Charles, Prince of Wales 1948–

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Charles, Prince of Wales 1948–

(Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor)


Born November 14, 1948, in London, England; son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; married Diana Frances Spencer, July 29, 1981 (divorced August 28, 1996; died August 31, 1997); married Camilla Parker Bowles, April 9, 2005; children: (first marriage) William Arthur Philip Louis (Prince William of Wales), Henry Charles Albert David (Prince Henry of Wales). Education: Attended University College of Wales at Aberystwyth, 1969, University of Wales, 1975, and Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; Trinity College, Cambridge, B.A, 1970, M.A, 1975; Royal Air Force College, graduated, 1971. Religion: Church of England. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, painting, active in eighteen nonprofit charities as president of The Prince's Charities.


Home—London, England.


Became Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Great Steward of Scotland, 1952; created knight of the Order of the Garter, 1958, invested, 1959; created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, 1958; high steward, Royal Borough Windsor and Maidenhead, 1974. Barrister, Gray's Inn, 1974; chancellor, University of Wales, 1976; president, Prince's Trust, 1977, United World Colleges, 1978-92, Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, 1990, Prince of Wales's Foundation for Architecture and Urban Environment, 1992, Royal College of Music, 1993, and Prince's Trust-Bro, 1996; vice president, National Trust, 1996. Duchy Originals (organic food company), founder, 1990—. Member, Queen's Trust, 1977, the National Gallery, 1993, the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, 1993, and the National Trust Centenary Appeal, 1995. Honorary member, Institute of Mechanical Engineers; royal fellow, Australian Academy of Science. Military service: Served in the British Royal Navy; colonel, Welsh Guards, 1974; commander of the HMS Barrington, 1975; colonel-in-chief, 22nd Cheshire Regiment, 1977; Air Reserves, Canada, 1977; Lord Strathcona's Horse Regiment (Royal Canadians), 1977; air commodore in chief, Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1977; Parachute Regiment, 1977; Royal Australian Armoured Corps, 1977; Royal Regiment Canada, 1977; Royal Winnepeg Rifles, 1977; Royal Pacific Islands Regiment, 1984; Royal Canadian Dragoons, 1985; Army Air Corps, 1992; Royal Dragoon Guards, 1992; Royal Gurkha Rifles, 1994; air vice marshall, Royal Air Force, 1998; royal honorary colonel, Queen's Own Yeomanry, 2000; lieutenant general, British Army, 2002; 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards, 2003; Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), Canada, 2004; Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's Own), 2005; air chief marshall, 2006; commodore-in-chief, Royal Naval Command, Plymouth, 2006; royal colonel, 51st Highland, 7th battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland (Territorial Army), 2006; Royal Navy, vice admiral 2002, admiral, 2006; Black Watch, 3rd battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland; honorary air commodore, Royal Air Force Valley.


Royal Aeronautical Society (honorary member), Royal College of Surgeons (honorary fellow), Society of St. George's and Descendents of Knights of Garters (president, 1975), Royal Forestry Society, Royal Thames Yacht Club (admiral, 1974), Incorporation of Gardeners of Glasgow (honorary life member).


Coronation medal, 1953; Freedom of City of Cardiff, 1969; Royal Borough of New Windsor, 1970, of City of London, 1971, of Chester, 1973, of City of Canterbury, 1978, of City of Portsmouth, 1979, of City of Lancaster, 1993, and of City of Swansea, 1994; Queen's Silver Jubilee medal, 1977; Liveryman, Fishmongers Co, 1971, Freeman, Drapers' Co, 1971, Freeman, Shipwrights' Co, 1978, Hon. Freeman, Goldsmith's Co, Liveryman, Farmers' Co, 1980, Liveryman, Pewterers' Co, 1982, and Liveryman, Fruiterers' Co, 1989; Master Mariners of Merchants, City of Edinburgh, 1979; honorary fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1988; named Author of Year, 1989; Spoleto prize, 1989; Premio Fregene, 1990; Order of Merit, 2002; Global Environment Citizen award, Center for Health and Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, 2007; decorated grand cross of the Southern Cross, Brazil; White Rose, Finland; House of Orange, The Netherlands; Order of Oak Crown, Luxembourg; Order of Ojasvi Rajanya, Nepal; Legion of Honor, France; knight of the Order of the Elephant, Denmark; grand cordon of the Supreme of Chrysanthemum, Japan; Order of the Republic of Egypt; great master, Order of Bath.


