Charles, Prince of Wales

Charles, Prince of Wales

Overview
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

 and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

. He is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.

Charles was educated at Cheam
Cheam School
Cheam School is a preparatory school in Headley in the civil parish of Ashford Hill with Headley in the English county of Hampshire. It was founded in 1645 by the Reverend George Aldrich in Cheam, Surrey and has been in operation ever since....

 and Gordonstoun
Gordonstoun
Gordonstoun School is a co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils in Moray in North East Scotland. Named after the estate originally owned by Sir Robert Gordon in the 1600s, the school now uses this estate as its campus...

 Schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, had attended as a child, as well as the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School
Geelong Grammar School
Geelong Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, co-educational, boarding and day school. The school's main campus is located at Corio, on the northern outskirts of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, overlooking Corio Bay and Limeburners Bay....

, Victoria, Australia, situated near Mansfield
Mansfield
Mansfield is a town in Nottinghamshire, England. It is the main town in the Mansfield local government district. Mansfield is a part of the Mansfield Urban Area....

 in the rugged Victorian Alps.
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Quotations

You have got to choose somebody very carefully who could fulfill this particular role, because people like you, perhaps, would expect quite a lot from somebody like that and it has got to be somebody pretty special.

"Prince Charles discusses marriage", The Times, 27 June 1969, p. 10

I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship and faith and truth I will bear unto you to live and die against all manner of folks.

Oath of fealty taken by the Prince at his investiture at Caernarfon Castle, 1 July 1969.
Encyclopedia
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

 and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

. He is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.

Charles was educated at Cheam
Cheam School
Cheam School is a preparatory school in Headley in the civil parish of Ashford Hill with Headley in the English county of Hampshire. It was founded in 1645 by the Reverend George Aldrich in Cheam, Surrey and has been in operation ever since....

 and Gordonstoun
Gordonstoun
Gordonstoun School is a co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils in Moray in North East Scotland. Named after the estate originally owned by Sir Robert Gordon in the 1600s, the school now uses this estate as its campus...

 Schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, had attended as a child, as well as the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School
Geelong Grammar School
Geelong Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, co-educational, boarding and day school. The school's main campus is located at Corio, on the northern outskirts of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, overlooking Corio Bay and Limeburners Bay....

, Victoria, Australia, situated near Mansfield
Mansfield
Mansfield is a town in Nottinghamshire, England. It is the main town in the Mansfield local government district. Mansfield is a part of the Mansfield Urban Area....

 in the rugged Victorian Alps. After earning a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, Charles served a tour of duty with the Royal Navy in 1971–76. He married Lady Diana Spencer
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 before an enormous worldwide television audience in 1981. They had two sons, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in 1982 and Prince Harry of Wales
Prince Harry of Wales
Prince Henry of Wales , commonly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and fourth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 in 1984. The couple separated in 1992 following tabloid allegations concerning their relationship. They divorced in 1996 after Diana publicly accused Charles of having an affair
Affair
Affair may refer to professional, personal, or public business matters or to a particular business or private activity of a temporary duration, as in family affair, a private affair, or a romantic affair.-Political affair:...

 with Camilla Parker Bowles, and Charles admitted adultery
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

 on television. Diana died in a car crash
Death of Diana, Princess of Wales
On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz W140, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Fayed's...

 in Paris on 31 August 1997. In 2005, after a lengthy continued association, the Prince married Camilla, who uses the title Duchess of Cornwall.

The prince is well known for his charity work and sponsors The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust is a charity in the United Kingdom founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales to help young people. They run a range of training programmes, provide mentoring support and offer financial grants to build the confidence and motivation of disadvantaged young people...

, The Prince's Regeneration Trust
The Prince's Regeneration Trust
The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is one of The Prince's Charities, a group of 19 charities of which HRH The Prince of Wales is President.The Prince's Regeneration Trust works throughout the United Kingdom to ensure that important historic buildings at risk of demolition or decay are preserved,...

, and the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment
Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment
The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment is an educational charity established in 1986 by HRH The Prince of Wales to teach and demonstrate in practice those principles of traditional urban design and architecture which put people and the communities of which they are part at the centre of...

, among other charities. He has been outspoken concerning architecture and the conservation of old buildings and has produced a book on the subject called A Vision of Britain (1989). He has also promoted herbal and other alternative medical treatment.

Early life



Charles was born at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 on 14 November 1948 at 9.14 pm (GMT), the first child of then Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, and first grandchild of King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

 and Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

. Baptised in the palace's Music Room on 15 December 1948, using water from the River Jordan, by the Archbishop of Canterbury
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. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, Geoffrey Fisher
Geoffrey Fisher
Geoffrey Francis Fisher, Baron Fisher of Lambeth, GCVO, PC was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1945 to 1961.-Background:...

, the Prince's godparents were: the King (his maternal grandfather); the King of Norway
Haakon VII of Norway
Haakon VII , known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg...

 (his cousin, for whom the Earl of Athlone
Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Major-General Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone , was a close relative of the shared British and Canadian royal family, as well as a British military commander and major-general who served as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa, the...

 stood proxy); Queen Mary
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

 (his maternal great-grandmother); the Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II and the younger daughter of King George VI....

 (his maternal aunt); Prince George of Greece (his paternal granduncle, for whom the Duke of Edinburgh stood proxy); the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven (his paternal great-grandmother); the Lady Brabourne
Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Patricia Edwina Victoria Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, is a British peeress and former lady-in-waiting to her third cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the elder daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and his wife, the heiress Edwina Ashley, a patrilineal...

 (his cousin); and the Hon David Bowes-Lyon
David Bowes-Lyon
Sir David Bowes-Lyon KCVO was the sixth son of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and Cecilia Nina Cavendish-Bentinck...

 (his maternal great-uncle). By letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 of Charles' great-grandfather, King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

, the titles of a British prince
British prince
This is a list of British princes from the accession of George I in 1714. The title of prince is at the will of the sovereign, who can both grant and revoke the title. Individuals holding the title of prince will usually also be styled His Royal Highness or formerly His Highness...

 or princess, and the style Royal Highness
Royal Highness
Royal Highness is a style ; plural Royal Highnesses...

, were only to be conferred on male-line children and grandchildren of the sovereign, as well as the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. However, on 22 October 1948, George VI issued new letters patent granting these honours to any children of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip; otherwise, Charles would have merely taken his father's title, and been titled by courtesy as Earl of Merioneth
Earl of Merioneth
The title Earl of Merioneth was created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1947 along with the Dukedom of Edinburgh and the Barony of Greenwich for Sir Philip Mountbatten , the soon-to-be-husband of Queen Elizabeth II....

. In this way the children of the heiress presumptive
Heir Presumptive
An heir presumptive or heiress presumptive is the person provisionally scheduled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir or heiress apparent or of a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question...

 had a royal and princely status.

When Charles was aged three his mother's accession as Queen Elizabeth II, immediately made him the heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

 to the then seven countries over which she now reigned. He was ipso facto elevated to the rank of Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in the peerage of England.The present Duke of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British monarch .-History:...

 (by a charter of King Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 that gave said title to the sovereign's eldest son), and, in the Scottish peerage, Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles
Lord of the Isles
The designation Lord of the Isles is today a title of Scottish nobility with historical roots that go back beyond the Kingdom of Scotland. It emerged from a series of hybrid Viking/Gaelic rulers of the west coast and islands of Scotland in the Middle Ages, who wielded sea-power with fleets of...

, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
Prince of Scotland
Prince and Great Steward of Scotland are two of the titles of the heir apparent to the throne of the United Kingdom. The current holder of these titles is HRH The Prince Charles who bears the Scottish titles of Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles and Baron Renfrew, and is known...

. Though he moved to first in line to the throne in the United Kingdom order of precedence
United Kingdom order of precedence
The Order of precedence in the United Kingdom is the sequential hierarchy for nobility, clergy and holders of the various Orders of Chivalry in the constituent countries of the United Kingdom:* England and Wales* Scotland* Northern Ireland...

 he is third, after his parents, and is typically fourth or fifth in other realms' precedence orders, following his mother, the relevant vice-regal
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 representative(s), and his father. Charles attended his mother's coronation at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 2 June 1953, seated alongside his grandmother and aunt. As is customary for royal offspring, a governess
Governess
A governess is a girl or woman employed to teach and train children in a private household. In contrast to a nanny or a babysitter, she concentrates on teaching children, not on meeting their physical needs...

, Catherine Peebles, was appointed and undertook his education between the ages of 5 and 8. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 announced in 1955 that Charles would attend school rather than have a private tutor, making him the first heir apparent ever to be educated in that manner.

Education


Charles first attended Hill House School
Hill House School
Of the many schools named Hill House School, there is one which is a preparatory day school based in Knightsbridge, London. It was founded in September 1951 by Lt-Col Stuart Townend and has several branches located in West London and in Switzerland...

 in West London, receiving non-preferential treatment from the school's founder and then head, Stuart Townend
Stuart Townend (headmaster)
Lt-Col Henry "Stuart" Townend OBE was the first headmaster to educate an heir to the British throne. A former gold medallist at the British Empire Games, he founded Hill House School, in Knightsbridge, London in 1951, an institution he continued to actively run until his death in 2002 at aged 93...

