, Prince of Wales, to British government ministers and politicians over the years. As the modern British monarch remains politically neutral by tradition, the l ...
– presented potential embarrassment following a challenge by ''The Guardian'' newspaper to release the letters under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United ...
. In March 2015, the
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom The Supreme Court (initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meanin ...
decided that the Prince's letters must be released. The letters were published by the
Cabinet Office The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the prime minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom. It is composed of various units that support Cabinet committees and which co-ordin ...
on 13 May 2015. Reaction to the memos upon their release was largely supportive of Charles, with little criticism of him. The memos were variously described in the press as "underwhelming" and "harmless" and that their release had "backfired on those who seek to belittle him", with reaction from the public also supportive. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall made their first joint trip to the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 Counties of Ireland, counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the ...

Republic of Ireland
in May 2015. The trip was called an important step in "promoting peace and reconciliation" by the British Embassy. During the trip, Charles shook hands with
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, " eOurselves") is an Irish republicanism, Irish republican and Democratic socialism, democratic socialist political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original ...

Sinn Féin
and supposed
IRA Ira or IRA may refer to: *Ira (name), a Hebrew, Sanskrit, Russian or Finnish language personal name *Ira (surname), a rare Estonian and some other language family name Law *Individual retirement account, in the US, giving tax benefits *Indian Reor ...
leader
Gerry Adams Gerard Adams ( ga, Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh; born 6 October 1948) is an Irish republican politician who was the president of Sinn Féin between 13 November 1983 and 10 February 2018, and served as a Teachta Dála A Teachta Dála ( , plural ) ...
in
Galway Galway ( ; ga, Gaillimh, ) is a City status in Ireland, city in the West Region, Ireland, West of Ireland, in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Connacht. It is the county town of County Galway, which is named after it. It lies on the Ri ...

Galway
, which was described by the media as a "historic handshake" and a "significant moment for Anglo-Irish relations". In the run up to the Prince's visit, two Irish republican dissidents were arrested for planning a bomb attack.
Semtex Semtex is a general-purpose plastic explosive containing RDX and Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, PETN. It is used in commercial blasting, demolition, and in certain military applications. Semtex was developed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia, ori ...

Semtex
and rockets were found at the
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster. It is bordered on the sou ...
home of suspect Donal Ó Coisdealbha, member of a self-styled ''
Óglaigh na hÉireann Óglaigh na hÉireann (), abbreviated ÓÉ, is an Irish language, Irish-language idiom that can be translated variously as ''soldiers of Ireland'', ''warriors of Ireland'', ''Volunteer (Irish republican), volunteers of Ireland''O'Leary, Brendan. ...
'' organisation, who was later jailed for five and a half years. He was connected to a veteran republican, Seamus McGrane of
County Louth County Louth ( ; ga, Contae Lú) is a Counties of Ireland, county in the Republic of Ireland, in the border region. It is in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster and is part of the Mid-East Region, Ireland, Mid-East Region. It is named ...
, a member of the
Real IRA The Real Irish Republican Army, or Real IRA (RIRA), is a Dissident republican, dissident Irish republicanism, Irish republican paramilitary group that aims to bring about a united Ireland. It formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional ...
, who was jailed for 11 and a half years. In 2015, it was revealed that Prince Charles had access to confidential UK cabinet papers. Charles has made frequent visits to
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship e ...

Saudi Arabia
in order to promote arms exports for companies such as
BAE Systems BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British Multinational corporation, multinational arms industry, arms, Information security, security, and aerospace company based in London, England. The company is the largest defence contractor in Europe and among ...
. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, he met with the commander of Saudi Arabia's National Guard Mutaib bin Abdullah. In February 2014, he took part in a traditional sword dance with members of the Saudi royal family at the Janariyah festival in Riyadh. At the same festival, British arms company BAE Systems was honoured by Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. Charles was criticised by Scottish MP
Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier (born 10 September 1960) is a Scottish politician serving as Member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In many countries with Bicameralism, bicameral ...
in 2016 over his role in the sale of
Typhoon A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° and 100th meridian east, 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere. This region is referred to as the Tropical cyclone basins#Northwestern Pacific Ocean, Northwestern Pacific Basin, a ...

Typhoon
fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. According to Charles's biographer Catherine Mayer, a ''Time'' magazine journalist who claims to have interviewed several sources from Prince Charles's inner circle, he "doesn't like being used to market weaponry" in deals with Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states. According to Mayer, Charles has only raised his objections to being used to sell weapons abroad in private. Commonwealth heads of government decided at their 2018 meeting that the Prince of Wales will be the next
Head of the Commonwealth The Head of the Commonwealth is the "symbol of the free association of independent member nations" of the Commonwealth of Nations A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically i ...
after the Queen. The head is chosen and therefore not hereditary. On 7 March 2019, the Queen hosted a Buckingham Palace event to mark the 50th anniversary of Charles's investiture as the Prince of Wales. Guests at the event included the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
Theresa May Theresa Mary, Lady May (; ; born 1 October 1956) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2016 to 2019. May served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016 in the Camer ...

Theresa May
and Welsh First Minister
Mark Drakeford Mark Drakeford is a Welsh people, Welsh Welsh Labour, Labour Party politician who has been the First Minister of Wales and Welsh Labour#Elected leaders, Leader of Welsh Labour since 2018. Prior to this, he was notable for serving in the Welsh Go ...

Mark Drakeford
. The same month, at the request of the British government, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall went on an official tour to
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located where the northern Caribbean Sea, Gulf ...
, making them the first British royalty to visit the country. The tour was seen as effort to form a closer relationship between the UK and Cuba. In November 2021, Charles attended the ceremonies held to mark Barbados's transition into a parliamentary republic, which removed the Queen as their head of state.


Health

On 25 March 2020, it was announced that Charles had contracted
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease A contagious disease (or communicable disease) is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of all or p ...
during the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identified from an outbreak in the Chinese city of ...
. He and his wife subsequently isolated at their
Birkhall Birkhall (BerkHA; from the Scots ''Birk Hauch'': " Birch River-meadow") is a 53,000 acre (210 km²) estate on Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire upright=1.3, Topographic map of Aberdeenshire and Moray Aberdeenshire ( sco, Aiberd ...
residence. Camilla was also tested, but returned a negative result.
Clarence House in 2008 Clarence House is a List of British royal residences, British royal residence on The Mall in the City of Westminster City of Westminster is an Inner London, inner London City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, ...