The Old Man of Lochnagar (fairy tale), Hamilton (London, England), 1980.

Charles in His Own Words, compiled by Rosemary York, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1981.

A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture, Doubleday (London, England), 1989.

Watercolours, Little, Brown (London, England), 1991.

The People's Prince: A Collection of Major Addresses, Veritas (Cranbrook, Western Australia, Australia), 1992.

Islam and the West, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (Oxford, England), 1993.

(With Charles Clover) Highgrove: Portrait of an Estate, Chapmans (London, England), 1993, published as Highgrove: An Experiment in Organic Gardening and Farming, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.

(Selector) Travels with the Prince: Paintings and Drawings: In Aid of the Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation, Sheeran Lock (London, England), 1998.

The Garden at Highgrove, photographs by Andrew Lawson and Christopher Simon Sykes, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 2000.

The Elements of Organic Gardening, Kales Press, 2007.

Contributor to The Real Common Worship, edited by Peter Mullen, Edgeways (Harleston, England), 2000, and The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall Annual Review. Author of introduction, Cornwall County Guide, Cornwall County Council, c. 1996.


Charles, Prince of Wales, is the heir apparent to the throne of England. The son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, he was born just after World War II, and his arrival signaled a hopeful new chapter in Britain after years of war. Born to a life of privilege, as a boy Charles was a quiet and dutiful son who was well liked by the people of England. Upon the death of his grandfather King George VI in 1952, he was named Duke of Cornwall, and four years later the Queen declared him the Prince of Wales, as well as bestowing upon him various other royal titles. The prince has not lived a life of idle prosperity, however. He attended military schools, and when he graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, he became the first member of his family to receive a university degree. Charles entered the Royal Navy in the 1970s, commanding his own ship, the HMS Barrington. He served in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well, but by 1977 he returned to his duties as a member of the royal family. Prince Charles was a good-will ambassador to various nations abroad during this time. Conscious of his position as a role model for his country, he also became involved in charity work. When the prince announced his engagement to the beautiful Diana Spencer in 1981, England, and indeed much of the world, was abuzz at the prospect. Their wedding that summer seemed the epitome of a fairy-tale. The world would not know for a number of years, though, that the marriage was largely a sham and that the prince actually had yearned for another woman.

At first, however, the marriage seemed to go well. Diana, now Princess Diana, gave birth to two sons, and she, like her husband, was a favorite of the English people. She was publicly visible for her charitable work, particularly her concern over land mines that had been left behind after wars but which routinely exploded, killing children, adults, and wildlife. By the mid-1990s, it was becoming apparent to everyone that Diana and Charles's marriage was falling apart. The two separated, and tabloids discovered that Charles was having an affair with Camilla Bowles; Diana was not an innocent in this, though; she, too, had affairs. The fairy tale ended with divorce in 1996, and Diana was sometimes criticized for her close relationship with Dodi al Fayed, the son of the owner of the famous London department store Harrod's. Relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi, Princess Diana and Fayed were killed in 1997 when their limousine crashed inside a Paris tunnel while speeding away from reporters. The tragedy marked a low point for the entire House of Windsor, but the prince and his sons were able to go on with their lives. Prince Charles eventually married Camilla Bowles in a civil ceremony in 2005. Some have felt that his reputation has been tarnished by this long chapter in his life, while others have admired his ability to maintain decorum in the face of a harassing press.

Prince Charles has continued to focus on his role as a diplomat and as a model for the British people. He remains thoroughly involved in many charities, and he established Prince Charles's Charities, an umbrella group for which he is president and which administers the work of eighteen different nonprofit organizations. He is also an author, having published books primarily on art and his favorite hobby, gardening. His first book, The Old Man of Lochnagar, was actually a fairy tale story based on a bedtime story he used to tell his younger brothers when they were children. In 1989 he published A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture, a work that stoutly criticizes many modern trends in architecture. Here, he complains that modern buildings are ugly, do not integrate well with their surrounding landscapes, and are not built on a human-friendly scale. Roberta Brandes Gratz remarked in a Nation review: "He truly understands what is wrong with architecture planning and urban design today, not only in Britain but also in the United States. The Prince has written a highly readable, beautifully illustrated and exceedingly wise book." She added: "Prince Charles seems to understand intuitively some of the larger issues of urban development—how traditional downtown retail and commercial codes are threatened by the rise of the shopping mall, for example."