, who advised the Queen to have Charles train in football, as the boys at Hill House were never deferential to anyone on the football field. The Prince then attended his father's former school, the Cheam Preparatory School
Cheam School
Cheam School is a preparatory school in Headley in the civil parish of Ashford Hill with Headley in the English county of Hampshire. It was founded in 1645 by the Reverend George Aldrich in Cheam, Surrey and has been in operation ever since....

 in Berkshire, England; and was finally moved to Gordonstoun
Gordonstoun
Gordonstoun School is a co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils in Moray in North East Scotland. Named after the estate originally owned by Sir Robert Gordon in the 1600s, the school now uses this estate as its campus...

, in the north-east of Scotland. Reportedly the Prince despised his time at the latter school – "Colditz
Colditz Castle
Colditz Castle is a Renaissance castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany. Used as a workhouse for the indigent and a mental institution for over 100 years, it gained international fame as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II for...

 in kilt
Kilt
The kilt is a knee-length garment with pleats at the rear, originating in the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands of the 16th century. Since the 19th century it has become associated with the wider culture of Scotland in general, or with Celtic heritage even more broadly...

s", as Charles put it – though he did spend two of his terms at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School
Geelong Grammar School
Geelong Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, co-educational, boarding and day school. The school's main campus is located at Corio, on the northern outskirts of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, overlooking Corio Bay and Limeburners Bay....

 in Geelong, Australia, during which time he visited Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 on a history trip with his tutor, Michael Collins Persse. Upon his return to Gordonstoun, Charles emulated his father in becoming Head Boy
Head boy
Head Boy and Head Girl are terms commonly used in the British education system, and in private schools throughout the Commonwealth.-United Kingdom:...

, and left in 1967 with two A Levels in History and French.

Tradition was broken again when Charles proceeded straight from secondary school into university, as opposed to joining the Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

. On the recommendation of Robin Woods
Robin Woods
Robert Wilmer Woods, KCMG, KCVO, always called Robin Woods, was an English Anglican divine, Dean of Windsor and Bishop of Worcester.-Background and education:...

, Dean of Windsor
Dean of Windsor
The Dean of Windsor is the spiritual head of the Canons of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Dean chairs meetings of the Chapter of Canons as primus inter pares.-List of Deans of Windsor:* William Mugge, 1348* Walter Almaly, 1380...

, and despite only gaining grades of B and C in his A Levels, the Prince was admitted to Trinity College
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, Cambridge University, where he read anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

, and history, tutored by Canadian-born Professor John Coles. He graduated with a 2:2
British undergraduate degree classification
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom...

 Bachelor of Arts on 23 June 1970, the third Royal Family member to earn a university degree. On 2 August 1975 he was subsequently awarded a Master of Arts Degree from Cambridge, per the university's tradition. During his tertiary, Charles also attended the Old College (part of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth University is a university located in Aberystwyth, Wales. Aberystwyth was a founding Member Institution of the former federal University of Wales. As of late 2006, the university had over 12,000 students spread across seventeen academic departments.The university was founded in 1872 as...

), studying the Welsh language
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 and Welsh history. He is the first Prince of Wales born outside of Wales ever to attempt to learn the language of the principality.

Created Prince of Wales



Charles was created Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 and Earl of Chester
Earl of Chester
The Earldom of Chester was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England. Since 1301 the title has generally been granted to heirs-apparent to the English throne, and from the late 14th century it has been given only in conjunction with that of Prince of Wales.- Honour of Chester :The...

 on 26 July 1958, though his investiture as such was not conducted until 1 July 1969, wherein he was crowned by his mother in a televised ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle is a medieval building in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. There was a motte-and-bailey castle in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began replacing it with the current stone structure...

, and gave his replies and speech in both Welsh and English. A Welsh nationalist campaign
Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru
Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru , abbreviated as MAC, was a paramilitary Welsh nationalist organisation, which was responsible for a number of bombing incidents between 1963 and 1969....

 opposed to the investiture tried unsuccessfully to disrupt the ceremony. The following year he took his seat in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

, and later in the decade became the first member of the Royal Family since King George I
George I of Great Britain
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 until his death, and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698....

 to attend a British Cabinet meeting, having been invited by Prime Minister James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

 so that the Prince might see the workings of the British government and Cabinet at first hand. Charles also began to take on more public duties, founding his The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust is a charity in the United Kingdom founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales to help young people. They run a range of training programmes, provide mentoring support and offer financial grants to build the confidence and motivation of disadvantaged young people...

 in 1976, and travelling to the United States in 1981.
Around the same time the Prince expressed an interest in serving as Governor-General of Australia
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

; Commander Michael Parker explained: "The idea behind the appointment was for him to put a foot on the ladder of monarchy, or being the future King and start learning the trade." However, because of a combination of nationalist feeling in Australia and the dismissal of the government by the Governor-General in 1975, nothing came of the proposal. Charles accepted the decision of the Australian ministers, if not without some regret; he reportedly stated: "What are you supposed to think when you are prepared to do something to help and you are told you are not wanted?" Conversely, Tom Gallagher wrote that Charles had been offered the Romanian throne by monarchists in that country; an offer that was reportedly turned down. The Romanian press again picked up this story in autumn 2011, but Buckingham Palace denied the reports.

The Prince is at present the oldest man to hold the title of Prince of Wales since it became the title granted to the heir apparent. He is also the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in Commonwealth realms' history and the third longest serving Prince of Wales in British history behind Edward VII and George IV, whom he will pass on 10 October 2017 if he is still Prince of Wales on that date. If he ascends to the throne after 18 September 2013, Charles would be the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom to do so; only William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

 was older when he became monarch than Charles is now.

Military training and career



Following in the tradition of Princes of Wales before him, Charles spent time in the navy and air force. After Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 training that he requested and received during his second year at Cambridge, on 8 March 1971 the Prince flew himself to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell
RAF Cranwell
RAF Cranwell is a Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire close to the village of Cranwell, near Sleaford. It is currently commanded by Group Captain Dave Waddington...

 to train as a jet pilot. After the passing out parade in September of that year, he then embarked on a naval career, enrolling in a six–week course at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth and then serving on the guided missile destroyer (1971–1972) and the frigates (1972–1973) and (1974). Charles also qualified as a helicopter pilot at RNAS Yeovilton
RNAS Yeovilton
Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, or RNAS Yeovilton, is an airfield of the Royal Navy, sited in South West England a few miles north of Yeovil in Somerset...

 in 1974, just prior to joining 845 Naval Air Squadron, operating from , and on 9 February 1976 the Prince took command of the coastal minehunter for his last nine months in the navy. Prince Charles learned to fly on a Chipmunk
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk
The de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk is a tandem, two-seat, single-engined primary trainer aircraft which was the standard primary trainer for the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force and several other air forces through much of the post-Second World War years...

 basic pilot trainer, a BAC Jet Provost
BAC Jet Provost
The BAC Jet Provost was a British jet-powered trainer aircraft used by the Royal Air Force from 1955 to 1993. The Jet Provost was also successfully exported, serving in many air forces worldwide....

 jet trainer, and a Beagle Basset multi-engined trainer, he then regularly flew the Hawker Siddeley Andover, Westland Wessex
Westland Wessex
The Westland Wessex is a British turbine-powered version of the Sikorsky S-58 "Choctaw", developed under license by Westland Aircraft , initially for the Royal Navy, and later for the Royal Air Force...

 and BAe 146
BAe 146
The British Aerospace 146 is a medium-sized commercial airliner formerly manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace, later part of BAE Systems. Production ran from 1983 until 2002. Manufacture of an improved version known as the Avro RJ began in 1992...

 aircraft of The Queen's Flight.

Early romances



Prince Charles' love life was always the subject of speculation and press fodder. In his youth, he was linked to a number of women, including Georgiana Russell, daughter of the British Ambassador to Spain; Lady Jane Wellesley; Davina Sheffield; Fiona Watson, a model; Susan George
Susan George (actress)
Susan Melody George is an English film and television actress, and film producer.-Career:She trained at the Stage School, Corona Theatre School and has acted since the age of four, appearing on both television and film...

; Lady Sarah Spencer
Lady Sarah McCorquodale
The Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia McCorquodale is the older sister of Diana, Princess of Wales.-Early life:Sarah was born The Honourable Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer; she acquired the courtesy title The Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer in 1975, when her grandfather died and her father became...

; Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg; Dale, Baroness Tryon
Dale Tryon, Baroness Tryon
Dale Elizabeth Tryon, Baroness Tryon , was a colourful figure in royal court circles, being a close friend of both Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, and a successful businesswoman in the international fashion world, with the fashion label "Kanga" and couture line "The Dale Tryon...

; Janet Jenkins; and Jane Ward. Not only is Charles the heir apparent to the thrones of the Commonwealth realms, a marriage was also expected to raise future monarchs. Consequently his choice of consort was going to create immense popular interest. In particular the reputation of the bride was going to be a major consideration, in addition to his mother's approval under the Royal Marriages Act 1772
Royal Marriages Act 1772
The Royal Marriages Act 1772 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which prescribes the conditions under which members of the British Royal Family may contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the Royal House...

. Under this Act marriage to a Roman Catholic would automatically debar him and the marriage's Catholic issue from succession.

Charles was given written advice on dating and the selection of a future consort from his father's "Uncle Dickie", Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS , was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

: "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." Mountbatten had a unique qualification for offering advice to this particular heir to the throne: he had invited George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and their daughters to visit Dartmouth Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College is the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy, located on a hill overlooking Dartmouth, Devon, England. While Royal Naval officer training has taken place in the town since 1863, the buildings which are seen today were only finished in 1905, and...

 on 22 July 1939, having also detailed Cadet
Cadet
A cadet is a trainee to become an officer in the military, often a person who is a junior trainee. The term comes from the term "cadet" for younger sons of a noble family.- Military context :...