Clarence House
stated that he showed "mild symptoms" but "remains in good health". They further stated "It is not possible to ascertain from whom the prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks." Several newspapers were critical that Charles and Camilla were tested promptly at a time when many NHS doctors, nurses and patients had been unable to be tested expeditiously. On 30 March 2020, Clarence House announced that Charles had recovered from the virus, and that, after consulting his doctor, he was no longer isolating. Two days later, he stated in a video that he would continue to practice
social distancing File:20200609 Effect of pandemic containment measures.gif, upright=1.5, Without social distancing and other pandemic containment measures, pathogens can spread exponentially. ("...initial exponential growth expected for an unconstrained outbrea ...

social distancing
. In February 2021, Charles and his wife received doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.


Military training and career

Charles served in the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's Air force, air and space force. It was formed towards the end of the World War I, First World War on 1 April 1918, becoming the first independent air force in the world, by regrouping the Royal ...
and, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and two of his great-grandfathers, in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and int ...
. During his second year at Cambridge, he requested and received Royal Air Force training. On 8 March 1971, he flew himself to the Royal Air Force College RAF Cranwell, Cranwell to train as a jet pilot. After the passing-out parade that September, he embarked on a naval career and enrolled in a six-week course at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Royal Naval College Dartmouth. He then served on the guided-missile destroyer (1971–1972) and the frigates (1972–1973) and (1974). In 1974, he qualified as a helicopter pilot at RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), RNAS Yeovilton, and then joined 845 Naval Air Squadron, operating from . On 9 February 1976, Charles took command of the coastal minehunter for his last ten months of active service in the navy. He learned to fly on a De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk, Chipmunk basic pilot trainer, a BAC Jet Provost jet trainer, and a Beagle Basset multi-engine trainer; he then regularly flew the Hawker Siddeley Andover, Westland Wessex and British Aerospace 146, BAe 146 aircraft of The Queen's Flight until he gave up flying after crashing the BAe 146 in the Hebrides in 1994.


Relationships and marriages


Bachelorhood

In his youth, Charles was amorously linked to a number of women. His great-uncle Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Lord Mountbatten advised him:
In a case like yours, the man should sow his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can before settling down, but for a wife he should choose a suitable, attractive, and sweet-charactered girl before she has met anyone else she might fall for ... It is disturbing for women to have experiences if they have to remain on a pedestal after marriage.
Charles's girlfriends included Georgiana Russell, the daughter of John Russell (diplomat), Sir John Russell, who was List of ambassadors of the United Kingdom to Spain, British ambassador to Spain; Lady Jane Wellesley, the daughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington; Davina Sheffield; Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Sarah Spencer; and Camilla Shand, who later became his second wife and Duchess of Cornwall. Early in 1974, Mountbatten began corresponding with Charles about a potential marriage to Lady Amanda Ellingworth, Amanda Knatchbull, who was Mountbatten's granddaughter. Charles wrote to Amanda's mother—Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Lady Brabourne, who was also his Godparent, godmother—expressing interest in her daughter, to which she replied approvingly, though she suggested that a courtship with the not yet 17-year-old girl was premature. Four years later, Mountbatten arranged for Amanda and himself to accompany Charles on his 1980 tour of India. Both fathers, however, objected; Philip feared that Charles would be eclipsed by his famous uncle (who had served as the last British Viceroy and first Governor-General of India), while John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne, Lord Brabourne warned that a joint visit would concentrate media attention on the cousins before they could decide on becoming a couple. However, in August 1979, before Charles would depart alone for India, Mountbatten was killed by the IRA. When Charles returned, he proposed to Amanda, but in addition to her grandfather, she had lost her paternal grandmother and youngest brother Nicholas Knatchbull, Nicholas in the bomb attack and was now reluctant to join the royal family. In June 1980, Charles officially turned down Chevening House, placed at his disposal since 1974, as his future residence. Chevening, a stately home in Kent, was bequeathed, along with an financial endowment, endowment, to the Crown by the last James Stanhope, 7th Earl Stanhope, Earl Stanhope, Amanda's childless great-uncle, in the hope that Charles would eventually occupy it. In 1977, a newspaper report mistakenly announced his engagement to Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg.


Marriages


Marriage to Lady Diana Spencer

Charles first met
Lady Diana Spencer Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was a member of the British royal family The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict lega ...
in 1977 while he was visiting her home, Althorp. He was the companion of her elder sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Sarah, and did not consider Diana romantically until mid-1980. While Charles and Diana were sitting together on a bale of hay at a friend's barbecue in July, she mentioned that he had looked forlorn and in need of care at the funeral of his granduncle Lord Mountbatten. Soon, according to Charles's chosen biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby, "without any apparent surge in feeling, he began to think seriously of her as a potential bride", and she accompanied Charles on visits to Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House. Charles's cousin Norton Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne, Norton Knatchbull and his wife told Charles that Diana appeared awestruck by his position and that he did not seem to be in love with her. Meanwhile, the couple's continuing courtship attracted intense attention from the press and paparazzi. When Prince Philip told him that the media speculation would injure Diana's reputation if Charles did not come to a decision about marrying her soon, and realising that she was a suitable royal bride (according to Mountbatten's criteria), Charles construed his father's advice as a warning to proceed without further delay. Prince Charles proposed to Diana in February 1981; she accepted and they married in St Paul's Cathedral on 29 July of that year. Upon his marriage, Charles reduced his voluntary tax contribution from the profits generated by the Duchy of Cornwall from 50% to 25%. The couple lived at Kensington Palace and at Highgrove House, near Tetbury, and had two children: Princes Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, William (b. 1982) and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Henry (known as "Harry") (b. 1984). Charles set a precedent by being the first royal father to be present at his children's births. Within five years, the marriage was in trouble due to the couple's incompatibility and near 13-year age difference. In a videotape recorded by Peter Settelen in 1992, Diana admitted that by 1986, she had been "deeply in love with someone who worked in this environment." It is thought she was referring to Barry Mannakee, who was transferred to the Diplomatic Protection Squad in 1986 after his managers had determined that his relationship with Diana had been inappropriate. Diana later commenced a relationship with Major James Hewitt, the family's former riding instructor. Charles and Diana's evident discomfort in each other's company led to them being dubbed "The Glums" by the press.Quest, Richard (3 June 2002)
"Royals, part 3: Troubled Times"
, CNN. Retrieved 17 June 2012
Diana exposed Charles's affair with Camilla in a book by Andrew Morton, ''Diana, Her True Story''. Audio tapes of her own extramarital flirtations also surfaced. Persistent suggestions that Hewitt is Prince Harry's father have been based on a physical similarity between Hewitt and Harry. However, Harry had already been born by the time Diana's affair with Hewitt began.


