Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is King of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms. He acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022 upon the death of his mother, Elizabeth II. He was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history and, at the age of 73, is the oldest person to ascend the British throne.
Charles was born in Buckingham Palace during the reign of his maternal grandfather, King George VI. Charles was three when his mother ascended the throne in 1952, making him the heir apparent. He was made Prince of Wales in 1958 and his investiture was held in 1969. He was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools, as was his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Charles later spent six months at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, Charles served in the Air Force and Navy from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer, with whom he had two sons, William and Harry. In 1996, the couple divorced after they had each engaged in well-publicised extramarital affairs. In 2005, Charles married his long-time partner, Camilla Parker Bowles.
As Prince of Wales, Charles undertook official duties on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. He founded the youth charity the Prince's Trust in 1976, sponsors the Prince's Charities, and is a patron, president, or a member of over 400 other charities and organisations. He has advocated for the conservation of historic buildings and the importance of architecture in society.
A critic of modernist architecture, Charles worked on the creation of Poundbury, an experimental new town based on his architectural tastes. He is also an author or co-author of over 20 books. An environmentalist, Charles supported organic farming and action to prevent climate change during his time as the manager of the Duchy of Cornwall estates, earning him awards and recognition from environmental groups.
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