 Prince Philip of Greece to keep the young princesses company, arranging the first documented meeting of Charles' future parents. In early 1974, Mountbatten began corresponding with Elizabeth and Philip's eldest son about a potential marriage to Mountbatten's granddaughter, Hon. Amanda Knatchbull (b. 26 June 1957), and recommended that the 25-year-old prince get done with his bachelor's experimentation. Charles dutifully wrote to Amanda's mother, Lady Brabourne
Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Patricia Edwina Victoria Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, is a British peeress and former lady-in-waiting to her third cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the elder daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and his wife, the heiress Edwina Ashley, a patrilineal...

 (who was also his godmother
Godparent
A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who sponsors a child's baptism. A male godparent is a godfather, and a female godparent is a godmother...

), about his interest in her daughter, to which she replied approvingly, though suggesting that a courtship
Courtship
Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement...

 was premature.

This did not daunt Mountbatten, who, four years later, obtained an invitation for himself and Amanda to accompany Charles on his 1980 tour of India. Both fathers, however, objected; Philip complaining that the Prince of Wales would be eclipsed by his famous uncle (who had served as the last British Viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 and first Governor-General of India
Governor-General of India
The Governor-General of India was the head of the British administration in India, and later, after Indian independence, the representative of the monarch and de facto head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William...

), while Lord Brabourne
John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne
John Ulick Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne, CBE , professionally known as John Brabourne, was a British peer, television producer and Academy-award nominated film producer....

 warned that a joint visit would rivet media attention on the cousins before they could decide on becoming a couple, thereby potentially dashing the very prospect for which Mountbatten hoped. However, before Charles was to depart alone for India, Mountbatten was killed
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

  in an IRA murder during August 1979. When Charles returned, he proposed to Amanda. However, in addition to her grandfather, she had lost her paternal grandmother and youngest brother Nicholas in the attack and now recoiled from the prospect of becoming a core member of the Royal Family. In June 1980 Charles officially turned down Chevening
Chevening
Chevening, also known as Chevening House, is a country house at Chevening in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, in England. It is an official residence of the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom...

 House, placed at his disposal since 1974, as his future residence. Chevening, a stately home
Stately home
A stately home is a "great country house". It is thus a palatial great house or in some cases an updated castle, located in the British Isles, mostly built between the mid-16th century and the early part of the 20th century, as well as converted abbeys and other church property...

 in Kent, was bequeathed, along with an endowment
Financial endowment
A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution. The total value of an institution's investments is often referred to as the institution's endowment and is typically organized as a public charity, private foundation, or trust....

, to the Crown by the last Earl Stanhope
James Stanhope, 7th Earl Stanhope
James Richard Stanhope, 13th Earl of Chesterfield and 7th Earl Stanhope KG, DSO, MC, PC , styled Viscount Mahon until 1905, and known as The Earl Stanhope from 1905 until 1967, was a British Conservative politician.-Background:Stanhope was the eldest son of Arthur Stanhope, 6th Earl Stanhope, and...

, Amanda's childless great-uncle, in the hope that Charles would eventually occupy it.

First marriage


Although Charles first met Lady Diana Frances Spencer
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 in 1977—while visiting Diana's home, Althorp
Althorp
Althorp is a country estate of about and a stately home in Northamptonshire, England. It is about north-west of the county town of Northampton. The late Diana, Princess of Wales is buried in the estate.-History:...

, as the companion of her elder sister, Sarah
Lady Sarah McCorquodale
The Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia McCorquodale is the older sister of Diana, Princess of Wales.-Early life:Sarah was born The Honourable Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer; she acquired the courtesy title The Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer in 1975, when her grandfather died and her father became...

—he did not consider her romantically until the summer of 1980. While sitting together on a bale of hay at a friend's barbecue in July he mentioned Mountbatten's death, to which Diana replied that Charles had looked forlorn and in need of care during his uncle's funeral. Soon, according to Charles' chosen biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby
Jonathan Dimbleby
Jonathan Dimbleby is a British presenter of current affairs and political radio and television programmes, a political commentator and a writer. He is the son of Richard Dimbleby and younger brother of British TV presenter David Dimbleby.-Education:Dimbleby was educated at Charterhouse School, a...

, "without any apparent surge in feeling, he began to think seriously of her as a potential bride." She accompanied the Prince on visits to Balmoral
Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is located near the village of Crathie, west of Ballater and east of Braemar. Balmoral has been one of the residences of the British Royal Family since 1852, when it was purchased by Queen Victoria and her...

 and Sandringham
Sandringham House
Sandringham House is a country house on of land near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The house is privately owned by the British Royal Family and is located on the royal Sandringham Estate, which lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.-History and current...

, eliciting enthusiastic responses from most of the Royal Family.

Although the Queen offered Charles no direct counsel, his cousin Norton Knatchbull
Norton Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne
Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne , known until 2005 as Lord Romsey, is a British Peer.-Life and education:...

 (Amanda's eldest brother) and his wife, Penny, did. But Charles was angered by their objections that he did not seem in love with Diana and that she seemed too awestruck by his position. Meanwhile, the couple continued dating, amidst constant press speculation and paparazzi
Paparazzi
Paparazzi is an Italian term used to refer to photojournalists who specialize in candid photography of celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people...

 coverage. When Prince Philip told him that the intrusive media attention would injure her reputation if he did not come to a decision about marrying her soon, and realising that Diana met the Mountbatten criteria (and, apparently, the public's) for a proper royal bride, Charles construed his father's advice as a warning to proceed without further delay.

Engagement and wedding to Diana




Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana Spencer
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 in February 1981, she accepted, and when he asked her father for her hand, he consented. After the British and Canadian
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

 privy council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

s gave their approval for the union (which was sought as the couple was expected to produce an heir to those countries' thrones), the Queen-in-Council
Queen-in-Council
The Queen-in-Council is, in each of the Commonwealth realms, the technical term of constitutional law that refers to the exercise of executive authority, denoting the monarch acting by and with the advice and consent of his or her privy council or executive council The Queen-in-Council (during...

 gave the legally required assent, and, 29 July, Charles and Diana were married at St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

, before 3,500 invited guests and an estimated worldwide television audience of 750 million people. All of the Queen's Governors-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

, as well as Europe's crowned heads, attended (save for King Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos I |Italy]]) is the reigning King of Spain.On 22 November 1975, two days after the death of General Francisco Franco, Juan Carlos was designated king according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. Spain had no monarch for 38 years in 1969 when Franco named Juan Carlos as the...

, who was advised not to attend because the newlyweds' honeymoon would involve a stop over in the disputed territory of Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

). Most of Europe's elected heads of state were also amongst the guests, with the exceptions of the President of Greece
President of Greece
The President of the Hellenic Republic , colloquially referred to in English as the President of Greece, is the head of state of Greece. The office of the President of the Republic was established after the Greek republic referendum, 1974 and formally by the Constitution of Greece in 1975. The...

, Constantine Karamanlis
Constantine Karamanlis
Konstantínos G. Karamanlís , commonly anglicised to Constantine Karamanlis or Caramanlis, was a four-time Prime Minister, the 3rd and 5th President of the Third Hellenic Republic and a towering figure of Greek politics whose political career spanned much of the latter half of the 20th century.-...

 (who declined because Greece's exiled monarch, Constantine II
Constantine II of Greece
|align=right|Constantine II was King of Greece from 1964 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1973, the sixth and last monarch of the Greek Royal Family....

, a kinsman and friend of the bridegroom, had been invited as "King of the Hellenes"), and the President of Ireland
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

, Patrick Hillery
Patrick Hillery
Patrick John "Paddy" Hillery was an Irish politician and the sixth President of Ireland from 1976 until 1990. First elected at the 1951 general election as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Clare, he remained in Dáil Éireann until 1973...

 (who was advised by Taoiseach
Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

 Charles Haughey
Charles Haughey
Charles James "Charlie" Haughey was Taoiseach of Ireland, serving three terms in office . He was also the fourth leader of Fianna Fáil...

 not to attend because of the dispute over the status of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

).The period when the advice was given coincided with a change of government. Traditionally Irish presidents and British royalty did not meet publicly because of the Northern Ireland issue.

The couple made their homes at Highgrove House, near Tetbury
Tetbury
Tetbury is a town and civil parish within the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England. It lies on the site of an ancient hill fort, on which an Anglo-Saxon monastery was founded, probably by Ine of Wessex, in 681. The population of the parish was 5,250 in the 2001 census.In the Middle Ages,...

, and Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century and is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and...

. Almost immediately, the new Princess of Wales became a star attraction, chased by the paparazzi
Paparazzi
Paparazzi is an Italian term used to refer to photojournalists who specialize in candid photography of celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people...

, and her every move followed by millions through the mass media. The couple had two children: Princes William (born 21 June 1982) and Henry
Prince Harry of Wales
Prince Henry of Wales , commonly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and fourth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 (known as "Harry") (born 15 September 1984). Charles set precedent by being the first royal father to be present at his children's births. Persistent suggestions have been made that the father of Harry is not Charles but James Hewitt
James Hewitt
James Hewitt is a former British household cavalry officer in the British Army. He had an affair with Diana, Princess of Wales for five years, receiving extensive media coverage after revealing details of the affair.-Early life:...

 with whom Diana had an affair. These suggestions have been based on a physical similarity between Hewitt and Harry. However Hewitt stated to the press in 2002 that Harry had already been born by the time the affair between him and Diana began.