Legal separation and divorce

In December 1992, British Prime Minister John Major announced the couple's legal separation in Parliament. Earlier that year, the British press had published transcripts of a passionate bugged telephone conversation between Charles and Camilla from 1989, which was dubbed Camillagate by the press. Prince Charles sought public understanding in a television film, ''Charles: The Private Man, the Public Role'', with Jonathan Dimbleby that was broadcast on 29 June 1994. In an interview in the film, he confirmed his own extramarital affair with Camilla, saying that he had rekindled their association in 1986 only after his marriage to Diana had "irretrievably broken down". Charles and Diana divorced on 28 August 1996. Diana was Death of Diana, Princess of Wales, killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August of the following year; Charles flew to Paris with Diana's sisters to accompany her body back to Britain.


Marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles

The engagement of Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles was announced on 10 February 2005; he presented her with an engagement ring that had belonged to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, his grandmother. The Queen's consent to the marriage (as required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772) was recorded in a Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Privy Council meeting on 2 March. In Canada, the Department of Justice (Canada), Department of Justice announced its decision that the Queen's Privy Council for Canada was not required to meet to give its consent to the marriage, as the union would not result in offspring and would have no impact on the succession to the Monarchy of Canada, Canadian throne. Charles was the only member of the royal family to have a civil rather than a church wedding in England. Government documents from the 1950s and 1960s, published by the BBC, stated that such a marriage was illegal, though these were dismissed by Charles's spokesman, and explained to be obsolete by the sitting government. The marriage was scheduled to take place in a civil ceremony at Windsor Castle, with a subsequent religious blessing at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, St George's Chapel. The venue was subsequently changed to Windsor Guildhall, because a civil marriage at Windsor Castle would oblige the venue to be available to anyone who wished to be married there. Four days before the wedding, it was postponed from the originally scheduled date of 8 April until the following day in order to allow Charles and some of the invited dignitaries to attend the
funeral of Pope John Paul II The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death on 2 April. The Catholic funeral, funeral was followed by the ''novemdiales'' Catholic devotions, devotional in which the Catholic Church observes nine days of ...
. Charles's parents did not attend the civil marriage ceremony; the Queen's reluctance to attend possibly arose from her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh did attend the service of worship, service of blessing and later held a reception for the newlyweds at Windsor Castle. The blessing, by the
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby ...
, Rowan Williams, at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, was televised.


Social interests


Philanthropy and charity

Since founding
The Prince's Trust The Prince's Trust is a charity in the United Kingdom founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest s ...
in 1976, Charles has established 16 more charitable organisations, and now serves as president of all of those. Together, these form a loose alliance called
The Prince's Charities The Prince's Charities is a non-profit organisation that has associations with Charles, Prince of Wales Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent to the British throne as the elde ...
, which describes itself as "the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the United Kingdom, raising over £100 million annually ... [and is] active across a broad range of areas including education and young people, environmental sustainability, the built environment, responsible business and enterprise and international." In 2010, The Prince's Charities#The Prince's Trust Canada (formerly The Prince's Charities Canada), The Prince's Charities Canada was established in a similar fashion to its namesake in the UK. Charles is also patron of over 400 other charities and organisations. He uses Royal tours of Canada, his tours of Canada as a way to help draw attention to youth, the disabled, the environment, the arts, medicine, the elderly, heritage conservation, and education. In Canada, Charles has supported humanitarian projects. Along with his two sons, he took part in ceremonies that marked the 1998 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Charles has also set up The Prince's Charities#The Prince's Trust Canada (formerly The Prince's Charities Canada), The Prince's Charities Australia, which is based in Melbourne, Victoria. The Prince's Charities Australia is to provide a coordinating presence for the Prince of Wales's Australian and international charitable endeavours Charles was one of the first world leaders to express strong concerns about the human rights record of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, initiating objections in the international arena, and subsequently supported the FARA Foundation, a charity for Romanian orphans and abandoned children. In 2013, Charles donated an unspecified sum of money to the British Red Cross Syria Crisis appeal and DEC Syria appeal, which is run by 14 British charities to help victims of the Syrian civil war. According to ''The Guardian'', It is believed that after turning 65 years old in 2013, Charles donated his state pension to an unnamed charity that supports elderly people. In March 2014, Charles arranged for five million measles-rubella vaccinations for children in the Philippines on the outbreak of measles in South-East Asia. According to Clarence House, Charles was affected by news of the damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. International Health Partners, of which he has been Patron since 2004, sent the vaccines, which are believed to protect five million children below the age of five from measles. In January 2020, the Prince of Wales became the first British patron of the International Rescue Committee, a charity which aims to help refugees and those displaced by war, persecution, or natural disaster. In April 2021 and following a surge in COVID-19 pandemic in India, COVID-19 cases in India, Charles issued a statement, announcing the launch of an emergency appeal for India by the British Asian Trust, of which he is the founder. The appeal, called Oxygen for India, helped with buying oxygen concentrators for hospitals in need.


