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King Charles’s extraordinary story in 76 photos: From little prince to reigning monarch

A composite image of King Charles III in 1954, 1976, and 2023. (Getty Images)
King Charles III (L-R) in 1954, 1976, and 2023. (Getty Images)

King Charles III has been waiting to be monarch his entire life. He was just three years old when his grandfather, King George VI died in 1952, making him first in line to the throne before he even started school.

After Queen Elizabeth II died last September, the King ascended the throne aged 73, making him the oldest monarch to take the throne in the 1000 years the British Royal Family lineage can be traced.

From Gordonstoun student, through his tumultuous marriage to Diana Spencer, and his later years spent as an eco-warrior and husband to Camilla, the King’s life has been broken up into distinct chapters. His most prominent - as the crowned King of England - has now begun.

To celebrate Charles's coronation, we’ve taken a look back at His Majesty’s life, with a photo to reflect each of his 75 years to date.

2023

Britain's King Charles III wearing the Imperial state Crown, and Britain's Queen Camilla wearing a modified version of Queen Mary's Crown wave from the Buckingham Palace balcony after viewing the Royal Air Force fly-past in central London on May 6, 2023, after their coronations. - The set-piece coronation is the first in Britain in 70 years, and only the second in history to be televised. Charles will be the 40th reigning monarch to be crowned at the central London church since King William I in 1066. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
King Charles III and Queen Camilla. (Getty Images)

On Saturday May 6, Charles was officially crowned as King of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms - 70 years after he became first in line to the throne.

2022

TOPSHOT - Britain's King Charles III attends a Vigil at St Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh, on September 12, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8. - Mourners will on September 12, 2022 get the first opportunity to pay respects before the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in an Edinburgh cathedral where King Charles III will preside over a vigil. (Photo by Jane Barlow / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JANE BARLOW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The now-King Charles III stands guard with his siblings surrounding the late Queen’s coffin at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Getty Images)

Charles ascends the throne after Queen Elizabeth II dies on September 8, 2022.

2021

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this image released on April 2, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales pose for a portrait in the garden of Frogmore House, on March 23, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Charles and the late Queen in the gardens of Frogmore House in March 2021. (Getty Images)

Charles had the busiest royal diary in 2021, with 335 engagements to attend. He carried out 227 of these in person.

2020

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 15: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, look back after visiting the Neue Wache memorial to victims of war and tyranny on November 15, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. The British royal couple are in Berlin to attend events today on Germany's National Day of Mourning which commemorates victims of war and fascism. Prince Charles is set to give a speech at the Bundestag later. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Charles and Camilla wear face masks while visiting the Neue Wache memorial to victims of war and tyranny in Berlin, Germany. (Getty Images)

Charles tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2020 when the pandemic reached British shores. He would later go on to test positive for a second time in February 2022.

2019

The Duchess of Sussex talks with Prince Charles at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth day service.
Commonwealth Day has a special significance this year, as 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth, with old ties and new links enabling cooperation towards social, political and economic development which is both inclusive and sustainable. The Commonwealth represents a global network of 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people, a third of the world’s population, of whom 60 percent are under 30 years old.
Each year the Commonwealth adopts a theme upon which the Service is based. This year’s theme ‘A Connected Commonwealth’ speaks of the practical value and global engagement made possible as a result of cooperation between the culturally diverse and widely dispersed family of nations, who work together in friendship and goodwill.
The Commonwealth’s governments, institutions and people connect at many levels, including through parliaments and universities. They work together to protect the natural environment and the ocean which connects many Commonwealth nations, shore to shore. Cooperation on trade encourages inclusive economic empowerment for all people - particularly women, youth and marginalised communities. The Commonwealth’s friendly sporting rivalry encourages people to participate in sport for development and peace.
Charles speaks to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during the 2019 Commonwealth Day service. (Getty Images)

Charles became a grandfather for the fourth time in 2019, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their first child - Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

2018

Charles accompanies Meghan Markle down the aisle as she weds Prince Harry at Windsor. (Getty Images)
Charles accompanies Meghan Markle down the aisle as she weds Prince Harry at Windsor. (Getty Images)

In 2018, Charles watched his youngest son Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle. They would soon be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

2017

VIMY, FRANCE - APRIL 09:  Prince Charles, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend a ceremony to mark the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017 in Vimy France. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)
Charles, William, and Harry attend a ceremony to mark the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France. (Getty Images)

Charles was again crowned the busiest royal in 2017, attending a whopping 546 engagements.

