The life and times of Prince Charles
Both scandal-torn and devoted to environmental matters, Prince Charles was born to be Great Britain's king. Take a look back at his life and career.
Traveling in India
He’s weathered scandals and fought for the environment, but above all else, Prince Charles was born to be Great Britain's king. Take a look back at his life and career.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, pose outside the Akshardham Temple in Delhi during an official visit to India on Nov. 8, 2013. It’s the royal couple’s third official visit to India together and their most extensive yet.
‘The forgotten prince’
The Nov. 4, 2013 edition of Time magazine featured Prince Charles — the heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II — with the headline, “The forgotten prince: Inside Charles’ world as he quietly takes over.” Charles, who backs a host of charitable and environmental causes, told the magazine he feels it is his "duty to worry about everybody and their lives in this country, to try to find a way of improving things if I possibly can."
Gift for his new grandson
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, holds a tiny T-shirt during a visit to the Whitstable Oyster Festival in Whitstable, Kent, England on July 29, 2013.
Prince Charles, who turned 65 on Nov. 14, 2013, is the longest-serving heir apparent in Britain’s history. Here, he sits beside his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as she reads the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament in London on May 8, 2013.
Taking a spin
The Prince of Wales, an avid environmentalist, rides an electric eco-bike at the Earth Awards Exhibition at Clarence House in London, England on July 27, 2011.
A special visitor
Prince Charles receives His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Clarence House in London on June 20, 2012. The exiled spiritual leader of Tibet was taking part in a weeklong tour of the United Kingdom.
Royal wedding bells
Prince Charles makes the journey by carriage procession to Buckingham Palace following the marriage of his son, Prince William, to Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was attended by 1,900 guests, including royalty from other countries and heads of state.
In this photo provided by Clarence House in December 2010, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall pose for their official Christmas card at the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Prince Charles dances with villagers near Jodhpur in India's state of Rajasthan on Oct. 5, 2010.
A salute of gratitude
Britain's Prince William, left, and Prince Charles salute a guard of Royal Air Force airmen after a thanksgiving service for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain at Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 19, 2010. Prince William graduated as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot earlier that same month.
Don't fence me in
Charles visits a Polish bison reserve on March 16, 2010, during a three-day trip as part of a tour of Eastern Europe. As his mother, born in 1926, reduces her public duties, Charles is expected to increase his role in representing the royal family.
He's in the army now
Charles sits for a group picture after presenting campaign medals to soldiers from the Black Watch on Jan. 20, 2010, in Fort George, Scotland. The regiment lost five soldiers during its seven-month tour of Afghanistan.
This official portrait was released in November 2008 to mark Prince Charles’ 60th birthday on Nov. 14.
The official wedding photo shows Charles and Camilla with their families at Windsor Castle. Left to right, back row: Prince Harry, Prince William, Tom and Laura Parker Bowles. Left to right, front row: Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla's father, Major Bruce Shand.
A wedding blessed
Because they were both divorced, Charles and Camilla were married in a civil ceremony on April 9, 2005. Immediately following the marriage, their union was blessed at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, where this photo was taken.
What the papers said
Photographs of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles dominate the front pages of British daily newspapers following the announcement of their engagement on Feb. 10, 2005.
Your skirt looks nice
After the deaths of Diana and the Queen Mother, Charles' longtime love, Camilla Parker Bowles, came more into the spotlight and eventually moved into Charles' household in 2003. Here, the couple are pictured at a highland games event in Scotland in August 2004.
Farewell to a beloved grandmother
Prince Charles stands vigil beside the coffin of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth (who was usually known as the Queen Mother) as it lies in state in London on April 8, 2002. Charles was particularly close to his grandmother, known for her sunny disposition as well as her defiance of the Germans during World War II. She was 101 when she died.
On Aug. 31,1997, Diana was killed in a high-speed car accident in a road tunnel in Paris, France, along with companion Dodi Al-Fayed and their driver. Here, Diana's brother, Charles, her sons and her former husband stand as her coffin is paraded through the streets of London. An estimated 2.5 billion people watched the funeral on TV, making it the most watched event in history.
Putting on a brave face
Princes Harry and William stand between their father and mother as they attend a parade in London in August 1995. By this time, the couple had been estranged for almost a decade, the prince living mostly at Highgrove and the princess at Kensington Palace. They were divorced a year later.
