Prince Charles: The Heir Apparent to the British Throne

Prince Charles: The Heir Apparent to the British Throne

Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. He has been heir apparent to the British throne as well as Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay since 1952. He is both the oldest and the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, with his mother remaining as Queen for more than six and a half decades.

He is also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held the title since July 1958. Upon the death of his father, Prince Philip, on April 9, 2021, Charles also inherited the title of Duke of Edinburgh.

He was born in Buckingham Palace, London, England, on November 14, 1948 as the first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. His younger siblings are Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

He was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools and later spent a year at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, Charles served in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer with whom he had two sons, William and Harry.

In 1996, the couple divorced following well-publicized extramarital affairs by both parties. Diana died as the result of a car crash in Paris the following year.  On April 9, 2005, Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, his long-term partner. 

She then became the Duchess of Cornwall and often accompanies her husband on many official visits. Besides his royal duties, Charles has become a leading philanthropist.

As the Prince of Wales, Charles undertakes official duties on behalf of the Queen. He founded The Prince's Trust in 1976, sponsors The Prince's Charities, and is a patron, president, or a member of over 400 other charities and organizations. 

Being a self-described environmentalist, Charles has spoken publicly about organic farming and climate change, which has earned him awards and recognition from environmental groups. 

His views on the role of architecture in society and the conservation of historic buildings have received significant attention from British architects and design critics.

In 2007, Charles launched the Prince's Rainforest Project, a global initiative with corporate and celebrity backing to curtail tropical deforestation and thus aid the quest to stanch climate change. 

In addition to his philanthropic work, Charles is also an avid watercolorist and has published several books, including the 1980 children's story The Old Man of Lochnagar, 2010's Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World and 2012's The Prince's Speech: On the Future of Food. He has also contributed a foreword or preface to books by other writers and has also featured in documentary films.

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. Shortly afterward, Commonwealth leaders announced that they would be adhering to the Queen's wish.

Charles and Camilla visited Jordan and Egypt last week, becoming the first members of the Royal Family to carry out a major overseas tour since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The Prince has discussed the visit with his mother following her recent ill-health and back sprain.

As with all royal tours, they will use the trip to highlight the critical bonds between the UK and both Jordan and Egypt.

Charles and Camilla left the UK on Sunday and have enjoyed some private time in Jordan. They were greeted by an honor guard on a red carpet at Queen Alia International Airport.

On Thursday, they headed to Egypt, which is expected to host the next round of the UN climate summit in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh next year. A reception was held for the Prince and Duchess at the Great Pyramids of Giza.

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