2016

POUNDBURY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27:  Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the unveiling of a statue of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother during a visit to Poundbury on October 27, 2016 in Poundbury, Dorset.  (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Prince Philip and Charles share a laugh at the unveiling of a statue of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother during a visit to Poundbury in 2016. (Getty Images)

Princess Anne beat out her brother as the busiest royal in 2016, with 179 days of engagements, Charles had just 139 that year in comparison.

2015

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13:  (L-R) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge look on from the balcony during the annual Trooping The Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade on June 13, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Charles stands on the Buckingham Palace balcony alongside Prince George, William and Kate for the 2015 Trooping The Colour. (Getty Images)

Charles would welcome his first granddaughter in 2015, Princess Charlotte. His second, Meghan and Harry’s daughter Lilibet, would be born six years later in 2021.

2014

Charles and Prince Harry attend the inaugural Invictus Games with Harry in 2014. (Getty Images)
Charles attends the inaugural Invictus Games with Harry in 2014. (Getty Images)

Charles supported Prince Harry’s Invictus Games venture in 2014. The games is an international sports event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

2013

AYRSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM- MARCH 05: Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, Catherine, Countess of Strathearn and Prince William, Earl of Strathearn share a joke during a visit to Dumfries House on March 05, 2013 in Ayrshire, Scotland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge braved the bitter cold to attend the opening of an outdoor centre in Scotland today. The couple joined the Prince of Wales at Dumfries House in Ayrshire where Charles has led a regeneration project since 2007. Hundreds of locals and 600 members of youth groups including the Girl Guides and Scouts turned out for the official opening of the Tamar Manoukin Outdoor Centre. (Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Charles, Kate and William share a joke during a visit to Dumfries House in Scotland in 2013. (Getty Images)

The Prince and Princess of Wales would give Charles his first grandchild in 2013. Prince George was born on July 22, 2013.

2012

BRAEMAR, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales laugh whilst watching the children's sack race as they attend the 2012 Braemar Highland Gathering at The Princess Royal & Duke of Fife Memorial Park on September 1, 2012 in Braemar, Scotland. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
The late Queen and Charles laugh while watching the children's sack race as they attend the 2012 Braemar Highland Gathering. (Getty Images)

The late Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Charles will use the Diamond Jubilee State Coach during his coronation procession.

2011

Charles looks on as Prince William and Kate Middleton wave from the Buckingham Palace balcony following their 2011 wedding. (Getty Images)
Charles looks on as Prince William and Kate Middleton wave from the Buckingham Palace balcony following their 2011 wedding. (Getty Images)

In 2011, Charles saw his eldest son Prince William marry Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29. The pair have just celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary.

2010

Charles dances during a visit to Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010. (Getty Images)
Charles dances during a visit to Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010. (Getty Images)

In 2010, Charles wrote and released a book called Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World, which is described as a “blueprint for a more balanced, sustainable world that the human race must create to survive”.

2009

TOPSHOT - Britain's Prince Charles (L) walks with his wife Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, during a visit to Seymour island on March 17, 2009. The British royals are in a three-day visit to the Ecuadorean Galapagos island. AFP PHOTO/Rodrigo Buendia (Photo by Rodrigo BUENDIA / AFP) (Photo by RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles and Camilla protect themselves from the sun during a three-day visit to the Ecuadorian Galapagos islands. (Getty Images)

In July 2009, Charles shows his commitment to environmentalism during a speech at St James's Palace in July, where he told a crowd that humanity had just 96 months left to save the world.

2008

CAITHNESS, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 09:  Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in their role as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, attend the Mey Highland Games at Queens Park on August 9, 2008 in Caithness, Scotland. HRH The Prince of Wales is the honoray chieftan of the Games carrying on the role of the late Queen Mother.   (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Camilla and Charles laugh as they attend the Mey Highland Games in Scotland in 2008. (Getty Images)

The then-Prince of Wales celebrated his 60th birthday in 2008.