Separation and divorce


The union between the Prince and Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 soon became troubled; within five years, the "fairytale" marriage was on the brink of collapse. The continued presence of Camilla Parker-Bowles in events and circumstances that also involved the royal couple became intolerable to Diana. Allies of Charles who spoke both publicly and off the record against Diana alleged that she was unstable and temperamental; one by one, she apparently secured the dismissal of many of Charles' long-standing staff members and fell out with his friends, as well as members of her own family– her father, mother
Frances Shand Kydd
Frances Ruth Shand Kydd was the first wife of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and the mother of Diana, Princess of Wales...

, and brother
Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer
Charles Edward Maurice Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, DL , styled Viscount Althorp between 1975 and 1992, is a British peer and brother of Diana, Princess of Wales...

– as well as members of the Royal Family, such as Sarah, Duchess of York
Sarah, Duchess of York
Sarah, Duchess of York is a British charity patron, spokesperson, writer, film producer, television personality and former member of the British Royal Family. She is the former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, whom she married from 1986 to 1996...

. To the Palace's regret, the Princess sought counsel outside generally accepted sources of royal advice. In response to the succour sought by the Prince, Diana responded in kind. Charles, however, was also blamed for the marital troubles, as he resumed his adulterous
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

 affair with Parker-Bowles.
Though they remained a couple in public, Charles and Diana had effectively separated by the late 1980s, the Prince living in Highgrove and the Princess at Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century and is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and...

. Their increased periods apart and obvious discomfort in each other's presence began to be noticed by the media, and this, plus evidence and recriminations of infidelity, were broadcast in tabloids and the news. By 1992, the marriage was over in all but name; in December of that year, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Major
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

, announced in the British parliament the Prince and Princess' formal separation, after which the media began to take sides, starting what came to be known as the War of the Waleses. In October 1993, Diana wrote to a friend that she believed her husband was now in love with Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Alexandra Shân "Tiggy" Legge-Bourke MVO was nanny, later companion, to Prince William of Wales and his brother Prince Harry, and a personal assistant to Charles, Prince of Wales, between 1993 and 1999...

 and wanted to marry her. The marriage of Charles and Diana was formally ended in divorce on 28 August 1996.

On 31 August 1997, a year after the Prince and Princess divorced, Diana was killed in a car crash
Death of Diana, Princess of Wales
On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz W140, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Fayed's...

 in Paris, along with her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul
Henri Paul
Henri Paul was the Deputy Head of Security at the Hôtel Ritz Paris. He was the driver at the time of the car accident at the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris that killed him along with Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed on 31 August 1997. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the sole survivor of...

. The Prince of Wales overruled the palace protocol
Protocol (diplomacy)
In international politics, protocol is the etiquette of diplomacy and affairs of state.A protocol is a rule which guides how an activity should be performed, especially in the field of diplomacy. In diplomatic services and governmental fields of endeavor protocols are often unwritten guidelines...

 experts– who argued that as Diana was no longer a member of the Royal Family, the responsibility for her funeral arrangements belonged to her blood relatives, the Spencers
Spencer family
The Spencer family are a British noble family descended in the male line from Henry Spencer, claimed to be a descendant of the cadet branch of the ancient House Le Despencer , male-line ancestor of the Earls of Sunderland, the later Dukes of Marlborough, and the Earls Spencer...

– and flew to Paris, with Diana's sisters, to accompany his ex-wife's body home. He also insisted that, as the mother of the presumed future king (her son William), she be given a formal royal funeral; a new category of formal funeral was especially created for her.

Second marriage


In 1993 the British tabloids came into the possession of recordings of a 1989 telephone conversation allegedly between the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles, in which Charles expressed regret for the indignities she had endured because of her relationship with him, and which revealed graphic expressions of a physical intimacy between the two.

Engagement and wedding to Camilla




Clarence House
Clarence House
Clarence House is a royal home in London, situated on The Mall, in the City of Westminster. It is attached to St. James's Palace and shares the palace's garden. For nearly 50 years, from 1953 to 2002, it was home to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, but is since then the official residence of The...

 announced on 10 February 2005 that Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles were engaged; the Prince presented her with an engagement ring that had belonged to his grandmother
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

. In a Privy Council meeting on 2 March, the Queen's consent to the marriage (as required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772
Royal Marriages Act 1772
The Royal Marriages Act 1772 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which prescribes the conditions under which members of the British Royal Family may contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the Royal House...

) was recorded. In Canada, however, the Department of Justice
Department of Justice (Canada)
The purpose of the Department of Justice is to ensure that the Canadian justice system is fair, accessible and efficient. The Department also represents the Canadian government in legal matters...

 announced its decision that the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

 was not required to meet to give its consent to the marriage, as the union would not result in offspring and thus would have no impact on the succession to the Canadian throne.

The marriage was to have been on 8 April of that year, and was to take place in a civil ceremony at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

, with a subsequent religious blessing at St George's Chapel. But, because the conduct of a civil marriage at Windsor Castle would oblige the venue thereafter to be available to anyone wishing to be married there, the location was changed to the Windsor Guildhall. On 4 April it was announced that the marriage would be delayed by one day to allow for the Prince of Wales and some of the invited dignitaries to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II
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 funeral was followed by the novemdiales devotional in which the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches observe nine days of mourning....

. Charles' parents did not attend the marriage ceremony; the Queen's reluctance to attend arising from her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Supreme Governor of the Church of England
The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is not strong, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly...

. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh did, however, attend the service of blessing, and held a reception for the newlyweds at Windsor Castle, afterwards.

Act of Penitence


A unique feature during the Blessing of Charles and Camilla's marriage by the Archbishop of Canterbury was the inclusion of the strongest act of penitence from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The royal couple led the congregation in declaring:
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time, have committed by word, thought and deed, against thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.

Legality of civil wedding


The wedding made Charles the first member of the Royal Family to have a civil, rather than religious, wedding in England. Official documents had been published by BBC that stated such a marriage was illegal, though these were dismissed by Clarence House, and explained to be obsolete by the sitting government.

Personal interests



In his years as heir apparent, the Prince of Wales has taken on a wide array of interests and activities, and devoted his time and effort to charity work and collaborating with local communities. Since founding The Prince's Trust, he established fifteen more charitable organisations, and now serves as president of all of those, plus two others; together, these form a loose alliance called The Prince's Charities
The Prince's Charities
The Prince's Charities is a group of twenty not-for-profit organisations of which HRH The Prince of Wales is Patron or President, eighteen of which were founded personally by The Prince. The group is supported by The Prince's Charities Foundation....

, which claim to raise over £110 million annually. Charles is also patron
Patrón
Patrón is a luxury brand of tequila produced in Mexico and sold in hand-blown, individually numbered bottles.Made entirely from Blue Agave "piñas" , Patrón comes in five varieties: Silver, Añejo, Reposado, Gran Patrón Platinum and Gran Patrón Burdeos. Patrón also sells a tequila-coffee blend known...

 of over 350 other charities and organisations, and carries out duties related to these throughout the Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

s; for example, he uses his tours
Royal tours of Canada
Canadian royal tours have been taking place since 1786, and continue into the 21st century, either as an official tour, a working tour, a vacation, or a period of military service by a member of the Canadian Royal Family...

 of Canada as a way to help draw attention to youth, the disabled, the environment, the arts, medicine, the elderly, heritage conservation, and education. The Prince was described by his ex-private secretary as a dissident
Dissident
A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a dissident movement....

 who works against majority political opinions. Jonathan Dimbleby
Jonathan Dimbleby
Jonathan Dimbleby is a British presenter of current affairs and political radio and television programmes, a political commentator and a writer. He is the son of Richard Dimbleby and younger brother of British TV presenter David Dimbleby.-Education:Dimbleby was educated at Charterhouse School, a...

 has reported that the Prince "has accumulated a number of certainties about the state of the world and does not relish contradiction."

Built environment


The Prince of Wales has frequently shared his views on architecture and urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 in public forums, claiming to "care deeply about issues such as the environment, architecture, inner-city renewal, and the quality of life
Personal life
Personal life is the course of an individual's life, especially when viewed as the sum of personal choices contributing to one's personal identity. It is a common notion in modern existence—although more so in more prosperous parts of the world such as Western Europe and North America...

." He is known to be an advocate of neo-traditional ideas, such as those of Christopher Alexander
Christopher Alexander
Christopher Wolfgang Alexander is a registered architect noted for his theories about design, and for more than 200 building projects in California, Japan, Mexico and around the world...

 and Leon Krier
Léon Krier
Léon Krier is an architect, architectural theorist and urban planner. From the late 1970s onwards Krier has been one of the most influential neo-traditional architects and planners...

, which were illustrated in his 1984 attack on the British architectural community in a speech given to the Royal Institute of British Architects
Royal Institute of British Architects
The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally.-History:...

, describing a proposed extension to the National Gallery in London as a "monstrous carbuncle". Charles also published a book and created a documentary entitled A Vision of Britain, which critiqued some aspects of modern architecture. Despite criticism from the professional architectural press, the Prince has continued to put forward his views, stressing traditional urbanism, the need for human scale, and the restoration of historic buildings as an integrated element of new development and sustainable design
Sustainable design
Sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability.-Intentions:The intention of sustainable design is to "eliminate negative environmental...