Built environment

The Prince of Wales has openly expressed his views on architecture and urban planning; he fostered the advancement of New Classical Architecture and asserted that he "care[s] deeply about issues such as the environment, architecture, inner-city renewal, and the quality of life." In a speech given for the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on 30 May 1984, he memorably described a proposed extension to the National Gallery (London), National Gallery in London as a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved friend" and deplored the "glass stumps and concrete towers" of modern architecture.Text of the Prince of Wales's speech at the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Royal Gala Evening at Hampton Court Palace, 30 May 1984. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
He asserted that "it is possible, and important in human terms, to respect old buildings, street plans and traditional scales and at the same time not to feel guilty about a preference for facades, ornaments and soft materials," called for local community involvement in architectural choices, and asked: His book and BBC documentary ''A Vision of Britain'' (1987) was also critical of modern architecture, and he has continued to campaign for traditional urbanism, human scale, restoration of historic buildings, and sustainable design, despite criticism in the press. Two of his charities (The Prince's Regeneration Trust and The Prince's Foundation for Building Community, which were later merged into one charity) promote his views, and the village of
Poundbury Poundbury is an experimental new town or urban extension on the outskirts of Dorchester in the county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Ch ...
was built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall to a master plan by Léon Krier under the guidance of Prince Charles and in line with his philosophy. Charles helped establish a national trust for the built environment in Canada after lamenting, in 1996, the unbridled destruction of many of the country's historic urban cores. He offered his assistance to the Department of Canadian Heritage in creating a trust modelled on Britain's National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, National Trust, a plan that was implemented with the passage of the 2007 Canadian federal budget. In 1999, the Prince agreed to the use of his title for the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership, awarded by the Heritage Canada Foundation to municipal governments that have shown sustained commitment to the conservation of historic places. While visiting the United States and surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, Charles received the National Building Museum's Vincent Scully Prize in 2005, for his efforts in regard to architecture; he donated $25,000 of the prize money towards restoring storm-damaged communities. From 1997, the Prince of Wales has visited Romania to view and highlight the destruction of Orthodox monasteries and Transylvanian Saxons, Transylvanian Saxon villages during the Romania Communist Party, Communist rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu."Prinţul Charles, fermier de Fălticeni,"
, [''Prince Charles, farm owner in Fălticeni''] Evenimentul Zilei, 13 May 2003
Charles is patron of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, a Romanian conservation and regeneration organisation, and has purchased a house in Romania. Historian Thomas Gerard Gallagher, Tom Gallagher wrote in the Romanian newspaper ''România Liberă'' in 2006 that Charles had been offered the Romanian throne by monarchists in that country; an offer that was reportedly turned down, but Buckingham Palace denied the reports. Charles also has "a deep understanding of Islamic art and Islamic architecture, architecture", and has been involved in the construction of a building and garden at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies that combine Islamic and Oxford architectural styles. Charles has occasionally intervened in projects that employ architectural styles such as modernism and Functionalism (architecture), functionalism. In 2009, Charles wrote to the House of Thani, Qatari royal family, the developers of the Chelsea Barracks site, labelling Richard Rogers, Lord Rogers's design for the site "unsuitable". Subsequently, Rogers was removed from the project and The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment was appointed to propose an alternative. Rogers claimed the Prince had also intervened to block his designs for the Royal Opera House and Paternoster Square, and condemned Charles's actions as "an abuse of power" and "unconstitutional". Norman Foster (architect), Lord Foster, Zaha Hadid, Jacques Herzog, Jean Nouvel, Renzo Piano, and Frank Gehry, among others, wrote a letter to ''The Sunday Times'' complaining that the Prince's "private comments" and "behind-the-scenes lobbying" subverted the "open and democratic planning process". Piers Gough and other architects condemned Charles's views as "elitist" in a letter encouraging colleagues to boycott a speech given by Charles to RIBA in 2009. In 2010, The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment decided to help reconstruct and redesign buildings in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after the capital was destroyed by the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The foundation is known for refurbishing historic buildings in Kabul, Afghanistan and in Kingston, Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica. The project has been called the "biggest challenge yet" for the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment. For his work as patron of New Classical Architecture, in 2012 he was awarded the Driehaus Architecture Prize for patronage. The prize, awarded by the University of Notre Dame, is considered the highest architecture award for New Classical Architecture and urban planning.


Livery company commitments

The Worshipful Company of Carpenters installed Charles as an Honorary Liveryman "in recognition of his interest in London's architecture." The Prince of Wales is also Permanent Master of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Drapers, an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, an Honorary Member of the Court of Assistants of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, and a Royal Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.


Natural environment

Since the 1970s, Charles has promoted environmental awareness. In order to decrease his carbon footprint, he has used biomass boilers for heating Birkhall, where has also installed a hydroelectric turbine in the river beside the estate. He has utilised solar panels at Clarence House and Highgrove, and – besides using electric cars on his estates – runs his Aston Martin DB6 on E85. Upon moving into Highgrove House, Charles developed an interest in
organic farming Organic farming is an agricultural system that uses fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure Image:Hestemøj.jpg, Animal manure is often a mixture of animal feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable. Manure is orga ...
, which culminated in the 1990 launch of his own organic brand, Waitrose Duchy Organic, Duchy Originals, which now sells more than 200 different sustainably produced products, from food to garden furniture; the profits (over £6 million by 2010) are donated to The Prince's Charities. Documenting work on his estate, Charles co-authored (with Charles Clover, environment editor of ''
The Daily Telegraph ''The Daily Telegraph'', known online and elsewhere as ''The Telegraph'' (), is a national British daily broadsheet newspaper published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed across the United Kingdom and internationally. It was fo ...

