When Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, her eldest son Charles succeeded the throne and became King. He will be officially known as King Charles III, while his wife Camilla will be known as Queen Consort.
Here are 10 things to know about the newest king:
- King Charles II is 73 years old and was born at Buckingham Palace. At 3 years old, he was bestowed as heir to the throne and known as Prince of Wales when his mother Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne.
- Charles served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force after graduation from the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
- He married Princess Diana in 1981 who became known as the Princess of Wales. The couple had two sons: Prince William and Prince Harry. His controversial marriage to Diana became public and played out in the media, and he later revealed that he was never in love with Diana but was forced to marry. During the marriage, he had an affair with Camilla Bowles and the two later married after his relationship with Diana went awry.
- Charles has five grandchildren who stand in line to the throne.
- He embraces special projects of interest like farming, climate change, art and environmental conservation.
- He wrote the book, “The Old Man of Lochnagar” in 1980, which has since been adapted into an animated film, ballet and music.
- Prince Charles is known to express his personal opinions, veering into politics, unlike his mother who steered clear of expressing her political opinions.
- He believes in sustainable living. “I can’t bear waste, including food waste. I’d much rather find another use. Which is why I’ve been going on for so long about the need for a circular economy, rather than a linear one where you just make, take and throw away which is a tragedy because inevitably we over-exploit natural resources that are rapidly depleting.”
- He launched a sustainable fashion line in partnership with YOOX NET-A-PORTER to promote highend textile skills among young craftsmen. He said, “I have always believed in the ‘Buy once, buy well philosophy, so the more I wear them, the more sustainable I hope I become.”
- Charles now reigns as head of state of the UK and 14 countries including the Bahamas, Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. He is also head of the Commonwealth, which is an association of 56 independent countries.
- Photo credit: Nadav Kander