One-handed golf on horseback
An accomplished polo aficionado, Charles played the game as often as his royal duties allowed. Here, he is seen in action as a member of the Diables Blues team at Cowdray Park in Sussex, England, in August 1985.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles ride in a gondola during a visit to Venice in April 1985. The princess is wearing a green and black check suit and matching hat by the Emanuels.
In September 1984, Prince William was joined by a brother, Prince Harry. The siblings were known, cheekily, as "the heir and the spare." Here, Charles and Harry walk in the grounds of Highgrove House, the prince's country home in Gloucestershire.
Billy the kid
Charles and William at Kensington Palace, London in December 1982. Kensington Palace was the residence granted to him by Queen Elizabeth II, who lived at nearby Buckingham Palace.
And baby makes three
The Prince and Princess of Wales great well-wishers and the press on the steps of St Mary's Hospital, London, as they introduce their newborn son, William, who was born on June 21, 1982. Charles was reported to be the first father in the British royal family to be present at his children's births.
No Caribbean beach for Charles and Diana's honeymoon; instead, it took place at Balmoral, the royal family's home in the Scottish highlands. Here, the couple relax on the banks of the River Dee, which flows through the 50,000-acre Balmoral estate.
Sealed with a kiss
On July 29, 1981, Charles and Diana were married in a glittering ceremony at London's St. Paul's Cathedral, an event watched on TV by about a billion people. Here, the prince and his new princess kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Charles' mother stands at right.
Charles and Diana pose for the cameras outside Buckingham Palace after announcing their engagement in February 1981. Charles looks taller than his fiancée in this picture, but that's because he's standing on a higher step -- he was actually half an inch shorter than his future wife.
Past girlfriend, future wife
In the summer of 1980, Prince Charles began a relationship with Lady Diana Spencer, seen at right with Camilla Parker Bowles, with whom Charles had stayed in touch. Charles and Diana became engaged in February 1981.
Mourning a mentor
Charles and his father, Prince Philip, attend the funeral of Earl Louis Mountbatten, an uncle and mentor who was assassinated by the Irish Republican Army in 1979.
It's a hat, not a wig
The prince wears a bearskin hat in his role as Colonel in Chief of the Welsh Guards during a July 1975 Trooping Of The Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London.
The love that never died
Around 1970, Charles met Camilla Shand, a relationship that was seen as an unsuitable match by palace staffers and other members of the royal family. (They are pictured at a polo match during this period.) Shand went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles and Charles eventually married Diana Spencer. However, Parker Bowles and the prince stayed in touch, eventually resuming their romantic relationship.
Now it's official
Queen Elizabeth II places the coronet of The Prince of Wales on her son's head during his July 1969 investiture ceremony at a castle in Wales.
With increased responsibilities, Charles was thrust further into the media spotlight. Here, he sits down for a June 1969 interview with British television presenter David Frost for, "A Prince For Wales," a documentary anticipating his investiture as the Prince of Wales.
As he approached his 21st birthday, Charles took on an increasing number of official duties. Here, he visits the Tilbury Docks, a run-down area in East London that was undergoing restoration, in August 1968.
Feather in his cap
As heir to the British throne, Charles was showered with a string of titles and honors, including being named the Prince of Wales at age 9. Here, he is seen in June 1968 after being installed as a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in a ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Sweet on polo
Prince Charles stands behind a horse during a 1966 polo match in Jamaica. He was to play competitively until 1992, when a series of injuries forced his retirement. He continued to participate in charity games until 2005.
In 1965, Prince Charles gained another sibling, Prince Andrew. Here, the pair are seen with Princess Anne as they try out motorized go-karts.
Oh boy, more horses
In 1960, Charles took part in other equestrian events, including foxhunting and was a frequent attendee at horse events. Here, he strides down the sidelines at the at the Badminton Horse Trials, a premier event held at the Duke of Beaufort's Gloucestershire estate.
Polo, here we come
In 1952, Charles' mother became Queen Elizabeth II. Here, she is seen, right, with the prince and Countess Edwina Mountbatten as they arrive at a polo match in Malta. Charles was to become an accomplished polo player later in life.
A sister for Charles
Elizabeth stands with her husband, Prince Philip, and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne at Clarence House, the royal couple's London residence, in this August 1951 photo. Anne had been born a year earlier.
Prince Charles was born at Buckingham Palace, the London home of Britain's kings and queens, on Nov. 14, 1948. Here, the future Queen Elizabeth II holds the young prince after his Dec. 15 christening ceremony at the palace's music room, where he was baptized using water from the River Jordan.