The Daily Telegraph
'') ''Highgrove: An Experiment in Organic Gardening and Farming'', published in 1993, and offers his patronage to Garden Organic. Along similar lines, the Prince of Wales became involved with farming and various industries within it, regularly meeting with farmers to discuss their trade. Although the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak, 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic in England prevented Charles from visiting organic farms in Saskatchewan, he met the farmers at Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Assiniboia town hall. In 2004, he founded the Mutton Renaissance Campaign, which aims to support British sheep farmers and make mutton more attractive to Britons. His organic farming has attracted media criticism: According to ''The Independent'' in October 2006, "the story of Duchy Originals has involved compromises and ethical blips, wedded to a determined merchandising programme." In 2007, he received the 10th annual Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment, the director of which, 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". Charles's travels by private jet drew criticism from Plane Stupid's Joss Garman. In 2007, Charles launched The Prince's May Day Network, which encourages businesses to take action on
climate change Climate change includes both global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century ...
. Speaking to the European Parliament on 14 February 2008, he called for European Union leadership in the war against climate change. During the standing ovation that followed, Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), remained seated and went on to describe Charles's advisers as "naive and foolish at best." In a speech to the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit in a European Parliament chamber on 9 February 2011, Charles said that climate change sceptics are playing "a reckless game of roulette" with the planet's future and are having a "corrosive effect" on public opinion. He also articulated the need to protect fisheries and the Amazon rain forest, and to make low-carbon emissions affordable and competitive. In 2011, Charles received the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds#RSPB Medal, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Medal for his engagement with the environment, such as the Tropical rainforest conservation, conservation of rainforests. On 27 August 2012, the Prince of Wales addressed the International Union for Conservation of Nature – World Conservation Congress, supporting the view that grazing animals are needed to keep soils and grassland productive:
I have been particularly fascinated, for example, by the work of a remarkable man called Allan Savory, in Zimbabwe and other semi arid areas, who has argued for years against the prevailing expert view that is the simple numbers of cattle that drive overgrazing and cause fertile land to become desert. On the contrary, as he has since shown so graphically, the land needs the presence of feeding animals and their droppings for the cycle to be complete, so that soils and grassland areas stay productive. Such that, if you take grazers off the land and lock them away in vast feedlots, the land dies.
In February 2014, Charles visited the Somerset levels to meet residents affected by Winter flooding of 2013–14 on the Somerset Levels, winter flooding. During his visit, Charles remarked that "There's nothing like a jolly good disaster to get people to start doing something. The tragedy is that nothing happened for so long." He pledged a £50,000 donation, provided by the Prince's Countryside Fund, to help families and businesses. 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 August 2019, it was announced that the Prince of Wales had collaborated with British fashion designers Vin and Omi to produce a line of clothing made out of Urtica dioica, nettles found in his Highgrove estate. Nettles are a type of plants which are usually "perceived to have no value". The Highgrove plant waste was also used to create the jewellery worn with the dresses. In September 2020, the Prince of Wales launched RE:TV, an online platform featuring short films and articles on issues such as climate change and sustainability. He serves as the platform's editor-in-chief. The platform later partnered with Amazon Prime Video and WaterBear, another streaming platform dedicated to environmental issues. In the same month, he stated in a speech that a military-style response similar to the Marshall Plan was required to combat climate change. In January 2020, Chares launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, a project which encourages putting sustainability at the centre of all activities. In May 2020, the Prince of Wales's Sustainable Markets Initiative and the World Economic Forum launched the Great Reset project, a five-point plan concerned with enhancing sustainable economic growth following the global recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2021, Charles launched Terra Carta ("Earth Charter"), a sustainable finance charter that would ask its signatories to follow a set of rules towards becoming more sustainable and make investments in projects and causes that help with preserving the environment. In June 2021, he attended a reception hosted by the Queen during the 47th G7 summit, and a meeting beween G7 leaders and sustainable industry CEOs to discuss governmental and corporate solutions to environmental problems. 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 eliminating food waste. In the following month, he delivered a speech at the 2021 G20 Rome summit, describing COP26 as "the last chance saloon" for preventing climate change and asking for actions that would lead to a green-led sustainable economy. In his speech at the opening ceremony for COP26, he repeated his sentiments from the previous year, stating that a "a vast military-style campaign" was needed "to marshal the strength of the global private sector" for tackling climate change. In 2021, Prince Charles spoke to the BBC about the environment and said two days a week he eats no meat nor fish and one day a week he eats no dairy products.


Alternative medicine

Charles has controversially championed
alternative medicine Alternative medicine is any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive me ...
. The Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health attracted opposition from the scientific and medical community over its campaign encouraging general practitioners to offer herbal and other alternative treatments to National Health Service patients, and in May 2006, Charles made a speech at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, urging the integration of conventional and alternative medicine and arguing for
homeopathy Homeopathy or homoeopathy is a pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine Alternative medicine is any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) ...
. In April 2008, ''The Times'' published a letter from Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, which asked the Prince's Foundation to recall two guides promoting alternative medicine, saying "the majority of alternative therapies appear to be clinically ineffective, and many are downright dangerous." A speaker for the foundation countered the criticism by stating: "We entirely reject the accusation that our online publication ''Complementary Healthcare: A Guide'' contains any misleading or inaccurate claims about the benefits of complementary therapies. On the contrary, it treats people as adults and takes a responsible approach by encouraging people to look at reliable sources of information ... so that they can make informed decisions. The foundation does not promote complementary therapies." That year, Ernst published a book with Simon Singh, mockingly dedicated to "HRH the Prince of Wales", called ''Trick or Treatment, Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial''. The last chapter is highly critical of Charles's advocacy of complementary and alternative treatments. The Prince's Waitrose Duchy Organic, Duchy Originals produce a variety of complementary medicinal products including a "Detox Tincture" that Edzard Ernst has denounced as "financially exploiting the vulnerable" and "outright quackery". In 2009, the Advertising Standards Authority (United Kingdom), Advertising Standards Authority criticised an email that Duchy Originals had sent out to advertise its Echina-Relief, Hyperi-Lift and Detox Tinctures products saying that it was misleading. The Prince personally wrote at least seven letters to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) shortly before they relaxed the rules governing labelling of such herbal products, a move that has been widely condemned by scientists and medical bodies. In October 2009, it was reported that Charles had personally lobbied the Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, regarding greater provision of alternative treatments in the NHS. In 2016, Charles said in a speech that he used homeopathy, homeopathic veterinary medicines to reduce antibiotic use at his farm. In Ernst's book ''More Good Than Harm? The Moral Maze of Complementary and Alternative Medicine'', he and ethicist Kevin Smith call Charles "foolish and immoral", and "conclude that it is not possible to practice alternative medicine ethically". Ernst further claims that the private secretary of the Prince contacted the vice chancellor of Exeter University to investigate Ernst's complaints against the "Smallwood Report", which the Prince had commissioned in 2005. While Ernst was "found not to be guilty of any wrong-doing, all local support at Exeter stopped, which eventually led to my early retirement." In April 2010, following accounting irregularities, a former official at the Prince's Foundation and his wife were arrested for fraud believed to total £300,000. Four days later, the foundation announced its closure, claiming that it "has achieved its key objective of promoting the use of integrated health." The charity's finance director, accountant George Gray, was convicted of theft totalling £253,000 and sentenced to three years in prison. The Prince's Foundation was re-branded and re-launched later in 2010 as College of Medicine (UK), The College of Medicine.