2007

TOPSHOT - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (Centre Foreground) and Prince Philip (Right Foreground) are joined at Clarence House in London by Prince Charles, (Left Foreground) Prince Edward, (Right Background) Princess Anne (Centre Background) and Prince Andrew (Left Background) on the occasion of a dinner hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to mark the forthcoming Diamond Wedding Anniversary of The Queen and The Duke, 18 November  2007. - MANDATORY CREDIT
Charles sits for a portrait with his siblings and parents as the late Queen and Prince Philip celebrate their Diamond wedding anniversary. (Getty Images)

Charles celebrated Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's 60th wedding anniversary in 2007. The couple married on November 20, 1947.

2006

BRAEMAR, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 02: Queen Elizabeth II and  Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales laugh as they watch competitors during the Braemar Gathering at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park on September 2, 2006 in Braemar, Scotland. Large crowds attend each year to acclaim their monarch and Chieftain of the Braemar Gathering. There have been gatherings of one sort or another at Bremar for the last nine hundred years.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Charles and the late Queen laugh as they watch competitors during the Braemar Gathering. (Getty Images)

Charles and Camilla spent part of 2006 looking for a home to buy in Wales. They ended up purchasing the £1.2m Llwynywermod estate in Carmarthenshire, close to Llanymddyfri in 2007.

2005

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 9: HRH the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and The Duchess Of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles in silk dress by Robinson Valentine and head-dress by Philip Treacy, leaves the Service of Prayer and Dedication blessing their marriage at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2005 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

 *** Local Caption *** Prince Charles, Prince of Wales;Camilla Duchess of Cornwall
Charles and Camilla marry at Windsor Castle. (Getty Images)

Charles and Camilla said “I do” at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2005 - 35 years after they first met.

2004

TETBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 29:  Prince William, In Countryman Outfit Of Tweed Cap And Waxed Jacket And With His Hands In His Pockets, Visits Duchy Home Farm With Prince Charles Who Is Holding A Shepherd's Crook Walking Stick  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
William visits Duchy Home Farm with Charles. (Getty Images)

Charles became the first member of the British Royal Family to enter Iran in 2004, for a one-day visit.

2003

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 02:  The Line Of Succession Of The British Monarchy - Queen Elizabeth II Posing With Her Son And Heir Prince Charles, The Prince Of Wales, And His Son And Heir Prince William.   Three Generations Of The British Royal Family Gathered At Clarence House  (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
Charles, William and the late Queen pose for a photo showing three generations of the British Royal Family. (Getty Images)

Charles marked the 50th anniversary of his mother’s coronation in 2003 with an image of himself, the Queen and Prince William, marking three generations of monarch and heirs.

2002

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 20:  Prince Charles Kissing The Hand Of His Mother Queen Elizabeth When They Met At The Chelsea Flower Show.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles kisses his mother’s hand at the Chelsea Flower Show in May 2002. (Getty Images)

The Royal Family suffered two big losses in 2002: his grandmother, the Queen Mother and aunt, Princess Margaret. The mother and daughter pair died just weeks apart, with Margaret’s death on February 9 and the Queen Mother’s on March 30 that year.

2001

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 19:  Prince Charles And Camilla Parker-bowles Walking Together In Green Park London On Their Way To Host Prince Charles' Staff Christmas Lunch At The Ritz Hotel.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Camilla and Charles walk through Green Park before hosting Charles' Staff Christmas Lunch at the Ritz Hotel. (Getty Images)

2001 saw Charles’ eldest son, Prince William, begin his first year at St Andrews University In Scotland. It is here where William would meet his future wife, Kate Middleton.

2000

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 19:  Prince Charles (R) laughs with his grandmother, the Queen Mother, 19 July 2000 during the pageant celebrating her 100th birthday in Horseguards Parade, in London. (POOL)  (Photo credit should read TIM CLARKE/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles appears with the Queen Mother as she celebrates her 100th birthday. (Getty Images)

The Queen Mother celebrated her 100th birthday in August 2000, an event that was celebrated by all members of the Royal Family including Charles.

