King Charles III: All you need to know about King of the United Kingdom

King Charles III: All you need to know about King of the United Kingdom

I was in primary school the first time I heard of Prince Charles. I remember watching a documentary about his marriage with the charismatic Princess Diana, which I didn’t understand because I was too young.

Fast forward to years later when I was in the university. I was listening to a late-night radio show where a woman who proudly called herself the Nigerian Carmilla narrated how to snatch her “Prince Charles” boyfriend from his wife. The nerve. As in I could picture her in her living room sipping a hot cup of tea as she puffed her chest and narrated her story.

Anyway, the purpose of my yarn is that Prince Charles has been a hot topic since 19-kpiridim. Now that he’s King Charles III following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, it’s appropriate to revisit his story in the form of a biography.


King Charles III as a boy

Charles was born in Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948, to the then Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Princess Elizabeth was the first child of George VI, who ascended the British throne after his elder brother, Prince Edward, abdicated in favour of marrying Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American woman (why does this sound familiar now?).

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Anyway, Charles is the first child of four children, which automatically made him Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. As was the custom for upper-class children in those days, he was homeschooled by a governess, Catherine Peebles, during his early education in Buckingham Palace alongside his younger siblings, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.

However, in 1955, Buckingham Palace announced that Charles would attend school instead of having a private tutor, making him the first British heir-apparent to be educated. He commenced classes at Hill House School in West London on November 7, 1956. He did not receive any preferential treatment as the headmaster of the school, Stuart Townend, advised the queen to have Charles train in football because the boys were never deferential to anyone on the football field.

In 1958, Charles attended two of his father’s former schools, Cheam Preparatory School in Berkshire, England, and then Gordonstoun in the northeast of Scotland in 1962. He described his education at Gordonstoun as tough because he was a victim of bullying. But he also showed gratitude to the school for teaching him “a great deal about myself and my own abilities and disabilities. It taught me to accept challenges and take the initiative.”

In October 1967, Charles broke another royal tradition by enrolling straight in university after his A-levels rather than joining the British Armed Forces. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read archaeology and anthropology for the first part of the Tripos and then changed to history for the second part.

In his second year, Charles attended the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth to study Welsh history and language for a term. On June 23, 1970, he became the first  British heir apparent to earn a university degree after graduating from the University of Cambridge with a 2:2 Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Cambridge also awarded him a Master of Arts (MA Cantab) degree on August 2, 1975. This was an academic rank rather than a postgraduate degree.


Prince Charles as a soldier
Photo by Daily Herald/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Charles became Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on July 26, 1958. However, his investiture was held on July 1, 1969, when his mother crowned him in a highly televised ceremony. He officially joined the House of Lords in 1970 and made his maiden speech in June 1974. He took on more public duties and established the Prince’s Trust in 1976. He also went to the United States in 1981.

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Charles also served in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. While in Cambridge, he had requested and received Royal Air Force training, learning to fly the Chipmunk aircraft with Cambridge University Air Squadron. He flew himself to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell to train as a jet pilot on March 8, 1971.

After the passing out parade, Charles proceeded to serve on the guided-missile destroyer HMS Norfolk (1971–1972), frigates HMS Minerva (1972–1973), and HMS Jupiter (1974). He also qualified as a helicopter pilot at RNAS Yeovilton. In 1994, he gave up flying after crash landing a BAe 146 in Islay.

Official duties

Prince Charles with President Reagan in the Oval Office in 1981
Prince Charles with President Reagan in the Oval Office in 1981. Photo credit: Rex Features

Charles is known as the “hardest-working member of the royal family.” He took 560 official engagements in 2008, 499 in 2010, and over 600 in 2011. As Prince of Wales, he represented the queen in several public duties including investitures and funerals of foreign dignitaries. He also made frequent trips to Wales and attended important national occasions, such as opening the Senedd. Under his chairmanship, six trustees of the Royal Collection Trust met three times a year.

Charles also travelled around the world on official visits. He is also known for his philanthropic works since the Prince’s Trust in 1976 and 16 more charitable organisations where he is the President in all of them. Also notable is his outspoken criticism of modern architecture. In 1992 he founded the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture, which later became the BRE Trust, an organization involved with urban regeneration and development projects.

Charles is a strong advocate of the environment, which dates back to 1970, when he delivered a speech on the “horrifying effects” of all forms of pollution and called attention to the threat posed by “indestructible plastic containers.”


Charles was born on November 14, 1948. This makes him 73 years old.


King Charles III with his family

Charles is the father of Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry Charles Albert David. His first son, William is married to Catherine (nee Meddleton), Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge. They have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

Prince Henry, popularly known as Harry, is married to former American actress Meghan Markle and they have two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lillibet. This means Charles has six grandchildren.

Charles is also married to Camilla Parker Bowles, with whom he had a prior long-standing relationship.

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Prince Charles and Diana

King Charles III with Diane is former wife

Charles married Lady Diana Frances Spencer on July 29, 1981, in a globally live televised wedding ceremony that was watched by hundreds of millions of people. Diana, who became Princess of Wales after her marriage to Charles, was the daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer. The couple had their first child, Prince William of Wales, on June 21, 1982. Their second child, Prince Henry Charles Albert David, was born on  September 15, 1984.

Charles and Diana’s marriage was a rocky one, particularly heightened by the tabloid press, also known as the Paparazzi, and rumours of infidelity. On December 9, 1992, the couple was announced to have separated but had agreed to carry on their official duties and share the responsibilities of raising their sons. However, they officially divorced on August 28, 1996.

A year later, Diana died in an auto crash, which further sparked public criticisms against the royal family and dipped Charles’ popularity. He subsequently spent efforts to rebuild his public image as the heir apparent to the throne.

Prince Charles height

Prince Charles is 5ft 10 inches tall (1.78m). He is taller than his current wife, Camilla, but the same height as his late ex-wife, Diana.

Net worth

Charles has an estimated net worth of $400 million, according to Wealth-X. Most of his money comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, a private estate that funds the life and activities of whoever is the Prince of Wales and his family. Also, Charles inherited Queen Elizabeth II’s assets following her death.

King Charles III

King Charles III

Charles became King Charles III following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022. He was the longest-serving British heir apparent, surpassing Edward VII’s record on April 20, 2011. King Charles is also the oldest king to ascend the throne in British history. The King gave his first speech to the nation on September 9, in which he mourned his late mother and proclaimed his son William the Prince of Wales.

On September 10, 2022, Charles was publicly proclaimed King of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms by the Accession Council in a first-ever publicly televised ceremony.

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Nonye is a Thespian, screenwriter, creative writer and an unapologetic lover of books, great movies and sports. She has over 10 years experience in content writing on entertainment, movies, sports and lifestyle. Nonye is currently a content writer at Blackdot Media and founder of
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