Born in 1948, Prince Charles became heir to the throne in 1952. His first marriage to Princess Diana produced two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
The Prince's Charities were set up under his patronage covering a range of areas including education, young people and the environment. In 2005, Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles in a civil ceremony.
Photo: Prince Charles attends the Big Jubilee Lunch, June 2012. (Getty Images)
His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales was born at Buckingham palace 14 November, 1948, the first child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
His mother ascended to the throne on 6 February 1952, which made young Charles heir apparent at three years old. He was given the title of Duke of Cornwall as well as Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
He was educated at Gordonstoun, the Scottish boarding school also attended by his father. He did not enjoy boarding school and later described his time at the school as 'disastrous'. Prince Charles attended Trinity College, Cambridge in 1967 where he read history, archaeology and anthropology. He was awarded a 2:2 in 1970.
He was formally invested to the throne as Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in 1969.
A role in life
Following Royal tradition, Prince Charles went on to complete military service and qualified as an RAF pilot. He then embarked on a naval career and commanded a Royal Navy ship like his father before him.
As a young man, Prince Charles became an outspoken critic on modern architecture and a supporter of organic farming and alternative medicine, undeterred on expressing his views even when seen as meddling because of his letters to ministers.
Prince Charles became involved in many charities. He set up The Prince’s Trust, a charity designed to help young people from underprivileged backgrounds.
In 1980 Prince Charles began a relationship with Lady Diana Spencer and they publically announced their engagement on 24 February 1981.
The couple married on 29 July 1981 and in their first year of marriage, they had a son, William, who was born on 21 June 1982. A second son, Prince Harry, followed two years later on 15 September 1984.
It soon became apparent that there were issues in Prince Charles and Diana’s relationship. In a television interview, Charles later admitted having an affair with his old sweetheart, Camilla Parker Bowles but stated it was only after his marriage had already broken down. After living increasingly separate lives, Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales divorced in August 1996.
One year later, Diana died in a car crash in Paris. Prince Charles flew to Paris and brought home her body.
A new life
Prince Charles continued his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. Their engagement was announced on 10 February 2005.
On 9 April 2005, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were married in a civil ceremony held at Windsor’s Guildhall followed by a service of "prayer and dedication" in St George's Chapel, Windsor, presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury. After the wedding, Camilla was created the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Prince's Charities were established under his patronage - a group of not-for-profit organisations covering a range of areas including education, young people, sustainability and the built environment.
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