1999

LONDON - MAY 06:  Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles leave the Royal Festival Hall after the performance Of Rachmaninoff's Hidden Perspectives on May 6th, 1999 in London.  (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)


 *** Local Caption *** Camilla Parker-Bowles;Prince Charles
Camilla and Charles begin to attend public events together. (Getty Images)

Charles and Camilla were photographed together in January 1999 - the first time since Diana’s death. Over the course of the year they would make their relationship more public and attend further events together.

1998

BHUTAN - FEBRUARY 11:  Prince Charles Sketching In The Himalayas.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles spends time sketching in the Himalayas. (Getty Images)

Charles began seriously dating Camilla in 1998, but the late Queen was said to have declined to attend a private 50th birthday for Charles because Camilla would be there.

1997

The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey in London, 6th September 1997. From left to right, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Earl Spencer, Prince William and the Duke of Edinburgh during the arrival of the coffin. (Photo by Colin Davey/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Earl Spencer, Prince William and the Duke of Edinburgh watch on as Princess Diana’s coffin arrives at Westminster Abbey. (Getty Images)

Just over one year after Charles and Diana’s divorce was finalised, Diana met her untimely death in a car accident in Paris on 31 August 1997.

1996

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 12:  South African President Nelson Mandela(R) talks with Prince Charles(L) 12 July in Brixton, south London, on the last day of Mandela's four-day state visit to the United Kingdom. Media reports in Britain said Prince Charles' wife, Princess Diana, had accepted divorce terms last week, but that Buckingham Palace wanted to wait until Mandela finished his visit before making an announcement.  AFP PHOTO  (Photo credit should read DAVID THOMSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles with former South African president Nelson Mandela in Brixton, London in 1996. (Getty Images)

Charles and Diana’s divorce was finalised on 28 August 1996.

1995

Eton,England  September 6, 1995. Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles at Prince William's first day at Eton. (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)
Charles, Diana, and Harry accompany William on his first day at Eton. (Getty Images)

During the controversial 1995 Panorama interview, Diana famously said “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”, referring to Charles’ relationship with Camilla.

1994

British Royals Charles, Prince of Wales, with his son, Prince William, on a ski lift during a skiing holiday in Klosters, Switzerland, 18th February 1994. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles and William ride a ski lift in Klosters, Switzerland in 1994. (Getty Images)

During a 1994 royal tour of Australia, the then-Prince Charles was the subject of a fake assassination attempt where the sound of two shots rang out while he was speaking at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

1993

EPSOM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 02:  Prince Charles With The Queen At The Derby Races  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles with the late Queen at the Derby Races. (Getty Images)

A scandal known as “Tampongate” rocked British society in 1993 when a phone conversation between Charles and Camilla that was recorded in 1989 was released to the press. The explicit six-minute recording saw Charles describe wanting to be one of Camilla’s tampons so he could “live” inside her.

1992

Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) at Seville Expo '92, the Universal Exposition of Seville, Spain, 21st May 1992. The Princess is wearing a floral print dress by designers Bellville Sassoon. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Charles and Diana at the Universal Exposition of Seville in Spain, May 1992. (Getty Images)

Charles and Diana’s separation was publicly announced on December 9, 1992. It was announced in the House of Commons by then-prime minister, John Major.

1991

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 31:  Prince Charles Attending Easter Service In Windsor.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles attends the Royal Family’s Easter Service at Windsor in spring 1991. (Getty Images)

In the summer of 1991, Charles and Diana embarked on a “second honeymoon” in Italy aboard Charles's Alexandra yacht. In the fictional Netflix series The Crown this was shown to be a breaking point for Diana in their marriage - whether or not that was the case in real life is unknown.

1990

CAMEROON - MARCH 22:  Prince Charles, Whose Interest In The Survival Of The Rainforests Has Been Well Reported,  Wearing A Safari Suit Visiting The Rainforest In The Cameroon  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles visits the rainforest at the Korup National Park in Cameroon on a three-day trip to the West African country with Diana. (Getty Images)

In June 1990, just days before Diana’s 29th birthday, Charles fell off a polo pony while playing the game and broke his arm. He spent three days in hospital.