. Two of the Charles' charities in particular forward his theories on design: The Prince's Regeneration Trust
The Prince's Regeneration Trust
The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is one of The Prince's Charities, a group of 19 charities of which HRH The Prince of Wales is President.The Prince's Regeneration Trust works throughout the United Kingdom to ensure that important historic buildings at risk of demolition or decay are preserved,...

 (formed by a merger of Regeneration Through Heritage and the Phoenix Trust in 2006) and The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment (which absorbed The Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture in 2001). Further, the village of Poundbury
Poundbury
Poundbury is an experimental new town or urban extension on the outskirts of Dorchester in the county of Dorset, England.The development is built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. It is built according to the principles of Prince Charles...

 was created at the instigation of Prince Charles, with a master plan by Leon Krier.

Charles assisted with the establishment of 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
Department of Canadian Heritage
The Department of Canadian Heritage, or simply Canadian Heritage |department]] of the Government of Canada with responsibility for policies and programs regarding the arts, culture, media, communications networks, official languages , status of women, sports , and multiculturalism...

 in the creation of a trust modelled on the British variant
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

, and, with the passing of the 2007 federal budget
2007 Canadian federal budget
The Canadian federal budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year was presented to the Canadian House of Commons by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on March 19, 2007. The federal budget included $14 billion in new spending and $5.7 billion in tax cuts...

 by his mother's representative in Canada
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

, a Canadian national trust was finally fully implemented. In 1999, the Prince also agreed to offer the use of his title to the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership
Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership
The Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership is an award presented annually to a Canadian municipality that has demonstrated a commitment to the conservation of its historic built environment, through regulation, policies, and funding...

, awarded by the Heritage Canada
Heritage Canada
The Heritage Canada Foundation , also known as Heritage Canada , is a registered charity with the mandate to encourage the protection and promotion of the built, natural, historic, and scenic heritage of Canada...

 Foundation to municipal governments that have shown sustained commitment to the conservation of historic places. Charles has also been the recipient of awards for his efforts in regard to architecture, such as the National Building Museum
National Building Museum
The National Builders Museum, in Washington, D.C., United States, is a museum of "architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning"...

's Vincent Scully Prize
Vincent Scully Prize
The Vincent Scully Prize was established in 1999 to recognize exemplary practice, scholarship or criticism in architecture, historic preservation and urban design...

 he received in 2005, while visiting the United States and touring southern Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and New Orleans to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

; he donated $25,000 of the prize money to help restore communities damaged by the storm.

Starting in 1997 the Prince of Wales also visited Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 to view and draw attention to some of the destruction caused during the Communist rule of Nicolae Ceauşescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

, particularly Orthodox monasteries and Saxon
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

 villages of Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, where he purchased a house. Charles also became patron of two Romanian built environment organisations: the Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu was a Romantic poet, novelist and journalist, often regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet. Eminescu was an active member of the Junimea literary society and he worked as an editor for the newspaper Timpul , the official newspaper of the Conservative Party...

 Trust and the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture, and Urbanism, an advocate of architecture that respects cultural tradition and identity. Charles also has “a deep understanding of Islamic art
Islamic art
Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people who lived within the territory that was inhabited by or ruled by culturally Islamic populations...

 and architecture
Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture....

”, and has been involved in the construction of a building and garden at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford, England. It was established in 1985 with the aim of encouraging the academic study of Islam and the Muslim world. The centre's Patron is Prince Charles.A new building for the centre is situated to...

 which combine Islamic and Oxford architectural styles.

Charles' involvement in architecture has also attracted controversy, especially his personal intervention to redesign projects whose architectural style or approach he has disagreed with. He has been especially opposed to styles such as modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 and functionalism
Functionalism (architecture)
Functionalism, in architecture, is the principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building. This statement is less self-evident than it first appears, and is a matter of confusion and controversy within the profession, particularly in regard to modern...

. Richard Rogers
Richard Rogers
Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside CH Kt FRIBA FCSD is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs....

, recipient of the Pritzker Prize
Pritzker Prize
The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually by the Hyatt Foundation to honour "a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built...

 and Stirling Prize
Stirling Prize
The Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize is a British prize for excellence in architecture. It is named after the architect James Stirling, organised and awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects...

, has described the Prince's personal intervention in projects as "an abuse of power" and "unconstitutional". In 2009 Charles wrote a letter to the Qatari royal family, the developers of the Chelsea Barracks site to be designed by Rogers, that suggested his design was "unsuitable". Subsequently, Rogers was removed from the project and The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment was appointed to propose an alternative. Rogers has also claimed the Prince intervened to stop his designs for the Royal Opera House and Paternoster Square.

Charles' personal interventions have attracted critique from prominent members of the architectural community. Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid, CBE is an Iraqi-British architect.-Life and career:Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.After graduating she worked...

, Jacques Herzog, Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel is a French architect. Nouvel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture...

, Renzo Piano
Renzo Piano
Renzo Piano is an Italian architect. He is the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, AIA Gold Medal, Kyoto Prize and the Sonning Prize...

, and Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
Frank Owen Gehry, is a Canadian American Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles, California.His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions...

 among others wrote a letter to The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

 to this effect; each is a recipient of the Pritzker Prize. They wrote that "private comments" and "behind-the-scenes lobbying" by the Prince counteracted the "open and democratic planning process" in the case of the Chelsea Barracks project. Similarly, Piers Gough
Piers Gough
Piers Gough , is an architect in the practice CZWG. His younger brothers are the composer Orlando Gough and Jamie Gough, the University of Sheffield's senior lecturer in Town and Regional Planning....

 CBE
CBE
CBE and C.B.E. are abbreviations for "Commander of the Order of the British Empire", a grade in the Order of the British Empire.Other uses include:* Chemical and Biochemical Engineering...

 and other architects wrote a letter encouraging colleagues to boycott Charles' address to the Royal Institute of British Architects, with Gough calling Charles' views on architecture "elitist".

Natural environment



Since the early 1980s, Charles has taken a keen interest in environmental issues, taking a leadership role in promoting environmentally sensitive thinking. Upon his moving into his Highgrove estate, he became increasingly focused on organic farming
Organic farming
Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm...

, an attention that culminated in the 1990 launch of his own organic brand: Duchy Originals
Duchy Originals
Duchy Originals from Waitrose is a brand of organic food sold mainly in Waitrose stores in the United Kingdom, but also in Booths supermarkets and small independent stores. The Duchy Originals company was originally set up by Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1990 and named after the Duchy of Cornwall...

, which now sells more than 200 different sustainably produced products, from food to garden furniture, the profits from which (£6 million, as of 2008) are donated to The Prince's Charities. Documenting this work on his estate, Charles co-authored (with Charles Clover, environment editor of the Daily Telegraph) Highgrove: An Experiment in Organic Gardening and Farming, published in 1993, and offers his patronage to Garden Organic
Garden Organic
Garden Organic, formerly known as the Henry Doubleday Research Association , is the UK's leading organic growing charity dedicated to researching and promoting organic gardening, farming and food.-History:...

. Along similar lines, the Prince of Wales became involved with farming and various industries within it, regularly meeting with farmers to discuss their trade; though the 2001 foot-and-mouth
Foot-and-mouth disease
Foot-and-mouth disease or hoof-and-mouth disease is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids...

 epidemic in England prevented Charles from visiting farmers in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

, organic farmers there came to meet him at the Assiniboia
Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
Assiniboia is a town in south central Saskatchewan, Canada. It is located south-southwest of Moose Jaw beside Highway 2 and Highway 13.-History:...

 town hall. In 2004, he also founded the Mutton Renaissance Campaign
Mutton Renaissance Campaign
The Mutton Renaissance Campaign was founded in 2004 by Charles, Prince of Wales to advocate for the consumption of mutton by Britons. The Prince, who calls mutton his "favorite dish", also aims to support British sheep farmers struggling to sell their older animals...

, which aims to support British sheep farmers and make mutton more attractive to Britons. His organic farming efforts, however, attracted media criticism: According to The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

 in October 2006 "...the story of Duchy Originals has involved compromises and ethical blips, wedded to a determined merchandising programme." and, in February 2007, Duchy products themselves came under attack, with the tabloid Daily Mail claiming that the food was "unhealthier than Big Macs." In 2007, Charles also launched The Prince's May Day Network
The Prince's May Day Network
The Prince’s Mayday Network is a group of businesses committed to takingaction on climate change and was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in2007.The Network is convened by Business in the Community and over 3000 businesses have signed up to date...

, which encourages businesses to take action on climate change.

An announcement was made by Clarence House in December 2006 that the Prince of Wales would make his household's travel arrangements more eco-friendly and, in 2007, Charles published in his annual accounts the details of his own carbon footprint
Carbon footprint
A carbon footprint has historically been defined as "the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.". However, calculating a carbon footprint which conforms to this definition is often impracticable due to the large amount of data required, which is...

, as well as targets for reducing his household's carbon emissions
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

. That same year, he received the 10th annual Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....

'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". However, Charles' travel by commercial airliner to the United States to attend the award ceremony drew criticism from some environmental activists, such as the Plane climate change action group's campaigner Joss Garman, and in April 2009 he faced similar criticisms for chartering a private jet for a five day tour of Europe to promote environmental issues.

The Prince gave a speech to the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 on 14 February 2008, in which he called for European Union leadership in the war against climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

. During the standing ovation that followed, Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage
Nigel Paul Farage MEP , a position he previously held from September 2006 to November 2009. He is a current Member of the European Parliament for South East England and co-chairs the Eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Democracy group....

, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party
United Kingdom Independence Party
The United Kingdom Independence Party is a eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. Whilst its primary goal is the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, the party has expanded beyond its single-issue image to develop a more comprehensive party platform.UKIP...

 (UKIP), was the only MEP to remain seated and went on to describe Charles's advisers as "naive and foolish at best." Farage continued: "How can somebody like Prince Charles be allowed to come to the European Parliament at this time to announce he thinks it should have more powers? It would have been better for the country he wants to rule one day if he had stayed home and tried to persuade Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 to give the people the promised referendum [on the Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon of 1668 was a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain, concluded at Lisbon on 13 February 1668, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza....

]."

The Prince gave a speech to the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit in a European Parliament chamber on 9 February 2011, in which he lashed out at climate change skeptics. He said they are playing "a reckless game of roulette" with the planet's future and are having a "corrosive effect" on public opinion. He also spoke about the need to protect fisheries, the Amazon rain forest and about making low-carbon emissions affordable and competitive.

In 2011, he received the RSPB Medal.

Philosophies and religious beliefs


Sir Laurens van der Post
Laurens van der Post
Sir Laurens Jan van der Post, CBE was a 20th century Afrikaner author of many books, farmer, war hero, political adviser to British heads of government, close friend of Prince Charles, godfather of Prince William, educator, journalist, humanitarian, philosopher, explorer, and...

 became a friend of Charles in 1977, a relationship which led him to be dubbed the "guru to Prince Charles" and made godfather of Charles' son, Prince William. From him, the Prince of Wales developed a focus on philosophy, especially that of Asian
Eastern philosophy
Eastern philosophy includes the various philosophies of Asia, including Chinese philosophy, Iranian philosophy, Japanese philosophy, Indian philosophy and Korean philosophy...

 and Middle Eastern nations
Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies. It is the continuous search for Hekma in the light of Islamic view of life, universe, ethics, society, and so on...

, praising Kabbalistic
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 artworks, and penning a memorial for Kathleen Raine
Kathleen Raine
Kathleen Jessie Raine was a British poet, critic, and scholar writing in particular on William Blake, W. B. Yeats and Thomas Taylor. Known for her interest in various forms of spirituality, most prominently Platonism and Neoplatonism, she was a founder member of the Temenos Academy.-Life:Raine was...

, the Neoplatonist poet who died in 2003.

The Prince is known to attend services at several different Anglican
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 churches near his home at Highgrove, Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean....

 and is known to regularly worship at Crathie Kirk
Crathie Kirk
Crathie Kirk is a small Church of Scotland parish church in the Scottish village of Crathie, best known for being the regular place of worship of the British Royal Family when they are holidaying at nearby Balmoral Castle....

 when staying at Balmoral Castle. In 2000, he was appointed as Lord High Commissioner
Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
The Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the British Sovereign's personal representative to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland , reflecting the Church's role as the national church of Scotland, and the Sovereign's role as protector and member of...

 to the General Assembly
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the sovereign and highest court of the Church of Scotland, and is thus the Church's governing body[1] An Introduction to Practice and Procedure in the Church of Scotland, A Gordon McGillivray, 2nd Edition .-Church courts:As a Presbyterian church,...

 of the Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

.

The Prince of Wales also travels (amidst some secrecy) each year to Mount Athos
Mount Athos
Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. A World Heritage Site, it is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the...

 to spend time in the Orthodox monasteries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 there, as well as in Romania, demonstrating his interest in Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 Christianity. Along with his father, who was born and raised as Greek Orthodox
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

, Charles is patron of The Friends of Mount Athos, as well as the 21st International Congress of Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 Studies. It is also believed that Prince Charles has an Orthodox icon corner
Icon Corner
The Icon Corner is a small worship space prepared in the homes of Eastern Orthodox or Greek-Catholic Christians.The Book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul record that in the early Church, Christians used to meet in the homes of the faithful. This tradition of the "House Church"...

 in his house where he keeps the majority of his Orthodox icons. None of this is surprising, as Prince Charles' father was raised Greek Orthodox, but converted before marrying the future Queen Elizabeth II. It is reported that in more recent years, even his father, Prince Philip has joined him in occasional retreats to the peninsula.

Charles is also patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford.

Alternative medicine



Charles has demonstrated an interest in alternative medicine
Alternative medicine
Alternative medicine is any healing practice, "that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine." It is based on historical or cultural traditions, rather than on scientific evidence....

, and his promotion of it has caused controversy. In 2004, Charles' Foundation for Integrated Health
The Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health
The Foundation for Integrated Health was a controversial charity run by Charles, Prince of Wales and founded in 1993. The Foundation promoted alternative and complementary medicine and lobbied for its inclusion in the National Health Service...

 divided the scientific and medical community over its campaign encouraging general practitioner
General practitioner
A general practitioner is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education for all ages and both sexes. They have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues and comorbidities...

s to offer herbal and other alternative treatments to National Health Service patients, and in May 2006, Charles made a speech to an audience of health ministers from various countries at the World Health Assembly
World Health Assembly
The World Health Assembly is the forum through which the World Health Organization is governed by its 194 member states. It is the world's highest health policy setting body and is composed of health ministers from member states....

 in Geneva, urging them to develop a plan for integrating conventional and alternative medicine and argued for homeopathy
Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine in which practitioners claim to treat patients using highly diluted preparations that are believed to cause healthy people to exhibit symptoms that are similar to those exhibited by the patient...

.

In April 2008, The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 published a letter from Edzard Ernst
Edzard Ernst
Edzard Ernst is the first Professor of Complementary Medicine in the world, at the University of Exeter, England....

, 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." Ernst has recently published a book with science writer Simon Singh
Simon Singh
Simon Lehna Singh, MBE is a British author who has specialised in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner....

 condemning alternative medicine called Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial
Trick or Treatment
Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial is a 2008 book about alternative medicine by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst. Singh is a physicist and the writer of several popular science books...

. The book is ironically dedicated to "HRH the Prince of Wales" and the last chapter is very critical of his advocacy of "complementary" and "alternative" treatments.

The Prince's Duchy Originals
Duchy Originals
Duchy Originals from Waitrose is a brand of organic food sold mainly in Waitrose stores in the United Kingdom, but also in Booths supermarkets and small independent stores. The Duchy Originals company was originally set up by Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1990 and named after the Duchy of Cornwall...

 produce a variety of CAM products including a “Detox Tincture” that Edzard Ernst has denounced as "financially exploiting the vulnerable" and "outright quackery
Quackery
Quackery is a derogatory term used to describe the promotion of unproven or fraudulent medical practices. Random House Dictionary describes a "quack" as a "fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill" or "a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or...

". In May 2009, the Advertising Standards Authority criticised an email that Duchy Originals had sent out to advertise its Echina-Relief, Hyperi-Lift and Detox Tinctures products saying it was misleading. The Prince personally wrote at least seven letters to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is the UK government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe....

 (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.

On 31 October 2009 it was reported that Prince Charles had personally lobbied the Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, regarding greater provision of alternative treatments in the NHS.

In 2010, following accounting irregularities noted by the auditor, two former officials at the Prince's Foundation were arrested for fraud believed to total £300,000. Four days after the arrests, the FIH announced that it would close, 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 in late 2010 as the College of Medicine. It continues to act as an alternative medicine lobby group.

Humanitarian issues



The plight of various peoples has been a target of Charles' efforts, predominantly the long-term unemployed, people who have been in trouble with the law, people who are in difficulty at school, and people who have been in care. The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust is a charity in the United Kingdom founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales to help young people. They run a range of training programmes, provide mentoring support and offer financial grants to build the confidence and motivation of disadvantaged young people...

 is the main outlet through which Charles works with young people, offering loans to groups, business people, and others who have had difficulty receiving outside support. Fundraising concerts are regularly held in benefit of the trust, with leading pop, rock, and classical musicians taking part. In Canada, Charles has also supported humanitarian projects, taking part, along with his two sons, in the ceremonies marking the 1998 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws...

, and helping to launch the Canadian Youth Business Foundation in Saskatchewan in 2001, when he also visited Scott Collegiate, an inner-city school in Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan
Regina is the capital city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The city is the second-largest in the province and a cultural and commercial centre for southern Saskatchewan. It is governed by Regina City Council. Regina is the cathedral city of the Roman Catholic and Romanian Orthodox...

.

After spending time in the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

 in 1975, Charles formed a special interest in the Canadian north, as well as Canada's Aboriginal Peoples
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative....

, the leaders of which he met and sometimes took time to walk and meditate with. Reflecting this association, the Prince of Wales has been conferred with special titles from First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

 communities: in 1996 Cree
Cree
The Cree are one of the largest groups of First Nations / Native Americans in North America, with 200,000 members living in Canada. In Canada, the major proportion of Cree live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, although...

 and Ojibway students in Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

 named the Prince Leading Star, and in 2001 he was dubbed Pisimwa Kamiwohkitahpamikohk, or "the sun looks at him in a good way", during his first visit to the province of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

. He was also one of the first world leaders to express strong concerns about the human rights record of Nicolae Ceauşescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

, initiating objections in the international arena, and subsequently supported the FARA Foundation, which runs Romanian orphanages.

