King Charles III

(Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, Charles Mountbatten-Windsor)

1948 -

King Charles III
Creative Commons cc-by-2.0

King Charles III

Monarch and Head of the British Commonwealth. Born in Buckingham Palace (London), Charles was the first child of Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and the first grandchild of King George VI. He was initially educated privately, but went on to attend Cheam Preparatory School, Gordonstoun School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read history, archaeology and anthropology. In 1969, he was invested as Prince of Wales, traditionally the title given to the heir to the British throne. He served in the British Armed Forces (1971-76). In 2017, he became the longest-serving Prince of Wales and heir apparent. Charles inherited the throne on the death if his mother in 2022. Until his accession Charles was known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland.

He is well-respected for his charitable work, most notably with the Prince's Trust which helps younger people gain jobs, education and training. He has also served patron of a large number of other charities, including the John Muir Trust (from 1988), the Scottish Wildlife Trust (1989), the Scottish Civic Trust (1990), the National Trust for Scotland (2003). He holds strong views on the environment, sustainable living, urban planning and architecture. He has promoted organic farming on his Duchy of Cornwall estate, and has established sustainable communities based on traditional architecture at Poundbury (Dorset) and Knockroon in East Ayrshire.

Charles is known to enjoy his visits to the Balmoral Estate, often staying at nearby Birkhall. These visits inspired him to write a children's book The Old Man of Lochnagar (published 1980) and he has produced watercolours of the scenery surrounding Balmoral, including the River Dee and Grampian Mountains. These have raised substantial amounts for charity.

Charles spent time staying quietly with a crofting family on Berneray in 1987, returning twice subsequently. He is the Trustee responsible for the Castle of Mey in Caithness, which was bought by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1952. He also maintains a flat within Dumfries House, which he saved for the Nation in 2007. He has developed the Dumfries House estate as a community, training and educational venue, an example of heritage-led regeneration.

His difficult marriage to Lady Diana Spencer is well documented; the union produced two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, but ended in divorce after fifteen years in 1996. Eight years after her death in 1997, Charles married his long-term mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles who became Queen Consort on his accession.

He served as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2000.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better