1989

Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) attend a camel race at Al Maqam, near Al Ain in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, March 1989. Diana is wearing a pale pink suit by Catherine Walker. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
Diana and Charles attend a camel race at Al Maqam, near Al Ain in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. (Getty Images)

In 1989 climate change was already on Charles’ mind. At the Ozone Layer World Conference in London he said that “human beings have been upsetting that balance [of nature], persistently” since the Industrial Revolution.

1988

British Royals Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), wearing a blue chintz taffeta Catherine Walker ballgown,  and her husband Charles, Prince of Wales dance together at a dinner dance, held at the Hotel Hyatt in Melbourne, Australia, 27th January 1988. The Royal couple is on a ten-day tour of Australia, marking the 200th anniversary of the continent's first European settlement. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Diana and Charles dance together in Melbourne, Australia while on a 10-day tour of the country. (Getty Images)

A bombshell Vanity Fair article from 1988 exposed cracks in Charles and Diana’s marriage, writing: “[Diana] was the love object of everyone in the world except her husband…she was faced in her mid-twenties with something she found chilling to contemplate: a fairy-tale marriage that had cooled into an arrangement.”

1987

KLOSTERS, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 17:  The Duke And Duchess Of York In Klosters, Switzerland With The Prince And Princess Of Wales.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles and Diana holiday in Klosters, Switzerland with Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew. (Getty Images)

In summer 1987, Diana didn't join Charles on the annual family trip to Balmoral, leading some to speculate that they were on a break.

1986

Diana and Charles share a kiss at the Polo Club in Windsor. (Getty Images)
Diana and Charles share a kiss at the Polo Club in Windsor. (Getty Images)

In 1994, Charles told his biographer that 1986 was the year he and Camilla re-started their relationship. In a letter to an unidentified correspondent quoted in the book, Charles writes: “How awful incompatibility is, and how dreadfully destructive it can be for the players in this extraordinary drama. It has all the ingredients of a Greek tragedy…I never thought it would end up like this.”

1985

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales are reunited with their sons William and Harry aboard Royal Yacht Britannia in Venice following their two week tour of Italy, 5th May 1985. (Photo by Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Charles and Diana on board the royal yacht Britannia with seven-month-old Harry and two-year-old William. (Getty Images)

In 1985, Diana decided to surprise Charles with a choreographed dance on stage during a Christmas gala at Covent Garden - but she refused to bow to the royal box at the end.

1984

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - September 16: Prince Charles and Princess Diana With the newly born Prince Harry outside the Lindo Wing. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
Charles and Diana leave St Mary’s Hospital in September 1984 after welcoming Prince Harry. (Getty Images)

Charles and Diana’s second child, Prince Harry, was born on September 15, 1984.

1983

Diana Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) and Prince Charles pose in front of Uluru/Ayers Rock near Alice Springs, Australia during the Royal Tour of Australia, 21st March 1983. Diana is wearing a dress designed by Benny Ong.  (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Charles and Diana pose in front of Uluru during their royal tour of Australia. (Getty Images)

Two years after their marriage, Diana went on her first-ever trip abroad to Australia with Charles and baby William. Spending more than 40 days in Australia and New Zealand, Diana broke royal protocol to bring William on the tour with them.

1982

British Royals Charles, Prince of Wales holds his baby son, Prince William, with his wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a red-and-white bow-fronted outfit, who dangles a teething ring in front of her son, at their Kensington Palace home in London, England, 22nd December 1982. (Photo by Fox/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Charles and Diana with a baby Prince William in 1982. (Getty Images)

Charles and Diana welcomed their first child, Prince William, on 21 June 1982. He became second in line to the throne.

1981

Charles married Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981. (Getty Images)
Charles married Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981. (Getty Images)

Charles announces his engagement to Diana in early 1981 and the pair marry on 29 July 1981.

1980

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales windsurfing at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, UK, 5th August 1980.   (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles windsurfing at Cowes on the Isle of Wight in the summer of 1980. (Getty Images)

Charles began dating Diana in 1980. Diana is spotted at Balmoral in the summer and their relationship is made public.

1979

UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED: (FILE PHOTO) HRH Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles are seen together in late 1979 before his marriage to Diana. Clarence House has confirmed today that Charles and partner Camilla Parker-Bowles will marry, at a date expected to be circa April 6, 2005. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** HRH Prince Charles;Camilla Parker-Bowles
Charles and Camilla attend a polo game in 1979. (Getty Images)

Charles was seen attending a polo game with the then-married Camilla Parker Bowles in 1979. He would begin dating Diana the next year.

