43 things you never knew about King Charles III

 (Corbis via Getty Images)
(Corbis via Getty Images)

1. ‘Grandpa Wales’ does uncanny Harry Potter impressions... ‘He does all the voices,’ says his wife, Queen Camilla, leaving his 10 grandchildren ‘spellbound’.

2. He is a former cellist, having played with his university orchestra.

3. Rod Stewart is his best pal. Sir Rod played ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’ at Charles’ 60th. Charles has also invited chum Miriam Margolyes around for house parties.

4. Charles doesn’t eat lunch. Nor will he go near chocolate, coffee or garlic.

5. Biscuits must be warmed to a certain temperature. Charles’ staff are said to keep a ‘warming pan’ on standby to ‘make sure they are hot enough for his liking’.

6. Favourite dishes? Cheesy baked eggs and ‘groussaka’ — his version of the Greek dish moussaka but with grouse instead of lamb.

7. His favourite tea is Darjeeling with honey and milk. And he’s often happy to stop by on royal, loyal subjects. Brighton schoolteacher Amanda Sewell invited him spontaneously for a cuppa when he visited the city in 1999 — he came in, enjoyed an Earl Grey and admired her antiques.

8. The Guardian believes his fortune to exceed £1.8bn, including 10 castles, works by Dalí, Monet, Freud, Chagall and Lowry, and £553m worth of jewels.

 (Popperfoto via Getty Images)
(Popperfoto via Getty Images)

9. From the age of two months, he would spend just 15 minutes twice a day with his parents before being returned to the care of his nannies.

10. He is the first monarch to go to school. Every other had been home-schooled. He arrived at Hill House in London in a chauffeur-driven limousine.

11. He was an eager-to-please kid. Once, at lunch with the Mountbattens, a relative explained that he shouldn’t take the stalks out of his strawberries because he could pick them up by the stems and dip them in the sugar. His cousin Pamela Hicks noticed later that ‘the poor child was trying to put all the stems back on’.

12. But he was badly bullied by classmates about his weight and appearance. Kids called him ‘fatty’ and made fun of his protruding ears.

13. No heir before Charles had earned a university degree. He graduated from Cambridge in 1970 with a 2:2.

14. He made a fine Macbeth. As a teenager, he won rave reviews in Gordonstoun School production of the Scottish play.

15. Charles is one of Britain’s most successful artists. He’s an honorary member of the RA and his paintings have sold for a total of about £2 million.

16. He is a published author. His children’s book, The Old Man of Lochnagar, includes characters like under- water haggis who rotate as they swim and the miniature green people of Gorm. He wrote it to entertain his younger brothers.

17. He’s terrified of cling film. According to biographer Tom Bower, the then prince was said to have ‘shrieked’ and ‘trembled’ when first coming into contact with the humble plastic.

18. The King speaks Welsh, French and German, with decent fluency.

19. The US Secret Service’s code name for Charles is ‘Unicorn’, Scotland’s national animal.

20. A teddy bear accompanies him everywhere. It kept him company when he was homesick at boarding school and it has stuck around. The only person allowed to mend it is his childhood nanny, Mabel Anderson.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

21. He talks to trees. ‘I happily talk to the plants and trees, and listen to them. I think it’s absolutely crucial,’ said Charles. Clarence House has also tweeted that after Charles plants a tree, ‘he often gives a branch a friendly shake to wish it well’.

22. The King’s eco-friendly Aston Martin runs on surplus English white wine and cheese byproducts.

23. Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula, is a distant relative. The grandmother of Elizabeth II was belived to be descended from Vlad’s sons.

24. He has been slapped in the face and shot at. In 1994, protester David Kang fired two blank shots at Charles from a starting pistol.

25. A frog is named after him. A rare species of Ecuadorian stream frog was christened Hyloscirtus princecharlesi after our conservationist King.

26. He once sent Barbra Streisand flowers, which she later reminded him of. ‘You know, if I played my cards right, I could have wound up being the first Jewish princess!’ she said.

27. President Nixon hoped Charles would become his son-in-law. The US president sent Charles to a baseball game with his daughter, Tricia.

28. He’s magic. Charles was inducted into The Magic Circle in 1975 after performing a cups and balls trick.

29. Presents aren’t his strong suit. Charles once sent a bottle of Scotch to recovering alcoholic Ozzy Osbourne following the singer’s quad bike crash.

30. But he does enjoy a gag gift. Prince Andrew once gave Charles a leather toilet seat for Christmas — and it went down a treat.

31. He’s slicker than Barack Obama. That’s according to Esquire UK, which named him its best dresser in 2009.

32. No wonder: the King has three personal valets tasked solely with dressing him. They even have to iron all his shoelaces.

33. Charles doesn’t travel light. He reportedly sends a truck to his friends’ country houses the day before he arrives with his orthopaedic bed, a lavatory seat and landscapes of the Scottish Highlands among other personal items.

34. Even a prince’s things get lost in the post. At least four huge olive oil jars intended for him were delivered to a pub called The Prince of Wales by mistake.

35. He is known as ‘Keeper of the Cows,’ a name given to him by the Masai in Tanzania in 2011 for his services to farming...

36. The first formal photograph of The Prince was taken by Cecil Beaton in December 1948.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

37. He caused a national scandal aged 14. Young Charles ordered a cherry brandy — the same drink the Queen had given him a nip of before a hunt—at a pub near his Scottish boarding school.

38. Burnley FC is his football club of choice. He’ll be delighted with their charge back to the Premier League.

39. Despite being a qualified pilot, he’s grounded. Charles crashed the Queen’s £10m BAE 146 aircraft on the windy Scottish island of Islay, bursting three wheels as he made a bumpy landing. No one was injured.

40. He was passionate about polo- but kept falling off his horse until he quit in 2005. ‘I will go on as long as I bounce when I fall off ,’ he once said.

41. Tatler called him a sex symbol. ‘In the flesh, the prince shovels sexuality,’ said the magazine in 1992. ‘The beauty of the future monarch lies in a vision of him on horseback on a ploughed-up field covered in mud, swapping sweaty jerseys behind a transit van as he reeks of horsehair.’

42. He loves Leonard Cohen. ‘I find it very moving, the words are so extraordinary, sort of Salvador Dalí-like, they lead you into this remarkable Dalí-like world,’ he told BBC Radio 3.

43. About those hands... he’s in on the joke. He himself dubbed them his ‘sausage fingers’ in a letter to a friend when he was describing his newborn son, Prince William. ‘He really does look surprisingly appetising and has sausage fingers just like mine,’ he wrote at the time.