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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born at Buckingham Palace at 9.14pm on November 14, 1948.

When the Queen gave birth to Charles, Prince Philip was playing squash.

When the one-month-old Prince Charles was baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Buckingham Palace, the water used was from the River Jordan.

Prince Charles enjoyed stamp collecting as a child. The colorful stamps from places visited by his parents interested him. The Queen, owner of the multi-million-pound Royal Philatelic Collection started by her grandfather, King George V, never shared his enthusiasm, or that of her father, King George VI.

Charles attended his first day at school on January 29, 1957. For the first time in Britain’s history, the future monarch sat at a school desk with other boys under ten. His fees at Hill House School in Knightsbridge, West London were £27 a term, lunch at 2s 6d a day, and stationery would cost the Queen about £102 a year.

The Prince began his first term at Gordonstoun in April 1962, The school near Elgin in Eastern Scotland was the same one that The Duke of Edinburgh had attended.

Prince Charles in October 1957. Wikipedia Commons

Prince Charles spoke in public for the first time on December 27, 1959 when he read the eighth lesson at a service of nine carols and lessons at the 15th century Church of St Peter and St Paul on the Sandringham estate. Other members of the congregation were surprised to see the 11-year-old royal  walk up to the chancel.

In his final year at Gordonstoun, The Prince of Wales was appointed school guardian (head boy).

The Prince of Wales sung the part of the Pirate King in Gordonstoun’s production of The Pirates Of Penzance in his final year.

Prince Charles passed his driving test at the first attempt in a red Rover 2000 at Isleworth, Middlesex on April 11, 1969. The prince had been driving since the age of ten on the grounds of Balmoral, Sandringham and Windsor.

The Prince went to Cambridge University in 1967 to read archaeology and anthropology at Trinity College. He changed to history for the second part of his degree, and in 1970 was awarded a 2:2 degree. n 1970,  Prince Charles was the first heir to the British throne to complete a university degree.

He was invested as Prince of Wales by The Queen on 1st July 1969 in a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle.

The Prince embarked on a naval career in 1971, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and both his great-grandfathers. After service on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates he qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1974. Prince Charles then joined 845 Naval Air Squadron, which operated from the Commando carrier HMS Hermes before taking command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington for his last nine months in the Navy.

Prince Charles holds the ranks of Admiral in the Royal Navy, Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force and General in the Army.

Prince Charles announced his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer on February 24, 1981, saying he was in love, "whatever that means."

On July 29, 1981, The Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in St Paul's Cathedral. Her maternal grandmother, Ruth, Lady Fermoy, was a close friend and lady in waiting to The Queen Mother. A worldwide television audience of over 700 million people watched the wedding.

It is often cited as the most expensive wedding of all time—royal or otherwise. Brides Magazine sets the total for Prince Charles and Lady Diana's 1981 at $48 million, which would be a mind-blowing $110 million in today’s dollars.

Charles and Diana had two sons: Prince William, born on June 21, 1982; and Prince Harry, born on September 15, 1984.

When Prince Charles called a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend," on May 17, 1984. it sparked controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture. As a result of ferocity of the his attack, the design for the extension was dumped.

The marriage was dissolved on August 28, 1996 in a London basement at 10:27 am. Charles and Diana were 500 miles apart at the time. The court action cost $31.00.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles appeared together in public for the first time in 1999, posing for photos outside London's Ritz Hotel, where they had attended a party.

On April 9, 2005, The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles were married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall, Windsor.

Prince Charles has reduced his motoring emissions by running his vintage Aston Martin, a 21st birthday present from the Queen, on fuel made entirely from wine.

He is patron of more than 400 charities and set up The Prince’s Trust with the £7,400 severance pay he received when he left the Navy.

Prince Charles, as Duke of Cornwall, is paid an annual rent of one daffodil by the Environmental Trust of the Isles of Scilly for all its uncultivated land.

Portrait HRH The Prince of Wales taken in 1984 by Allan Warren Wikipedia Commons

Even the Prince’s friends are supposed to call him ‘Sir’, but several admitted to his biographer that they simply avoid calling him anything, out of embarrassment.

Whenever Prince Charles visits the United States, his Secret Service code name is "Unicorn."

He is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, having been next-in-line since 1952. If Charles finally does become monarch — simply by not dying before his mother — he will be the oldest person ever to ascend the throne.

Prince Charles: “I’m often asked whether it is because of some genetic trait that I stand with my hands behind me, like my father. The answer is that we both have the same tailor. He makes our sleeves so tight that we can’t get our hands in front.”

Sources Daily MailPrince of Wales' biography

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