1978

Prince Charles (later Charles III) takes the stage with American soul vocal group, The Three Degrees, during a charity fundraising event for the Prince's Trust at the King's Country Club in Eastbourne, East Sussex, July 1978. Left to right: Helen Scott, Prince Charles, Valerie Holiday and Sheila Ferguson. English entertainer Rod Hull (1935 - 1999) is behind the Prince (left). (Photo by Doug McKenzie/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Charles dances with American soul vocal group, The Three Degrees during a charity fundraiser. (Getty Images)

Charles continues to date Diana’s sister Sarah in 1978, and the pair even go on a skiing holiday to Klosters, Switzerland together. It’s here where Sarah allegedly told a journalist that she wouldn’t marry Charles “if he were the dustman or the King of England”. Their relationship ended soon after.

1977

Lady Sarah Spencer and British Royal Charles, Prince of Wales attend an unspecified polo match at Smith's Lawn, in Windsor Great Park, Windsor, Berkshire, England, 1st July 1977. Lady Sarah is the sister of Charles' eventual wife, Diana. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles attends a polo match with Diana’s sister, Sarah Spencer. (Getty Images)

Charles meets Diana Spencer for the first time. In 1977 he was dating Diana’s older sister Sarah Spencer and met Diana at their family home.

1976

Prince Charles sporting a beard at the Badminton Horse Trials, UK, 1976. (Photo by Serge Lemoine/Getty Images)
Charles sports a beard for the Badminton Horse Trials in 1976. (Getty Images)

1976 was not only the year that Charles grew a beard, but it was also the year that he began his charity, The Prince's Trust.

1975

Charles, Prince of Wales changing during a polo match, circa 1975.  (Photo by Serge Lemoine/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A 27-year-old Charles changes during a polo match. (Getty Images)

Charles returned to Cambridge in 1975 to complete his Master’s degree.

1974

Prince Charles and singer Barbra Streisand share a moment over coffee at Warner Bros. studio on March 19, 1974 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Mark Sennet/Getty Images)
Charles with Barbara Streisand at Warner Bros. studio in March 1974. (Getty Images)

Charles made his first speech to the House of Lords in 1974, becoming the first royal to do so since Edward VII in 1884.

1973

LONDON - NOVEMBER 14: Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Mark Phillips (3rd from left) wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding with Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (L), Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (4th from right), Queen Elizabeth II (3rd from right), Prince Andrew, Duke of York (2nd right) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on November 14, 1973 in London, England.  (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Princess Anne and Mark Phillips wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding on November 14, 1973. (Getty Images)

The Royal Family saw the first royal wedding of a new generation when Princess Anne, then 23, married Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey.

This is the same year that Camilla Shand married Andrew Parker Bowles.

1972

(Original Caption) London, England: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip with their four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, seated in a living room in Buckingham Palace.
Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, the late Queen, and Prince Edward sit for a portrait at Buckingham Palace. (Getty Images)

Charles embarked on his Royal Navy career in 1972 after passing RAF training. It was then he joined his first ship, the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk.

1971

The Prince of Wales on a four-day safari through Ngare Ndare Valley in northern Kenya (Photo by William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images)
Charles with camels on a four-day safari through the Ngare Ndare Valley in Kenya. (Getty Images)

Charles began his training with the RAF in 1971. He trained to be a jet pilot.

1970

Charles sits with Tricia Nixon, daughter of former American President Richard Nixon, during a baseball game at RFK Stadium in Washington DC. (Getty Images)
Charles sits with Tricia Nixon, daughter of former American President Richard Nixon, during a baseball game at RFK Stadium in Washington DC. (Getty Images)

Charles becomes the first heir to the throne to graduate with a university degree. He is awarded a 2:2 in history from Cambridge University. It was also in 1970 that Charles met the then-Camilla Shand for the first time.

1969

Prince Charles with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (right) during the ceremony of Charles' Investment as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, Wales, 1st July 1969. They are in the Lower Ward of the castle, for the the third presentation, in which the Queen presents the Prince to the Welsh people.  (Photo by Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip walk behind Charles during his Investiture as Prince of Wales. (Getty Images)

Charles was formally presented to the people of Wales as their prince in 1969 during the Investiture of the Prince of Wales ceremony.

