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King Charles III waving

God Save The King: Charles III's Royal life

Image: Simon Ward Photography /

Throughout his life, King Charles III has proven to be a royal with a genuine interest in the lives of young people, as demonstrated through the Prince’s Trust and possessing foresight about the world’s ecological issues. Charles’ passion for conservation back in the 70s is today at the forefront of political debate.

The Bachelor Prince

After the unexpected death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8th September 2022, her eldest son ascended the British throne. Charles was the longest-serving British heir apparent, surpassing Edward VII’s record in 2011, and at 73 years of age is the oldest monarch to have ascended the throne. King Charles’ wife of 17 years, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, is now his Queen Consort.

Before King Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981, he was considered the most eligible bachelor on the planet, linked to several glamorous women from aristocrats to actresses. His great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten had famously advised the young prince to ‘sow his wild oats’ before choosing a royal bride who had no romantic history that would cause public embarrassment.

Royal divorce

The troubled and ultimately tragic relationship between the then Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, resulted in an explosive televised ‘confessional’ by Spencer on television in 1995. Three years earlier, revelations about the prince’s love affair with Camilla Parker Bowles had caused global headlines. Britain’s Prime Minister John Major announced in December 1992 the royal couple’s legal separation and they divorced in 1996, one year before Lady Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris.

Culture vulture

Even though Charles has been known as an energetic sportsman, particularly during his youth when his prowess as a skilled polo player was caught on film and newsreels, his interest in the arts is less well known. In direct contrast to earlier monarchs such as George V, who was famously uninterested in culture, King Charles III is patron of 20 performing arts organisations, including the Royal Opera, The Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal College of Music.

Charles also founded the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts in 2002, confirming his support for young people in the arts. An accomplished watercolourist, King Charles’ early interest in illusionism led him to become a member of The Magic Circle in 1975.

Philanthropic deeds

The Prince’s Trust was founded by King Charles III in 1976 to help vulnerable young people. Today the Trust continues to support 11 to 30-year-olds who are unemployed. It employs over 1,250 people in charitable purposes, and continues to help thousands of young people in Britain 45 years after its launch.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of King Charles III’s philanthropy that isn’t recorded for the cameras or press is his private deeds of kindness, such as visiting actor Richard E Grant’s wife, Joan Washington, as she was dying of cancer. Grant later revealed how King Charles and his wife Camilla also sent lengthy letters and arranged a visit to Highgrove House around Washington’s medical appointments.

King of comedy

Famous for his droll bon mots and witty if not sarcastic remarks to the press, King Charles is known for possessing a ‘wickedly self-deprecating sense of humour’ as affirmed by Julie Bishop, Chair of the Prince’s Trust Australia. Ms Bishop recalled how during a trip to Australia for the Commonwealth Games that the Prince of Wales as he was then, was ‘utterly hilarious’ with his asides during ‘inappropriate times’. The King’s affection for satire began with the vintage BBC radio series The Goons, and he is honorary president of the Goon Show Preservation Society.

King Charles’ aptitude for comedy and light-hearted japes saw him broadcasting the weather forecast for BBC Scotland with off-the-cuff remarks. The King’s natural inclination to entertain goes back to his student days when he joined the legendary Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club. His acts included performing as a ‘weather forecaster’ in a Trinity College revue in 1970. The student prince also played an angler who catches a fish so large it pulls him across the stage. In 1980, the then Prince of Wales published a whimsical children’s story ‘The Old Man of Lochnagar’ and read it on BBC’s Jackanory.