Religious and philosophical interests

Prince Charles was confirmation, confirmed at age 16 by Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey at Easter 1965, in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. He attends services at various Church of England, Anglican churches close to Highgrove, and attends the Church of Scotland's Crathie Kirk with the rest of the royal family when staying at Balmoral Castle. In 2000, he was appointed as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Charles has visited (amid some secrecy) Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox monasteries several times on Mount Athos as well as in Romania. Charles is also patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford, and in the 2000s, he inaugurated the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, which is dedicated to Islamic studies in a plural multicultural context. Sir Laurens van der Post became a friend of Charles in 1977; he was dubbed his "spiritual guru" and was godfather to Charles's son, Prince William. From van der Post, Prince Charles developed a focus on philosophy and interest in other religions. Charles expressed his philosophical views in his 2010 book, ''Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World'', which won a Nautilus Book Award. In November 2016, he attended the consecration of St Thomas Cathedral, Acton, to be Britain's first Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Orthodox Cathedral. In October 2019, he attended the canonisation of Cardinal Newman. Charles visited Eastern Church leaders in Jerusalem in January 2020 culminating in an ecumenical service in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, after which he walked through that city accompanied by Christian and Muslim dignitaries. Although it had been rumoured that Charles would vow to be "Defender of the Faiths" or "Defender of Faith" as king, he stated in 2015 that he would retain the monarch's traditional title of "Fidei defensor, Defender of the Faith", whilst "ensuring that other people's faiths can also be practised", which he sees as a duty of the Church of England.


Hobbies and personal interests


Sports

From his youth until 1992, Prince Charles was an avid player of competitive polo. He continued to play informally, including for charity, until 2005. Charles also frequently took part in fox hunting until Hunting Act 2004, the sport was banned in the United Kingdom in 2005. By the late 1990s, opposition to the activity was growing when Charles's participation was viewed as a "political statement" by those who were opposed to it. The League Against Cruel Sports launched an attack against Charles after he took his sons on the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, Beaufort Hunt in 1999. At that time, the government was trying to ban hunting with hounds. Charles has been a keen salmon angler since youth and supports Orri Vigfússon's efforts to protect the North Atlantic salmon. He frequently fishes the River Dee, Aberdeenshire, River Dee in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, while he claims his most special angling memories are from his time in Vopnafjörður, Iceland. Charles is a supporter of Burnley F.C., Burnley Football Club.


Visual, performing and contemporary arts

Prince Charles is president or patron of more than 20 performing arts organisations, which include the Royal College of Music, the The Royal Opera, Royal Opera, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, and the Purcell School. In 2000, he revived the tradition of appointing harpists to the Royal Court, by appointing an Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales. As an undergraduate at Cambridge he played cello, and has sung with the Bach Choir twice. Charles founded The Prince's Foundation for Children and The Arts in 2002, to help more children experience the arts first-hand. He is president of the Royal Shakespeare Company and attends performances in Stratford-Upon-Avon, supports fundraising events and attends the company's annual general meeting. He enjoys comedy, and is interested in Magic (illusion), illusionism, becoming a member of The Magic Circle (organisation), The Magic Circle after passing his audition in 1975 by performing the "cups and balls" effect. Charles has also been patron of the British Film Institute since 1978. Charles is a keen and accomplished watercolourist who has exhibited and sold a number of his works and also published books on the subject. In 2001, 20 lithographs of his watercolour paintings illustrating his country estates were exhibited at the Florence Biennale, Florence International Biennale of Contemporary Art. He is Honorary President of the Royal Academy of Arts Development Trust. Charles was awarded the 2011 Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award by the Montblanc Cultural Foundation for his support and commitment to the arts, particularly in regard to young people. On 23 April 2016, Charles appeared in a comedy sketch for the Royal Shakespeare Company's ''Shakespeare Live!'' at the Royal Shakespeare Company#Theatres, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death in 1616. The event was televised live by the BBC. Charles made a surprise entrance to settle the disputed delivery of Hamlet (play), Hamlet's celebrated line, "To be or not to be, that is the question".


Publications

Prince Charles is an author of several books that reflect his own interests. He has also contributed a foreword or preface to books by other writers and has also written, presented and has been featured in documentary films.