1968

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Charles plays cricket in 1968. He was playing for Lord Brabourne against a team of Grand Prix racing drivers. (Getty Images)

Charles switched from archaeology and anthropology to history for the second part of his degree at Cambridge.

1967

Prince Charles studying in his rooms at Cambridge University in 1967. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Charles studies in his rooms at Cambridge University in 1967. (Getty Images)

Charles began university at Cambridge in 1967, initially reading archaeology and anthropology.

1966

Charles stands behind a horse during a polo match in Jamaica. (Getty Images)
Charles stands behind a horse during a polo match in Jamaica. (Getty Images)

In 1966, a 17-year-old Charles arrived in Australia to complete two terms at Geelong Grammar School in Victoria.

“Quite frankly, it was by far the best part [of my education],” Charles said in a speech years later. “While I was here I had the Pommy bits bashed off me. Like chips off an old block.”

1965

Princess Anne and Prince Charles arriving at a special service marking the 900th anniversary of the consecration of London's Westminster Abbey, England, December 28th 1965. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Anne and Charles arrive at a special service marking the 900th anniversary of the consecration of London's Westminster Abbey. (Getty Images)

While still in school in Scotland, at age 16, Charles undertook his first public engagement. He met hundreds of people at a garden party for young Scottish and Commonwealth students at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

1964

View of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (and future King Charles III) during the Braemar Gathering, Braemar, Scotland, 1964. (Photo by Judy Appelbee/Princess Diana Museum/Getty Images)
A young Charles during the Braemar Gathering, Braemar, Scotland. (Getty Images)

In July of 1964, Charles was taken to a hospital in Aberdeen for treatment of pneumonia. He fell ill while camping with friends from Gordonstoun School on the grounds of Balmoral.

Earlier this year, Charles’ youngest brother, Prince Edward, was born.

1963

13th January 1963:  Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales on a skiing holiday.  (Photo by Stan Meagher/Express/Getty Images)
Charles is pictured on a skiing holiday in 1963. (Getty Images)

Charles faced his biggest Gordonstoun scandal in 1963 when he bought and drank a cherry brandy at a hotel on the island of Lewis. Charles was just 14 at the time, well under the legal drinking age, and the incident was referred to as the “Cherry Brandy Affair”.

1962

Prince Philip accompanies Charles as he begins his stint at Gordonstoun School. (Getty Images)
Prince Philip accompanies Charles as he begins his stint at Gordonstoun School. (Getty Images)

In May 1962, Charles began attending Gordonstoun School in Scotland at the request of Prince Philip who also attended the school as a child.

1961

Queen Elizabeth II (1926 - 2022, left) using a cine camera to film the action at the Badminton Horse Trials as her son, Prince Charles looks on, Badminton House, Gloucestershire, 21st April 1961. (Photo by Edward Miller/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II uses a cine camera to film the action at the Badminton Horse Trials as Charles and Princess Margaret look on. (Getty Images)

Still largely kept out of the public eye, 1961 saw Charles finish primary school.

1960

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with their children, Prince Andrew (centre), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales sitting on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland, 8th September 1960. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Anne, Prince Philip, the late Queen, Charles, and a baby Prince Andrew sit on the lawns in front of Balmoral. (Getty Images)

The late Queen and Prince Philip welcomed their third child in 1960, a son called Andrew who was born on February 19.

1959

British Royals Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021), Prince Charles of Edinburgh. Princess Anne of Edinburgh, and Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022), who sits in a wicker garden chair with her corgi Sugar asleep at her feet, in the gardens below the East Terrace on the South Front of Windsor Castle in Windsor, Berkshire, England, June 1959. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and the late Queen sit in the gardens of Windsor with a corgi. (Getty Images)

In 1959, Charles’ father Prince Philip went on a solo three-month world tour while the late Queen stayed home to continue her duties in the UK.

