Charles III, the longest-serving future king of Great Britain

Charles III, the longest-serving future king of Great Britain

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, became king after the death of Queen Elizabeth. Charles, 73, has been waiting decades to ascend the British throne. He is the eldest of four children of Queen Elizabeth and was first in line to the throne all his life. The highly publicized marriage of the Prince of Wales to Lady Diana, the couple’s nasty divorce and her tragic death have largely defined his public persona, but in recent years he has struggled to rebuild his image.

Prince Charles becomes the thirteenth monarch of Great Britain.

He has been preparing for this role all his life. As the eldest of Queen Elizabeth children, he has been in line for the throne for 70 years, which is a record in the royal family.

When he was born on November 14, 1948, his mother was not yet queen. Only four years later, in 1952, when his grandfather King George VI died of a coronary thrombosis, Elizabeth ascended the throne. The following year, young Charles attended his mother’s coronation at Westminster Abbey.

After growing up in Buckingham Palace along with his siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward, Charles was the first to go to school, like any royal subject, according to his mother’s wishes.

He attended Gordonstoun School, a regular boarding school in the North East of Scotland, the same institution as his father. Duke of Edinburgh went as a child. Charles did not have pleasant memories of school. He went on to study at the University of Cambridge where he received degrees in anthropology, archeology and history, making him the first British monarch with a university degree.

At the age of 21, in 1969, Charles was formally named the Duke of Cornwall, a title reserved for the most senior male heir to a sovereign.

His mother crowned him Prince of Wales in a nationally televised ceremony. After university, Charles joined the Royal Navy, where he served as an officer for five years, from 1971 to 1976. He also received a helicopter pilot’s license.

The Fairy Tale Marriage That Soured

In his youth, the prince was known for his affairs with several women from wealthy families. In 1981, at the age of 32, he finally decided to get married. Lady Diana Spencer, who was 20 years old and from the British aristocracy. Over 750 million people watched the wedding on TV channels around the world. The couple had two sons, Williamborn in 1982 and Harryin 1984. But a fairy tale after a few years turned into a nightmare.

The couple separated in 1992, shortly after Diana revealed that her husband had a longtime extramarital affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, one of his childhood sweethearts. For several years, the Princess and the Prince of Wales could no longer hide their differences. The image of Charles was heavily tarnished. The divorce was officially announced in 1996.

A year later, on August 31, 1997, Diana died in a car accident in Paris, under the Alma bridge, along with her then boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed. The news shocked the whole world. Prince Charles went to France take the body of the ex-wife. The heir to the crown appeared alongside his sons as he took part in the national funeral, walking behind Lady Dee’s coffin.

Green Prince

Charles, who had long been perceived as an unfaithful husband, tried to restore his image. Eight years after Diana’s tragic disappearance, he finally married his greatest love, Camilla Parker Bowles.

Passionate about botany and gardening, he maintains his reputation as an environmental enthusiast and sponsors several environmental associations. In 2007, he created the Prince’s Rainforest Project, among other things, to draw attention to deforestation. He is also the President World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in United Kingdom. He started an organic farm and garden on his vast country estate, Highgrove Gardens. He also advocates for organic farming.

In anticipation of becoming king, Charles had duties within the monarchy. On behalf of the Queen, he serves official openings and attends the funerals of foreign dignitaries. In 2013, he represented his mother for the first time at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. In 2022, for the first time and due to health problems in Elizabeth II, Charles delivered the queen’s speech at the traditional opening ceremony of Parliament.

Persistently unpopular

Considered eccentric and quirky, Charles often found himself in controversy. In 2005, during the funeral of Pope John Paul II, he caused controversy by shaking hands with the Zimbabwean dictator. Robert Mugabe. Ten years later, letters addressed to members Tony Blair The government revealed some interference of the heir to the throne in political affairs, which contradicts the tradition of the royal family’s neutrality.

In 2017, he also suffered from Paradise papers scandalwhich showed that Charles, who manages his own private funds, invested about 3.5 million euros in offshore companies in the Cayman Islands.

Last July, Charles found himself at the center of yet another controversy as he accused of receiving a million euros from members Osama bin Laden family for his philanthropic work. His popularity has dropped from 50 percent to 42 percent, according to the YouGov think tank, much less than that of his eldest son, William.

The new sovereign chose the name Charles III, although his name, Charles, is considered a curse in British history. In the absence of his mother and despite his unpopularity, Charles will still have to keep the crown afloat. His reign will also be much shorter than his mother’s, so he will have little time to make his mark.

(FRANCE 24)

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