Media image

Since his birth, Prince Charles has received close media attention, which increased as he matured. It has been an ambivalent relationship, largely impacted by his marriages to Diana and Camilla and its aftermath, but also centred on his future conduct as king, such as the 2014 play ''King Charles III (play), King Charles III''. Described as the "Eligible bachelor, world's most eligible bachelor" in the late 1970s, Prince Charles was subsequently overshadowed by Diana. After her death, the media regularly breached Charles's privacy and printed exposés. In 2003, Diana's butler Paul Burrell published a note that he claimed had been written by Diana in 1995, in which there were allegations that Charles was "planning 'an accident' in [Diana's] car, brake failure and serious head injury" so that he could marry again. When questioned by the Metropolitan Police inquiry team as a part of Operation Paget, Charles told the authorities that he did not know about his former wife's note from 1995 and could not understand why she had these feelings. In 2006, the prince filed a court case against the ''Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday'', after excerpts of his personal journals were published, revealing his opinions on matters such as the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to China in 1997, in which Charles described the Chinese government officials as "appalling old waxworks". Mark Bolland, his ex-private secretary, declared in a statement to the High Court that Charles "would readily embrace the political aspects of any contentious issue he was interested in ... He carried it out in a very considered, thoughtful and researched way. He often referred to himself as a 'dissident' working against the prevailing political consensus." Jonathan Dimbleby reported that the prince "has accumulated a number of certainties about the state of the world and does not relish contradiction." Other people who were formerly connected with the prince have betrayed his confidence. An ex-member of his household handed the press an internal memo in which Charles commented on ambition and opportunity, and which was widely interpreted as blaming meritocracy for creating a combative atmosphere in society. Charles responded: "In my view, it is just as great an achievement to be a plumber or a bricklayer as it is to be a lawyer or a doctor". In 2012, Charles met backlash for his long-standing association with Jimmy Savile, who was accused of hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse after his death in 2011. Charles met Savile through mutual charity interests, and later consulted him as a confidant and adviser. His work with Stoke Mandeville Hospital also made Savile a suitable figure to whom the prince could turn "for advice on navigating Britain's health authorities". Dickie Arbiter, the spokesman for the Queen between 1988 and 2000, said that during his regular visits to Charles's office at St James's Palace, Savile would "do the rounds of the young ladies taking their hands and rubbing his lips all the way up their arms", though no record of any assistants making a complaint exists. Charles met Savile on several occasions. In 1999, he visited Savile's Glen Coe home for a private meal. He reportedly sent him gifts on his 80th birthday and a note reading: "Nobody will ever know what you have done for this country, Jimmy. This is to go some way in thanking you for that". In August 2021, it was announced that The Prince's Foundation was launching an investigation into the reports that middlemen took cuts for setting up dinners involving wealthy donors and Prince Charles, with prices as high as £100,000 and the fixers taking up to 25% of the fees. In the following month it was alleged that the prince's aide Michael Fawcett had fixed a Order of the British Empire, CBE for Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz who donated more than £1.5 million to royal charities contrary to section 1 of the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. Charles gave Mahfouz his Honorary CBE at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016, though the event was not published in the Court Circular. The allegations led to Fawcett temporarily stepping down from his role as chief executive of The Prince's Foundation, while Republic (political organisation), Republic reported the prince and Fawcett to the police. The foundation's chairman Douglas Connell also quit his job over claims the charity had accepted "a six-figure sum from a Russian donor", with the prince thanking the businessman in a letter and suggesting a meeting. This led to an investigation by the Scottish Charity Regulator. Clarence House responded that Charles had "no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation". The auditing firm EY, which was hired by the charity to carry out an investigation, published a summary report in December 2021, stating that there was "no evidence that trustees at the time were aware of these communications".


Reaction to press treatment

Charles's anguish was recorded in his private comments to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, caught on a microphone during a press photo-call in 2005 and published in the national press. After a question from the BBC's royal correspondent, Nicholas Witchell, Charles muttered: "These bloody people. I can't bear that man. I mean, he's so awful, he really is." In 2002, Charles, "so often a target of the press, got his chance to return fire" when addressing "scores of editors, publishers and other media executives" gathered at St Bride's Church, St Bride's Fleet Street to celebrate 300 years of journalism. Defending public servants from "the corrosive drip of constant criticism", he noted that the press had been "awkward, cantankerous, cynical, bloody-minded, at times intrusive, at times inaccurate and at times deeply unfair and harmful to individuals and to institutions." But, he concluded, regarding his own relations with the press, "from time to time we are probably both a bit hard on each other, exaggerating the downsides and ignoring the good points in each."


Guest appearances on television

The Prince of Wales has occasionally appeared on television. In 1984, he read his children's book ''The Old Man of Lochnagar'' for the BBC's ''Jackanory'' series. The UK soap opera ''Coronation Street'' featured an appearance by Charles during the show's 40th anniversary in 2000, as did the New Zealand young adult cartoon series ''bro'Town'' (2005), after he attended a performance by the show's creators during a tour of the country. Charles was interviewed with Princes William and Harry by Ant & Dec to mark the 30th anniversary of The Prince's Trust in 2006 and in 2016 was interviewed by them again along with his sons and the Duchess of Cornwall to mark the 40th anniversary. His saving of the Scottish stately home Dumfries House was the subject of Alan Titchmarsh's documentary ''Royal Restoration'', which aired on TV in May 2012. Also in May 2012, Charles tried his hand at being a weather presenter for the BBC, reporting the forecast for Scotland as part of their annual week at Holyrood Palace alongside Christopher Blanchett. He injected humour in his report, asking, "Who the hell wrote this script?" as references were made to royal residences. In December 2015, ''Channel 4 News'' revealed that interviews with Charles were subject to a contract that restricts questions to those previously approved, and gives his staff oversight of editing and the right to "remove the contribution in its entirety from the programme". ''Channel 4 News'' decided not to proceed with an interview on this basis, which some journalists believed would put them at risk of breaching the Ofcom Broadcasting Code on editorial independence and transparency.


Residences and finance

Clarence House in 2008 Clarence House is a List of British royal residences, British royal residence on The Mall in the City of Westminster City of Westminster is an Inner London, inner London City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, ...

Clarence House
, previously the residence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, is Charles's official London residence. His primary source of income is generated from the Duchy of Cornwall, which owns 133,658 acres of land (around 54,090 hectares), including farming, residential, and commercial properties, as well as an investment portfolio. Highgrove House in Gloucestershire is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, having been purchased for his use in 1980, and which Prince Charles rents for £336,000 per annum. The Public Accounts Committee (United Kingdom), Public Accounts Committee published its 25th report into the Duchy of Cornwall accounts in November 2013 noting that the duchy performed well in 2012–13, increasing its total income and producing an overall surplus of £19.1 million. In 2007, the prince purchased a 192-acre property (150 acres of grazing and parkland, and 40 acres of woodland) in Carmarthenshire, and applied for permission to convert the farm into a Welsh home for him and the Duchess of Cornwall, to be rented out as holiday flats when the couple is not in residence. A neighbouring family said the proposals flouted local planning regulations, and the application was put on hold temporarily while a report was drafted on how the alterations would affect the local bat population. Charles and Camilla first stayed at the new property, called Llwynywermod, in June 2008. They also stay at
Birkhall Birkhall (BerkHA; from the Scots ''Birk Hauch'': " Birch River-meadow") is a 53,000 acre (210 km²) estate on Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire upright=1.3, Topographic map of Aberdeenshire and Moray Aberdeenshire ( sco, Aiberd ...
for some holidays, which is a private residence on the Balmoral Castle estate in Scotland, and was previously used by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. In 2016, it was reported that his estates receive £100,000 a year in European Union agricultural subsidies. Starting in 1993, the Prince of Wales has paid tax voluntarily under the Memorandum of Understanding on Royal Taxation, updated 2013. In December 2012, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs were asked to investigate alleged tax avoidance by the Duchy of Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall is named in the Paradise Papers, a set of confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investment that were leaked to the German newspaper ''Süddeutsche Zeitung''. The papers show that the Duchy invested in a Bermuda-based carbon credits trading company run by one of Charles's Cambridge contemporaries. The investment was kept secret but there is no suggestion that Charles or the estate avoided UK tax.