1958

Prince Charles and Princess Anne meet naturalist David Attenborough at Lime Grove Studios on the 4th January, 1958. The young royals are introduced to a cockatoo captured on Attenborough's last Zoo Quest expedition. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
Charles and Anne meet a 32-year-old David Attenborough in 1958. (Getty Images)

On July 26, 1958 Charles was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, although his investiture would not be held for another decade.

1957

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (left) with friends at prep school in England, 1957. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Charles (left) with a group of friends at prep school in 1957. (Getty Images)

As Charles continued his primary schooling, it was in 1957 that the late Queen made her first televised Christmas broadcast from Sandringham House, a tradition Charles would continue in 2022 when he became King.

1956

1956:  Prince Charles in one of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace on his eighth birthday.  (Photo by Antony Armstrong Jones/Keystone/Getty Images)
Charles poses at Buckingham Palace for his eighth birthday portrait. (Getty Images)

The late Queen only spent one Christmas apart from Philip during their 73 years of marriage, and this was in 1956 when he was on a three-month tour aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.

1955

(Original Caption) All This and Seven, Too. Balmoral, Scotland: Resplendent in a kilt of Balmoral tartan, restricted to members of the royal family, Prince Charles, son of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, poses for this 7th birthday portrait in the grounds of Balmoral Castle. The young prince looks very much like his father. For now on he will begin his training for kingship. Charles' full title is Prince Charles Arthur George, duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, earl of Carrick, baron Renfrew, lord of the isles and great steward of Scotland.
Charles wears a kilt of Balmoral tartan for his seventh birthday portrait at Balmoral, Scotland. (Getty Images)

Earlier this year, a letter written by Charles to the Queen Mother in 1955 was discovered in an attic of a couple from Warwickshire. “Dear Granny, I am sorry that you are ill. I hope you will be better soon,” the letter, dated 15 March 1955, read.

1954

7th April 1954:  Prince Charles and Princess Anne sitting outside the Welsh House, a miniature house donated to the Royal Family by the people of Wales in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire.  (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A three-year-old Anne and a five-year-old Charles sit outside the Welsh House, a miniature house donated to the Royal Family. (Getty Images)

In 1954, Charles and Anne reunited with their parents who had been away for six months on their longest-ever Commonwealth tour, lasting from November 1953 to May 1954.

1953

Buckingham Palace balcony. Coronation day 1953. The Queen and the Duke exchange smiles while Prince Charles and Princess Anne are absorbed with the planes roaring overhead. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Charles and Anne stand between the late Queen and Prince Philip on the Buckingham Palace balcony on the coronation day of Queen Elizabeth II. (Getty Images)

On 2 June 1953, Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was crowned just over a year after ascending to the throne.

1952

Queen Elizabeth II helps her son Prince Charles to take a picture of his sister, Princess Anne, Balmoral, Scotland, 1952. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Anne, Charles and the late Queen in Balmoral, the summer after Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne. (Getty Images)

On February 6, 1952, aged just 25, the then-Princess Elizabeth became the Queen after her father King George VI died. A three-year-old Prince Charles became the heir to the throne.

1951

November 1951:  King George VI (1895 - 1952) with Prince Charles on his third birthday.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Charles with his grandfather, King George VI, on his third birthday. (Getty Images)

Charles spent his third birthday with his family, including his grandfather King George VI who would pass away just three months later.

1950

A toddler Charles poses with his grandmother, the Queen Mother, and Pippin the dog in 1950, (Getty Images)
A toddler Charles poses with his grandmother, the Queen Mother, and Pippin the dog in 1950, (Getty Images)

The late Queen and Prince Philip welcomed their second child, Princess Anne, on August 15, 1950.

1949

Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain) with her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and their baby son Prince Charles, July 1949. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Charles with his parents at their home as the Princess and Duke, Windlesham Moor in Surrey. (Getty Images)

Charles spends much of the first year of his life with his parents at their country home of Windlesham Moor in Surrey.

1948

TOPSHOT - Picture taken on December 15, 1948 showing the future Queen Elizabeth II of England and her son Prince Charles. (Photo by INTERCONTINENTALE / AFP) (Photo by -/INTERCONTINENTALE/AFP via Getty Images)
The then-Princess Elizabeth with a one-month-old Prince Charles in December 1948. (Getty Images)

Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, the first son of then-heir to the throne Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, was born on November 14, 1948.