Prince Charles’ Birthday: 60 Facts
1. He was born on November 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace.
2. The eldest child of the then Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, he was christened Charles Philip Arthur George on December 15, 1948, in the Palace Music Room.
3. Charles became heir apparent on the death of his grandfather George VI, when his mother succeeded to the throne on February 6, 1952.
4. He was initially cared for by two Scottish nannies and a governess.
5. In October 1956 he started as a day boy at Hill House School, in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge.
6. The following year, at the age of eight, he went as a boarder to Cheam School, at Headley, near Newbury, Berkshire.
7. He was created Prince of Wales on July 26, 1958.
8. In May 1962 he enrolled at Gordonstoun school, near Elgin, Morayshire, in the Scottish Highlands, later telling of his unhappy time there.
9. From February to July 1966 he went as an exchange student to Timbertop, the outback section of Geelong Church of England Grammar School, near Melbourne,
10. In his final year at Gordonstoun he was made school guardian (head boy).
11. He passed two A levels gaining a grade B in history and a C in French.
12. In October 1967 he went up to Cambridge University to read archaeology and anthropology at Trinity College, later switching to history.
13. From April to June 1969 he studied Welsh at Aberystwyth University.
14. In July 1969 he was invested as Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle.
15. He became the 21st Prince of Wales.
16. The Queen invested her son with the Insignia of his Principality and Earldom of Chester: a sword, coronet, mantle, gold ring and gold rod.
17. He graduated from Cambridge with a BA Honours in June 1970, having been awarded a 2:2 grade.
18. In August 1975 he received his MA.
19. In March 1971 he joined the Royal Air Force and attended the RAF College at Cranwell, Lincolnshire, receiving his wings in August – Charles already held a
private pilot’s licence.
20. The following month, he enrolled as a sub-lieutenant at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and in November joined HMS Norfolk, a guided-missile
21. From August to October 1974 he trained as a helicopter pilot at the Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton, Somerset.
22. In 1976 he took command of the coastal minehunter, HMS Bronington.
23. He left the Navy in December 1976.
24. His Prince’s Trust was started with the £7,400 in severance pay he received when he left the Navy.
25. To date it has helped more than 500,000 unemployed young people get the skills needed to find work.
26. Probably the world’s most eligible bachelor, he vowed he would only marry for love and said: “You have got to choose somebody very carefully, I think, who could fulfil this particular role, and it has got to be someone pretty special.”
27. On February 24, 1981, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of the Prince, 32, to Lady Diana Spencer, the 19-year-old daughter of Earl Spencer and his former wife, Mrs Frances Shand Kydd.
28. Their wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981 was the first wedding of a Prince of Wales since 1863.
29. In the autumn of 1981 the couple moved in to Highgrove House, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, in the Cotswolds.
30.They kept a London apartment at Kensington Palace.
31. Prince William, their first son, was born on June 21, 1982.
32. Prince Harry’s birth followed on September 15, 1984.
33. As early as 1985 there were rumours that Charles and Diana’s marriage was in trouble.
34. In 1992 it was announced they were separating.
35. Then in 1994, in a national television interview, Charles admitted he had been unfaithful after the breakdown of his marriage.
36. A year later, Diana went on TV and also admitted adultery, with James Hewitt, but said there were “three people” in her marriage – Camilla Parker Bowels being the Prince’s other woman.
37. In 1996 Charles and Diana were divorced.
38. The following year, Diana died in a Paris car crash.
39. In 1999, Charles and Camilla appeared together in public.
40. In 2005 they became engaged and announced an April 8 wedding date.
41. The royal couple eventually married on April 9 after Charles had to go to Pope John Paul II’s funeral.
42. The Prince’s interests include architecture, inner-city regeneration, organic farming, conservation and environmental sustainability, alternative medicine and holistic healing, Islam and the Middle East, and education.
43. He published a children’s book in 1980, The Old Man of Lochnagar, from a story Charles had originally written for his younger brother Prince Edward.
44. In May 1984, in a speech to the Royal Institute of British Architects, he described a proposed extension to the National Gallery as a “monstrous carbuncle”.
45. In 1988 he wrote and presented a TV documentary, A Vision of Britain, setting out his view of architecture, conservation and the built environment.
46. In May 1990 the Prince was back on TV presenting The Earth in Balance, a self-penned programme highlighting global issues.
47. Also in 1990 he set up Duchy Originals, marketing organic produce on a profits-for-charity basis.
48. In 1993, the construction of the Prince’s “model” village of Poundbury, near Dorchester, Dorset, began.
49. A countryman at heart, he rides and supports hunting.
50. Charles was a keen polo player for much of his life, finally giving up the sport in November 2005.
51. He played in all four positions, but most often at No 4 (back).
52. The heir to the throne’s sporting skills also stretch to skiing.
53. Charles is an experienced watercolourist and has been painting for most of his adult life.
54. The Prince’s character traits are described as sensitive, spiritual, melancholic, with a strong social conscience.
55. The Prince has the titles of The Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of
56. The Queen and Philip gave their son an Aston Martin sportscar for his 21st birthday present.
57. The Prince holds the rank of Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force, and is an Admiral of the Royal Navy.
58. He enjoys gardening, especially in his organic garden at Highgrove.
59. Charles is Patron or President of around 400 organisations.
60. He regularly attends theatre and opera performances and symphony concerts, sometimes as part of a fundraising event or privately.