Brand Spur Nigeria reports that King Charles, the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, is the heir apparent to the British throne.
Charles succeeded as England’s King immediately, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch of the UK. Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 at Balmoral castle, Scotland on Thursday, the Royal Family announced.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon… The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
“The death of my beloved mother, The Queen is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” a statement from the King at the time of the death of Queen Elizabeth II read.
According to the BBC, Charles, the eldest son of the Queen and the former Prince of Wales will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.
BBC reported that one of his first acts would be to decide whether he would be called King Charles III or by any other name. Charles’ wife will be called Queen Consort, a title used for the wife of the monarch.
Other Members To Undergo A Change Of Titles
The Queen’s death means that other members of Britain’s Royal family will also undergo change of titles. Prince William will inherit Charles’ title and become Duke of Cornwall, while his wife Catherine will become the Dutches of Cornwall.
Over the next 24 hours following the Queen’s death, Charles will be officially declared the King of England. The ceremony, according to the BBC, will take place at St James’ Palace in London in front of the Accession Council, a ceremonial body that consists of senior MPs, the Lord Mayor of London, commonwealth high commissioners, and civil servants.
In 1952, when the last accession took place, about 200 people attended the ceremony. While Charles’ accession ceremony is likely to be attended by about 700 people, the actual number may be lesser due to the sudden death of the Queen.
Who Is King Charles?
As the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Prince Charles is the longstanding heir apparent to the British throne. Under public scrutiny his entire life, Charles graduated from Trinity College before embarking on a military career which culminated with him commanding the HMS Bronington.
He married Diana Spencer in the summer of 1981 to huge media fanfare, though the couple would eventually divorce in 1996 after years of gossip and scandal. Charles later wed longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles some time after Princess Diana’s death.
He is the father of Princes William and Harry and is also a grandfather. Among his many philanthropic and environmental endeavors are the Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s Rainforest Project.
King Charles III Biography: Early Life, Siblings, and Education
King Charles was born Charles Philip Arthur George on November 14, 1948, in London, England. The son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Charles ascended the royal hierarchy at an early age. His mother became queen when he was only three after the death of his grandfather King George VI in 1952.
As Elizabeth’s oldest child, Charles became the heir apparent to the British throne and received the title of Duke of Cornwall. Charles was also destined to become Great Britain’s oldest heir apparent, with his mother remaining queen for more than six and a half decades. His younger siblings are Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
King Charles III Military Service
After six months of aviation training with the Royal Air Force, Charles joined the Royal Navy in 1971, going on to serve on the HMS Norfolk and receiving a promotion in 1973 to acting lieutenant.
During the mid-1970s, Charles joined the Royal Naval Air Station to receive helicopter training, and later served as a helicopter pilot for the 845 Naval Air Squadron, based on the HMS Hermes. His time with the Hermes included a tour of Caribbean and Canadian waters before he took up additional course work at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich.
In 1976, Charles ended his military service as commander of the HMS Bronington, the same year that he established the Prince’s Trust, a charitable organization dedicated to helping improve the lives of disadvantaged youth.
Towards the close of the decade, Charles further expanded his military skill set with parachute training, having already taken the reins at times as the pilot for the Queen’s Flight, the monarchy’s official aircraft. The prince was eventually promoted to Group Captain for the Royal Air Force in 1995, and in the new millennium was again promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal.
Kings Charles’ Marriage To Diana
As a public figure, Charles came off to many as intelligent, aloof, and a bit awkward. He was used to having every move he made scrutinized by the press, but even he could not have imagined what a sensation his relationship with Lady Diana Spencer would cause. The two had known each other when they were young but were reintroduced in the late 1970s.
Despite a 13-year age difference as well as divergent interests, the couple became engaged in February 1981. The public took a strong liking to his shy, former kindergarten teacher fiancée, finding her more accessible than the reserved prince.
They were married on July 29, 1981, in a lavish ceremony that was broadcast around the world and watched by millions of people.
Divorce and Diana’s Death
Charles and Diana had two children together. Their first son, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, was born on June 21, 1982, and their second son, Prince Henry “Harry” Charles Albert David, was born on September 15, 1984. Unfortunately, their common love for their children was not enough to hold what was billed as a fairy tale marriage together. The union became strained over the years with royal responsibilities, personal conflicts, media pressures and infidelities. Charles reportedly reignited a relationship with his former flame, Camilla Parker Bowles, while married to Diana. The couple officially separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.
Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris in August 1997. Despite their differences, Charles traveled with her sisters to France to accompany her body back to England. During her funeral procession, he walked with their sons — William, 15, and Harry, 12 — and Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer. Charles took his role as father to his grieving sons seriously, asking the media for privacy for his family.
In 2013, Charles took on a new role: He became a grandfather with the arrival of George Alexander Louis — known as “His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge,” the son of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton — on July 22. Soon after his grandson’s birth, Charles released a statement: “Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild. It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine, and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy.”
Charles soon had a granddaughter as well, Princess Charlotte (with a name honoring both her grandfather and maternal aunt), born on May 2, 2015. On April 23, 2018, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge welcomed Charles’ second grandson, Prince Louis. The following year, on May 6, 2019, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, gave Charles another grandson with the birth of their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
During an April 2018 summit of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth nominated Prince Charles to succeed her as head of the 53-nation association of Britain and its former colonies. “It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949,” she said.
Shortly afterward, Commonwealth leaders announced that they were adhering to the Queen’s wish. “We recognize the role of the Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. The next head of the Commonwealth shall be his Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales,” they said in a statement.