Painting and gardening are the subjects of several other of the prince's books. His Watercolours reproduces seventy-three of his own paintings, mostly of scenic views, which are accompanied by his "chatty, unpre- tentious facing-page commentaries," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. With Highgrove: Portrait of an Estate, The Garden at Highgrove, and The Elements of Organic Gardening, the prince combines his interest in gardening and environmentalism. Highgrove is a property in the English Cotswolds. Here, the prince, working with other gardeners and horticulturists, has created an experiment where organic gardening methods are the rule. Rare and exotic varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown, environment-saving sewage systems are used, and crops are rotated to maintain healthy soils. Bonnie L. Poquette, writing a review of The Elements of Organic Gardening in the Library Journal, observed that the prince had been "an outspoken environmentalist" long before "it was fashionable." The reviewer praised the book for its "practical slant and personal, inspirational tone."



Newsmakers 1995, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1995.


Cosmopolitan, February, 1997, George Plimpton, "Whither Now, Princess Di?," p. 332.

Ecologist, September 1, 1998, "Seeds of Disaster," p. 252.

Economist, September 16, 1989, review of A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture, p. 95; November 25, 1995, "The Undermining of Charles," p. 54; November 23, 1996, "Princely Performance," p. 64.

Entertainment Weekly, July 10, 1992, Lisa Schwarzbaum, "To Di For," p. 24.

Environment, September, 2000, Timothy O'Riordan, "Science and Intuition," p. 1.

Food Chemical News, January 29, 2001, "Britain's Prince Charles Re-ignited the Food Biotechnology Debate This Month," p. 17; January 21, 2002, "Britain's Prince Charles Has Given His Support to a Scientist Who Believes that the Human Equivalent of Mad Cow Disease May Be Caused by Pollution Rather Than by Eating Beef Infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy," p. 14; June 24, 2002, "Britain's Prince Charles This Month Said Companies That Fund Agricultural Biotechnology Research Should Be Made Liable for Any Damage That Occurs," p. 25; February 17, 2003, "The Prince of Wales Will Be Notably Absent," p. 19; June 5, 2006, "Royal Endorsement," p. 4.

Horticulture, the Magazine of American Gardening, January, 1994, Christopher Reed, review of Highgrove: An Experiment in Organic Gardening and Farming, p. 77.

Insight on the News, August 6, 2001, Suzanne Fields, "A New Image for Victorian England," p. 48.

Japan Economic Newswire, January 8, 1989, "Prince Charles May Represent Queen at Emperor's Funeral," p. 890108014.

Library Journal, August 1, 2007, Bonnie L. Poquette, review of The Elements of Organic Gardening, p. 108.

Life, August, 1992, Robert Lacy, "Alone Together," p. 26.

Maclean's, June 25, 2007, Kenneth Whyte, "Tina Brown Talks with Kenneth Whyte about Married Women and the Prince of Wales, Diana's Big Lie, and Dodi's Fatal Error," p. 14.

Nation, March 5, 1990, Roberta Brandes Gratz, review of A Vision of Britain, p. 314.

New Leader, October 6, 1986, Ray Alan, "Buckingham Dallas," p. 5; January 12, 1987, "The Long March of the Prince of Wales," p. 10.

Newsweek, March 11, 1996, Jonathan Dimbeleby, "The Private Prince," p. 32; October 13, 1997, "Diana in Her Own Words: In Transcripts of Talks with the Princess, Her Sad, Candid Voice Details the Horrors of Her Marriage," p. 64; July 20, 1998, "The Prince and the Paramour," p. 63; September 26, 2005, "Newsmakers," p. 71.

New York Times, June 21, 2000, Warren Hoge, "A Coming of Age, Regal but Guarded," p. 4; March 14, 2003, "Prince Charles's Top Aide Quits after Inquiry," p. 6; July 1, 2003, "Royal Account's Bottom Line: Charles Makes a Princely Sum," p. 6; November 8, 2003, "Prince Charles Denies a Rumor, but Won't Say What It's About," p. 5; November 23, 2004, "Charles Joins Fray over Himself," p. 5; February 11, 2005, "Charles Calls End to the Affair: He'll Happily Wed His Camilla," p. 1; February 23, 2005, "Queen to Skip Wedding. She'll Attend Blessing Later. Stay Tuned," p. 5; February 24, 2005, "Charles Gets Some Good News: The Wedding, at Least, Is Legal," p. 4; March 9, 2005, "World Briefing Europe: Britain: Prince Cleared for Civil Ceremony," p. 6; April 10, 2005, "Charles and Camilla, Married at Last, and with Hardly a Hitch," p. 1; November 5, 2005, "Organic Farming's American Heartland Awaits Royals," p. 11; March 18, 2006, "World Briefing Europe: Britain: Charles Wins Judgment on Travelog," p. 7; January 29, 2007, "The Prince, in the City, Dribbles and Scores," p. 1; May 24, 2007, "World Briefing Europe: Britain: Charles's Waxwork Goes Green," p. 10.