Charles attended the Bilderberg Group
Bilderberg Group
The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of approximately 120 to 140 guests from North America and Western Europe, most of whom are people of influence. About one-third are from government and politics, and two-thirds from...

 conference in 1986 specifically to attend a debate on the South African economic crisis.

An example of his concern for humanitarian issues has been his recent (2011) launch of his Pakistan Recovery Fund
Pakistan Recovery Fund
A Humanitarian DisasterOver the course of the 2010 monsoon season; heavy rainfall, flash floods and river floods combined to create a moving body of water that resulted in the worst floods in Pakistan’s history...

 which aims to raise a minimum of £2million towards health, education, reconstruction and livelihood projects.

Hobbies and sports


Since his youth the Prince was an avid player of polo
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

, as a part of competitive teams until 1992, and strictly for charity from then until 2005, after which he ceased to participate because of two notable injuries he suffered during play: in 1990 he broke his arm, and in 2001 was briefly unconscious after a fall. Charles also frequently took part in fox hunting
Fox hunting
Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase, and sometimes killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of followers led by a master of foxhounds, who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.Fox hunting originated in its current...

, before the sport was banned in the United Kingdom
Hunting Act 2004
The Hunting Act 2004 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The effect of the Act is to outlaw hunting with dogs in England and Wales from 18 February 2005...

 in 2005. By the late 1990s, as opposition to the activity was growing, the Prince of Wales' participation in this activity was viewed as a "political statement" by those opposed to it, such as the League Against Cruel Sports, which launched the attack against Charles after he took his sons on the Beaufort Hunt
Duke of Beaufort's Hunt
The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt is one of the oldest and largest of the fox hunting packs in England. It was founded by the 1st Duke of Beaufort in 1682 and under the auspices of this family...

 in 1999, at a time when the government was trying to ban the hunting of foxes with hounds. The Prince has also been a keen salmon angler since youth, and a supporter of Orri Vigfússon
Orri Vigfússon
Orri Vigfússon is an Icelandic entrepreneur and environmentalist. In 2004 Time Magazine named him a "European Hero". He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2007 for his efforts on saving endangered species...

's efforts to protect the North Atlantic Salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

. Charles has frequently fished the River Dee
River Dee, Aberdeenshire
The River Dee is a river in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It rises in the Cairngorms and flows through Strathdee to reach the North Sea at Aberdeen...

 in Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland and a lieutenancy area.The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic...

, Scotland, while he claims his most special angling memories are from his time in Vopnafjörður
Vopnafjörður
Vopnafjörður is a village and municipality in Northeast Iceland, standing on a peninsula in the middle of a mountainous bay by the same name. The main industries of Vopnafjordur are fish processing, agriculture, and tourism and other services....

, Iceland.

Charles has also pursued the visual arts, focusing on watercolour, and exhibiting and selling a number of his paintings, as well as publishing books on the subject. In university he dabbled in acting, appearing in amateur productions of a comedic nature, an enjoyment of which continued later into the Prince's life, as evidenced by his organising of a comedy gala to celebrate his 60th birthday. He also has an interest in illusionism
Magic (illusion)
Magic is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means...

, becoming a member of The Magic Circle
The Magic Circle
The Magic Circle is a British organisation, founded in London in 1905, dedicated to promoting and advancing the art of magic.- History :The Magic Circle was founded in 1905 after a meeting of 23 amateur and professional magicians at London's Pinoli's Restaurant...

 after passing his audition by performing the cups and balls
Cups and balls
The cups and balls is a classic performance of magic with innumerable adaptations. The effect known as acetabula et calculi was performed by Roman conjurers as far back as two thousand years ago...

 effect. The Prince acts today as patron of a number of theatres, acting troupes, and orchestral ensembles, including the Regina Symphony Orchestra
Regina Symphony Orchestra
The Regina Symphony Orchestra was founded by Frank Laubach, in Regina, Saskatchewan, as the Regina Orchestral Society in 1908, giving its inaugural concert December 3 of that same year...

, and the Royal Shakespeare Company
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon and plays regularly in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and on tour across...

, and is reportedly a fan of Canadian singer and song writer Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Norman Cohen, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships...

. He is also a collector of automobiles, particularly the British marque Aston Martin
Aston Martin
Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is a British manufacturer of luxury sports cars, based in Gaydon, Warwickshire. The company name is derived from the name of one of the company's founders, Lionel Martin, and from the Aston Hill speed hillclimb near Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire...

, having acquired numerous models and such tight connections with the brand–being a frequent visitor to the factory and its service department, and a guest of honour at most of the company's special launch events– that special Prince of Wales edition Aston Martins have been created on occasion.

Charles is a supporter of Burnley Football Club
Burnley F.C.
Burnley Football Club are a professional English Football League club based in Burnley, Lancashire. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were founder members of the Football League in 1888...

.

Official duties


As Prince of Wales, Prince Charles undertakes a number of official duties on behalf of his mother, in her role as sovereign of any of the Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

s. He will frequently stand in for the Queen at the funerals of foreign dignitaries (which the Queen customarily does not attend), and at investiture
Investiture
Investiture, from the Latin is a rather general term for the formal installation of an incumbent...

s into British orders. It was when he attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II
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 funeral was followed by the novemdiales devotional in which the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches observe nine days of mourning....

 that Charles caused controversy: when shaking hands with other guests, Charles was surprised to find himself shaking that of Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

, the President of Zimbabwe, who had been seated next to the Prince. Charles' 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
Pius Ncube
His Grace the Most Reverend Dr. Pius Alick Mvundla Ncube served as the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, until he resigned on September 11, 2007...

, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, an outspoken critic of the government."

Both Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall travel abroad on behalf of the United Kingdom. The Prince has been regarded as an effective advocate of the country, with his visit to the Republic of Ireland, where he delivered a personally researched and written speech on Anglo-Irish
Anglo-Irish
Anglo-Irish was a term used primarily in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify a privileged social class in Ireland, whose members were the descendants and successors of the Protestant Ascendancy, mostly belonging to the Church of Ireland, which was the established church of Ireland until...

 affairs that was warmly received by Irish politicians and the media, being cited as an example. His service to the Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 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, the Prince placed a specially commissioned wreath, made from vegetation taken from French battlefields, at the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at the National War Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added to the war memorial in 2000, and holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I...

, and in 1981 he became the patron of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is a Canadian aviation museum located at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport near Hamilton, Ontario. The museum has 36 military jets, propeller-driven aircraft and helicopters on display....

.

Prince Charles makes regular tours of Wales, going there for a week of engagements each summer, attending important national occasions, such as opening the Senedd
Senedd
The Senedd , also known as the National Assembly building, houses the debating chamber and three committee rooms for the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff. The Senedd building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 1 March 2006 and the total cost was £69.6 million, which included £49.7M in...

. In 2000, Charles revived the tradition of the Prince of Wales having an official harp
Harp
The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard. Organologically, it is in the general category of chordophones and has its own sub category . All harps have a neck, resonator and strings...

ist, 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 the Prince is patron of a number of Scottish organisations.

Prince Charles is a Director of "The Royal Collection Trust". and an Assistant of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.The Shipwrights' Company has not, unlike other Livery Companies, ever received a Royal Charter; instead, it is considered incorporated "by prescription" because the body had for a long time used this title...

.

On 27 March 2011, Prince Charles attended in the Christchurch
Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area after Auckland. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of...

 memorial service at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 for acknowledging the generosity, sympathy and support New Zealand has received from the United Kingdom since the earthquake hit. On 16 November, Prince Charles attended a special service at Westminster Abbey as the Patron of the King James Bible Trust celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in the presence of The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, clerics and thousands of worshippers.

Media


Sometimes parodied, such as on Spitting Image
Spitting Image
Spitting Image is a British satirical puppet show that aired on the ITV network from 1984 to 1996. It was produced by Spitting Image Productions for Central Television. The series was nominated for 10 BAFTA Awards, winning one for editing in 1989....

, and by Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson is a Scottish American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, author, and producer. He is the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, an Emmy Award-nominated, Peabody Award-winning late-night talk show that airs on CBS...

—in a segment known as The Rather Late Programme with Prince Charles—on The Late Late Show
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is a Peabody Award-winning American late-night talk show hosted by Scottish American comedian Craig Ferguson. Ferguson, the third regular host of the Late Late Show franchise, follows Late Show with David Letterman in the CBS late-night lineup...

, Prince Charles has been a focus of the world media since his birth, attention that increased as he matured. Prior to his first marriage, he was presented as the world's most eligible bachelor
Bachelor
A bachelor is a man above the age of majority who has never been married . Unlike his female counterpart, the spinster, a bachelor may have had children...

 on the cover of Time, and his various affairs and exploits were followed and reported. With his marriage to Diana
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 the attention increased, though predominantly towards a Princess of Wales, who became a star attraction, chased by the paparazzi
Paparazzi
Paparazzi is an Italian term used to refer to photojournalists who specialize in candid photography of celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people...

, and her every move (including every change in hairstyle
Hairstyle
A hairstyle, hairdo, or haircut refers to the styling of hair, usually on the human head. The fashioning of hair can be considered an aspect of personal grooming, fashion, and cosmetics, although practical, cultural, and popular considerations also influence some hairstyles.-History of...