Titles, styles, honours and arms


Titles and styles

Charles has held titles throughout his life: the grandson of the monarch, the son of the monarch and in his own right. He has been a British prince since birth and was created Prince of Wales in 1958. There has been speculation as to what regnal name the prince would choose upon his succession to the throne. If he uses his first name, he would be known as ''Charles III''. However, it was reported in 2005 that Charles has suggested he may choose to reign as ''George VII'' in honour of his George VI, maternal grandfather, and to avoid association with the House of Stuart, Stuart kings Charles I of England, Charles I (Execution of Charles I, who was beheaded) and Charles II of England, Charles II (who was known for his promiscuous lifestyle), as well as to be sensitive to the memory of Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, who was called "Charles III" by Jacobitism, his supporters. Charles's office responded that "no decision has been made".


Honours and military appointments

Charles has held substantive ranks in the armed forces of a number of countries since he was made a flight lieutenant in the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's Air force, air and space force. It was formed towards the end of the World War I, First World War on 1 April 1918, becoming the first independent air force in the world, by regrouping the Royal ...
in 1972. Charles's first honorary appointment in the armed forces was as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales in 1969; since then, the prince has also been installed as Colonel-in-Chief, Colonel, Honorary Air Commodore, Air Commodore-in-Chief, Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Honorary Colonel, Royal Colonel, and Honorary Commodore of at least 32 military formations throughout the Commonwealth, including the Royal Gurkha Rifles, which is the only foreign regiment in the British army. Since 2009, Charles holds the second-highest ranks in all three branches of the Canadian Forces and, on 16 June 2012, the Queen awarded the Prince of Wales honorary five-star rank in all three branches of the
British Armed Forces The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military, military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom, its British Overseas Territories, overseas territories and the Crown dependencies. They al ...
, "to acknowledge his support in her role as Commander-in-Chief", installing him as Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy), Admiral of the Fleet, Field marshal (United Kingdom), Field Marshal and Marshal of the Royal Air Force. He has been inducted into seven orders and received eight decorations from the Commonwealth realms, and has been the recipient of 20 different honours from foreign states, as well as nine honorary degrees from universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.


Arms


Banners, flags, and standards

The banners used by the prince vary depending upon location. His Personal Standard is the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom differenced as in his arms with a label of three points Argent, and the escutcheon of the arms of the Principality of Wales in the centre. It is used outside Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, and Canada, and throughout the entire United Kingdom when the prince is acting in an official capacity associated with the UK Armed Forces. The personal flag for use in Wales is based upon the Royal Badge of Wales (the historic arms of the Kingdom of Gwynedd), which consist of four quadrants, the first and fourth with a red lion on a gold field, and the second and third with a gold lion on a red field. Superimposed is an escutcheon Vert (heraldry), Vert bearing the single-arched coronet of the Prince of Wales. In Scotland the personal banner used since 1974 is based upon three ancient Scottish titles:
Duke of Rothesay Duke of Rothesay (; gd, Diùc Baile Bhòid, sco, Duik o Rothesay) is a Substantive title, dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the current Duchess ...
(
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ( ...
to the King of Scots), High Steward of Scotland and
Lord of the Isles The Lord of the Isles ( gd, Triath nan Eilean or ) is a title of Peerage of Scotland, Scottish nobility with historical roots that go back beyond the Kingdom of Scotland. It began with Somerled in the 12th century and thereafter the title was ...
. The flag is divided into four quadrants like the arms of the Chief of Clan Stewart of Appin; the first and fourth quadrants comprise a gold field with a blue and silver checkered band in the centre; the second and third quadrants display a black galley on a silver field. The arms are differenced from those of Appin by the addition of an inescutcheon bearing the tressured lion rampant of Scotland; defaced by a plain label of three points Azure to indicate the heir apparent. In Cornwall, the banner is the arms of the Duke of Cornwall: "Sable (heraldry), Sable 15 bezants Or", that is, a black field bearing 15 gold coins. In 2011, the Canadian Heraldic Authority introduced a Royal standards of Canada#Other members of the Royal Family, personal heraldic banner for the Prince of Wales for use in Canada, consisting of the shield of the Arms of Canada defaced with both a blue roundel (heraldry), roundel of the Prince of Wales's feathers surrounded by a wreath of gold maple leaves, and a white label of three points. File:Royal Standard of the Prince of Wales.svg, Banner of arms File:Personal Banner of the Prince of Wales.svg, Standard for Wales File:Personal Banner of the Duke of Rothesay.svg, Standard for Scotland File:Flag of the Duke of Cornwall.svg, Banner of arms of the Duke of Cornwall File:Royal Standard of the Prince of Wales (in Canada).svg, Standard of the Prince of Wales for personal use in Canada


Issue


Ancestry


Notes


References

Other sources * * * * * *


Further reading

* * Bower, Tom, (2018) The Rebel Prince, The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, William Collins * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Official website of the Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales
at the Royal Family website

at the Duchy of Cornwall website * * , - , - , - , - , - {{DEFAULTSORT:Charles, Wales, Prince Of Charles, Prince of Wales, 1948 births Living people 20th-century British writers 21st-century British writers Alumni of Aberystwyth University Alumni of Trinity College, Cambridge British Anglicans British environmentalists British philanthropists Dukes of Cornwall Dukes of Edinburgh Dukes of Rothesay Graduates of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell Heirs to the British throne House of Windsor Mountbatten-Windsor family People educated at Cheam School People educated at Geelong Grammar School People educated at Gordonstoun People educated at Hill House School People from Westminster Princes of Wales Sustainability advocates Writers from London Sons of British monarchs Children of Elizabeth II People named in the Paradise Papers