The Royal Family:
Prince CharliePrince Charles was born at Buckingham Palace in 1948.
Prince Charles is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. He was officially made 'Prince of Wales' in 1969. He is the 21st person with this title in the last 700 years. When his mother became Queen, he also got the following titles (as the heir to the throne): Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick and Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
Unlike many other members of the royal family, Charles was not home schooled - his parents thought it was a good idea for him to go and mix with children from a non-royal family.
Like his father he showed a strong interest in school sports, and played rugby and cricket, as well as being part of the school's theatre troupe. During the holidays he would go to his mother's estates in Scotland and Norfolk, where he started developing a love for the countryside and the general outdoors.
He read archaeology and anthropology, and subsequently history at Trinity College (part of Cambridge University). He was a keen polo player, and represented his university many times (he recently retired from the sport after playing it for 40 years).
The Prince took his seat in the House of Lords in 1970.
After achieving a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree, Charles went on to the military. He joined the RAF (Royal Air Force) in 1971 where he learnt to fly jet airplanes. He then joined the Royal Navy, like his father. While serving there he became a qualified helicopter pilot.
He left the army in 1976. Charles's military ranks are as follows: Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy, Lieutenant-General in the Army and Air Marshal in the Royal Air Force.
Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, and the marriage was dissolved in 1996. During their marriage they achieved a lot in terms of charity and international relations.
Recently, Charles married his long term partner Camilla Parker Bowles (rumour has it that they started seeing each other while Charles was still married to Lady Di. This fact was made public by Diana herself in a now infamous interview - "There are three of us in this marriage" she said.) Camilla has received the title of Duchess of Cornwall, through this marriage. The general British public do not like Camilla for many reasons, but mainly, I think, because no one can replace the 'Princess of our hearts'. Of course there were a lot of critics of Diana too, people who thought she didn't behave like a royal (because of her relaxed and casual attitude, risqué outfits and a very hands-on approach to things like her charity activities).
Being just an heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales doesn't have any official duties, but Charles makes sure he is involved in many aspects of his country's non-political life. He often goes to charity events and always tries to show and promote his country's traditions and image. He is the patron of many organizations and schemes. (Now that his sons are grown up they too do the same. In August 2007 Prince Harry and Prince William organised a concert to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their mother, Princess Di's death. It was their first big event and things didn't go completely smoothly, but it was nice to see the younger generation of royals making an effort. It was funny to watch them on stage giving the opening speech: they were both terribly nervous, and Will even needed to bring a piece of paper to read from.)
Charles has a lot of hobbies and interests: he regularly goes skiing with his sons, he tried diving when he was in the Navy, has also sailed (like his dad) and done horseracing. He even tried his hand at skateboarding when he received a board for Christmas in the late 80s. Prince Charles also enjoys water-colour painting and gardening.
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