New York Times Magazine, March 6, 2005, Daphne Merkin, "A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups," p. 13.

Nursing Standard, May 16, 2007, "The Prince of Wales Has Commended a Hospital Food Programme in Cornwall That Has Won the Approval of 92 Per Cent of Patients," p. 10.

People, October 31, 1988, Brad Darrach, "Prince Charles; a Dangerous Age," p. 96; July 15, 1991, "Ah! There's the Rub," p. 53; February 14, 1994, "Age of Chivalry: Pals Say Charles Dumped His Lover for the Throne," p. 56; March 7, 1994, "Royal Romance Comics," p. 193; December 4, 1995, "True Confessions: Defying the Palace, a Calculating Princess Diana Takes the Offensive in the Battle for Britain's Sympathies—and Admits to an Affair of Her Own," p. 92; February 12, 1996, "Prince Charles & Camilla Parker Bowles," p. 171; November 17, 1997, "Healing Holiday: Prince Harry's African Tour with Dad Adds Some Spice to His Life," p. 62.

Philadelphia Inquirer, January 30, 2007, Michael Klein, "The Philadelphia Inquirer Inqlings Column: Like a Little Scotch with That, YRH?"

Planning, November 2, 2001, Miffa Salter, "Salter on … Our Latest Obsession with Tsars," p. 9; January 26, 2007, "Royal Flight Plan Stuns Campaigners," p. 48.

PR Week, October 31, 2003, "Opinion: How Do You Make Prince Charles Seem Normal?," p. 8; May 26, 2006, "Media Relations: What the Papers Say—Princes Pull Off a Right Royal Coup," p. 13.

Publishers Weekly, August 2, 1991, review of Watercolours, p. 58; October 4, 1993, review of Highgrove, p. 75.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, July, 2007, Able Greenspan, review of The Elements of Organic Gardening.

Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, March, 2006, David Linton, "Camillagate: Prince Charles and the Tampon Scandal," p. 347.

Spectator, August 18, 2001, Peter Oborne, "The Next Royal Wedding," p. 10; September 28, 2002, "Someone Has It in for the Prince of Wales," p. 12; October 5, 2002, "The Prince Is Right; Simon Heffer Says the Prince of Wales Is Performing a Public Service by Making His Views Known to the Government," p. 16; April 16, 2005, "Let Them Reign in Peace," p. 58; February 25, 2006, "Publish the Prince's Diaries: They Would Become an Instant Classic," p. 12; October 28, 2006, "Will Charles Be the First Multicultural Monarch?"

Time, November 11, 1985, Richard Stengel, "A Prince and His Princess Arrive; Charles and Di Mix Style and a Dash of Fun," p. 56; December 4, 1995, "Now on TV: Diana, Goddess of the Haunt," p. 91; November 7, 2005, "People," p. 133.

Town & Country, May, 2001, John Cantrell, "A Princely Paradise," p. 57.

USA Today, February 11, 2005, Cesar G. Soriano, "Prince Charles and Camilla to Wed," p. 1; February 11, 2005, "With Time, Palace and Church Change Their Tune on Divorce," p. 5; April 7, 2005, "Charles and Diana and Charles and Camilla," p. 6; April 8, 2005, "FINALLY Their Happily Ever After," p. 1; April 11, 2005, "Reserved for Royalty," p. 3; October 31, 2005, "Visit Is a Royal Bore for Most in the USA," p. 1; November 2, 2005, "‘Our Hearts Go Out to You,’" p. 3; November 7, 2005, "Charles, Camilla Getting Around," p. 3; August 10, 2006, "Big-Time Divorce, British Style," p. 3; August 30, 2007, "Diana Still Creating a Royal Stir," p. 2.

Victoria, August, 2001, "A Gardener at Heart," p. 10.


Prince of Wales Web site, (September 26, 2007).

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Charles, Prince of Wales 1948–

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Charles, Prince of Wales 1948–