Prince Charles was 3 when his mother succeeded to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II. He was sent to Cheam School, Gordonstoun, Geelong Grammar School in Australia, Trinity College, Cambridge, and University College, Aberystwyth, where he studied Welsh. Created prince of Wales in 1958, he was invested in Caernarfon castle in 1969. He then entered the armed forces and pursued a vigorous training programme—flying a supersonic jet, qualifying as a helicopter pilot, catapulting from the deck of Ark Royal, training in minesweepers and submarines, and commanding a mine‐hunter. His private pleasures included not only painting, music, and acting, but surfing, sailing, skiing, fishing, shooting, riding, and playing polo to international standard. His reward for these strenuous activities was to be increasingly portrayed in newspapers as a ‘crank’, ‘a young twerp’, and a ‘wimp’, who admitted talking to flowers and showed an interest in alternative medicine. His public utterances on matters like the environment, modern architecture, and the preservation of natural resources, on which he feels strongly, were greeted with indignation by interested groups. In 1981 the prince married Lady Diana Spencer in St Paul's cathedral. Two sons, Prince William and Prince Henry, were born in 1982 and 1984, but disharmony in the marriage was increasingly the subject of comment, and the royal couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. After the death of Princess Diana in Paris, the Prince married Camilla Parker‐Bowles (duchess of Cornwall) in 2005.
Subjects: British History.