) closely followed by millions. As their relationship began to deteriorate, Diana began to use the media to her advantage, and became closely involved in placing stories about the royal marriage in the press, thenceforth splitting the media's support, with Charles having The Mirror and the Telegraph on his side.
In their quest to gain ever more stories on a Prince of Wales, the media breached Charles' privacy on a number of occasions. In 2006, the Prince filed a court case against the Mail on Sunday
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

, 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." Others have used their past connections with the Prince to profit from the media, such as when an ex-member of Charles' household took to 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. In retort, Charles stated: "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," and the memo was cited in Lynne Truss
Lynne Truss
Lynne Truss is an English writer and journalist, best known for her popular book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.-Early life:...

' critique of British manners, Talk to the Hand, as a valid observation on how the positive motivational impact of meritocracy might be balanced against the negative impact of a competitive society.

Overall, Charles developed a dislike for the popular press, which was accidentally revealed when his comments to his son, William, during a press photo-call in 2005 was caught on a nearby microphone: "I hate doing this... These bloody people," and about the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's royal reporter, Nicholas Witchell
Nicholas Witchell
Nicholas Newton Henshall Witchell is an English journalist. He is the current diplomatic and royal correspondent for BBC News...

, in particular: "I can't bear that man. I mean, he's so awful, he really is."

The Prince of Wales though has appeared as himself on a number of occasions in continuing series. In 1984 he read his children's book, The Old Man of Lochnagar
The Old Man of Lochnagar
The Old Man of Lochnagar is a children's book written by Prince Charles and illustrated by Sir Hugh Casson.The story of the old man of Lochnagar was one Prince Charles had told some years earlier to entertain his brothers, Andrew and Edward, when they were young. The book was published in 1980 in...

, on the BBC's Jackanory
Jackanory
Jackanory is a long-running BBC children's television series that was designed to stimulate an interest in reading. The show was first transmitted on 13 December 1965, the first story being the fairy-tale Cap o' Rushes read by Lee Montague. Jackanory continued to be broadcast until 24 March 1996,...

 programme. The UK soap opera Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

 featured an appearance by Charles during the show's 40th anniversary in 2000, as did the New Zealand adult cartoon series bro'Town
Bro'Town
bro'Town is a New Zealand Television animated series. The show used a comedy based format, targeted at a young adult audience.The series is set amongst New Zealand's fast growing Pacific Islander community, and focuses on a central cast of five young boys...

 (2005), after he attended a performance by the show's creators during a tour of the country. He reportedly turned down an invitation to appear in a cameo role in an episode of Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

. Charles also continues to give interviews, such as that which was conducted by Ant & Dec
Ant & Dec
Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly , known collectively as Ant & Dec, are an English comedy and TV presenting duo from Newcastle upon Tyne, England...

 for the 30th anniversary of The Prince's Trust in 2006.

Residences


Clarence House
Clarence House
Clarence House is a royal home in London, situated on The Mall, in the City of Westminster. It is attached to St. James's Palace and shares the palace's garden. For nearly 50 years, from 1953 to 2002, it was home to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, but is since then the official residence of The...

, the former London residence of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

, is the Prince of Wales' current official residence. Previously, he resided in an apartment at St James's Palace. Charles also holds a private estate in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean....

, Highgrove House, and one in Scotland, the Birkhall
Birkhall
Birkhall is a 53,000 acre  estate on Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is alongside the River Muick to the southwest of Ballater....

 estate near Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is located near the village of Crathie, west of Ballater and east of Braemar. Balmoral has been one of the residences of the British Royal Family since 1852, when it was purchased by Queen Victoria and her...

 and also previously owned by the Queen Mother. Upon the occasion of his marriage to Diana, Charles had reduced his voluntary tax contribution from the profits generated by the Duchy of Cornwall from 50% to 25%.

In 2007 the Prince purchased a 192–acre (150 acres of grazing and parkland, and 40 acres (161,874.4 m²) of woodland) property in Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in the south west of Wales and one of thirteen historic counties. It is the 3rd largest in Wales. Its three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford...

, 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 royal couple is not in residence. Though neighbours said the proposed alterations flouted local planning regulations, the application was put on hold while a report was drafted on how the alterations would affect the local bat population. Charles and Camilla took residence at the new property, called Llwynywermod
Llwynywermod
Llwynywermod, , also known as Llwynywormwood, is an estate owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.The estate is near the village of Myddfai, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire; the Duchy completed its purchase of the property in March 2007...

, in June 2008.

In 2006 the Prince bought a house in the village of Viscri in south-eastern Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, one of the Saxon
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

 villages with fortified churches in Transylvania designated in 1993 as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 by UNESCO; in 2008 he bought another house in the village of Valea Zălanului / Zalánpatak in the Székely Land
Székely Land
The Székely Land or Szekler Land refers to the territories inhabited mainly by the Székely, a Hungarian-speaking ethnic group from eastern Transylvania...

 region of Transylvania, a 16th century village probably founded by one of the Prince's Transylvanian ancestors. Both properties are rented out as guest houses when the Prince is not in residence.

Titles, styles, honours and arms


Titles and styles


Charles has held a number of titles throughout his life, as the grandson of the monarch, the son of the monarch and, later, honoured in his own right with princely and noble titles. When in conversation with the Prince of Wales, the practice is to initially address him as Your Royal Highness and thereafter as Sir.

There has been speculation as to what regnal name
Regnal name
A regnal name, or reign name, is a formal name used by some monarchs and popes during their reigns. Since medieval times, monarchs have frequently chosen to use a name different from their own personal name when they inherit a throne....

 the Prince will choose upon his succession to the throne. If he keeps his current first name, he will 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 maternal grandfather
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

, and to avoid association with the Stuart
House of Stuart
The House of Stuart is a European royal house. Founded by Robert II of Scotland, the Stewarts first became monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century, and subsequently held the position of the Kings of Great Britain and Ireland...

 kings Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 (who was beheaded) and Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 (who was known for his playboy lifestyle), as well as to be sensitive to the memory of Bonnie Prince Charlie
Charles Edward Stuart
Prince Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie or The Young Pretender was the second Jacobite pretender to the thrones of Great Britain , and Ireland...

, who was called "Charles III" by his supporters
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

. Charles' office immediately denied this report.

Honours and honorary military appointments


Charles' first honorary appointment was as Colonel-in-Chief
Colonel-in-Chief
In the various Commonwealth armies, the Colonel-in-Chief of a regiment is its patron. This position is distinct from that of Colonel of the Regiment. They do not have an operational role. They are however kept informed of all important activities of the regiment, and pay occasional visits to its...

 of the Royal Regiment of Wales
Royal Regiment of Wales
The Royal Regiment of Wales was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales' Division. It was formed in 1969 by the amalgamation of The South Wales Borderers and The Welch Regiment....

 in 1969; since that time, the Prince has also been installed as Colonel-in-Chief, Colonel, Honorary Air Commodore, Air Commodore-in-Chief
Air Commodore-in-Chief
Air Commodore-in-Chief is a type of honorary air force appointment which originated in the Royal Air Force and now exists in the air forces of various Commonwealth realms. Initially only the British monarch held air commodore-in-chief appointments...

, Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Honorary Colonel, Royal Colonel, and Honorary Commodore of at least 36 military formations throughout the Commonwealth. He is also the commander of the Royal Gurkha Rifles
Royal Gurkha Rifles
The Royal Gurkha Rifles is a regiment of the British Army, forming part of the Brigade of Gurkhas. The Royal Gurkha Rifles are now the sole infantry regiment of the British Army Gurkhas...

, which is the only foreign regiment in the British army.

Charles has also been the recipient of a number of honours and awards from various countries. He has been inducted into eight orders and received five decorations from amongst the Commonwealth realms, and has been the recipient of 17 different appointments and decorations by foreign states, as well as nine honorary degrees from universities in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Ancestry




Due to the insistence of the royal family to remain to be called Windsor, Charles is a member of the House of Windsor
House of Windsor
The House of Windsor is the royal house of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on the 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of his family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom...

. Those House of Windsor
House of Windsor
The House of Windsor is the royal house of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on the 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of his family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom...

 members who are male-line descendants of the Queen Elizabeth II belong in the male line to a cadet branch of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (also known simply as the House of Glücksburg), a branch of the House of Oldenburg
House of Oldenburg
The House of Oldenburg is a North German dynasty and one of Europe's most influential Royal Houses with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Russia, Greece, Norway, Schleswig, Holstein, Oldenburg and Sweden...

, ultimately descended from Elimar I, Count of Oldenburg
Elimar I, Count of Oldenburg
Elimar I, also known as Egilmar I, was the first Count of Oldenburg. He reigned from 1101 to 1108.According to some sources, Elimar was the son of Elsa of Brabant and Helyas of Lorraine, identified as the Swan Knight of legend...

. The male-line descendants of the Queen Elizabeth II are distinct from other members of the House of Windsor, who are descended in male line from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Issue

Name Birth Marriage Issue
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge  21 June 1982 29 April 2011 Catherine Middleton 
Prince Harry of Wales
Prince Harry of Wales
Prince Henry of Wales , commonly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and fourth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 
15 September 1984

External links



> > > > > > in England and Wales
Order of precedence in England and Wales
The Order of precedence in England and Wales as of 11 May 2010:Names in italics indicate higher precedence elsewhere in the table or precedence in the table for the other sex.- Royal Family :* The Sovereign , regardless of gender...

 and in Northern Ireland
Order of precedence in Northern Ireland
The order of precedence in Northern Ireland:-Gentlemen:#The Sovereign #The Duke of Edinburgh#Sons of the Sovereign##The Prince of Wales##The Duke of York##The Earl of Wessex#Grandsons of the Sovereign##The Duke of Cambridge...


>