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In Photos: The Man Who Will Be Crowned King

May 05, 2023 14:23 IST
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King Charles III spent 70 long years as the heir to the British throne.

In those years as a prince -- a record number among royal families -- he led a colourful and unusual life, indulging so many of his unique and myriad interests.

Something of a Renaissance man, Charles dabbles in everything from alternative medicines, music, gardening, horses, polo, salmon angling, architecture, urban planning, the environment, conservation, watercolour painting, healthy eating, organic farming and two dozen more pursuits, many of them super niche. He once announced: 'I happily talk to the plants and trees, and listen to them. I think it's absolutely crucial'.

David Whiteford, who worked with King Charles on the North Highland Initiative, a Scottish charity looking at the difficulties rural communities face, told the BBC, 'If you're lucky enough to shake his hand, he's got a very tough hand. That's because he's a practical man. He loves farming, hedgerow creation, fencing. He'll cut peats. He is of the land... a farmer at heart'.

That's not to say that the king wasn't of course 'to the palace born' and has some of the most exotic, eccentric and therefore royal tastes, like when he revealed astonishingly to the BBC just before the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (or COP26) in Glasgow: 'My old Aston Martin, which I've had for 51 years, runs on -- can you believe this -- surplus English white wine, and whey from the cheese process." He meant E85, an ethanol byproduct that comese from fermenting the waste from wine and cheese-making.

Charles Philip Arthur George, 74, is the eldest child of the late Queen Elizabeth II and husband to Camilla. He is also father to Prince William and Prince Harry and the grandfather of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie, and Lilibet.

A look back at many memorable moments in his life as Prince Charles.


IMAGE: King Charles III has had a long, long and torrid love affair with trees.
In honour of his coronation, trees are being planted all over the Commonwealth.
He is seen here beside an ancient oak tree in Windsor Great Park to mark his appointment as ranger of the park, in November, 2022.
The tree that his majesty is pictured under is one of many veteran and ancient oak and beech trees that make Windsor one of the largest and most important collections of tree cover in north Europe.
The continuity of royal patronage of this park for nearly a 1,000 years had led to the preservation and stewardship of this wonderful selection of trees. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images


IMAGE: All Britishers love their horses. Winston Churchill once said 'No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle'.
Polo is said to be the sport of kings. So is horseracing. 
King Charles III once did both. He told Crown Chronicles that he got interested in horseracing because he 'wanted to understand what it was like from a jockey’s perspective. A lot of people don’t understand, you go to the races, and you just see people galloping around. You have no idea, until you do it, what incredibly hard work it is, and how much technique, practice, application and fitness there has to be'.
He is seen here, when he was Prince of Wales, patting his horse at the end of the Chakravarty Polo Cup match in June 2003 at Beaufort polo grounds in Tetbury, England.
Photograph: Getty Images


IMAGE: Skiing is another family pursuit. Charles, Diana, William and Harry all once skied or still do. Charles and his boys are pictured above in 2002 in the Swiss village of Klosters at the start of their annual skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps.
Photograph: Julian Herbert/Getty Images


IMAGE: King Charles III's true home is inside the garden.
As a child he remembers fondly pottering about his grandma Queen Mother Elizabeth's grand garden when his parents were away for overseas tours.
Queen Elizabeth II and then Prince Charles, Prince of Wales pose for a portrait in the garden of Frogmore House, Windsor, in March 2021.
Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images


IMAGE: The opening of Parliament is a key royal duty and when Philip, Prince of Edinburgh became too feeble to accompany Queen Elizabeth II to the State Opening the Parliament, Prince Charles began to chip in.
He and Queen Elizabeth II, attended the oepning at the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in October, 2019 in London, England.
Photograph: Victoria Jones - WPA Pool / Getty Images


IMAGE: Is there a better daughter-in-law-pa-in-law relationship than Kate and Charles'?
It looked for a time that Meghan was usurping that spot when she asked Charles to walk her down the aisle. But that was yesterday. Much water has flowed under the (London) bridge since then.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles, then Prince of Wales iron artwork produced on silk during a visit to the Dulwich Picture Gallery in  2012, south London.
The Duchess of Cambridge joined her parents-in-law Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on a royal visit to the gallery to celebrate their shared love of the arts and see work done by the Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts.
Photograph: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images


IMAGE: Happier days, before Prince Harry decided to have writing aspirations.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry leave a Service Of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on June 5, 2012 in London, England.
Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images


IMAGE: The happy prince and the frog.
There's nothing odd about this pic.
Charles has a deep interest in wildlife and looked very comfortable posing with frog royalty ie a rare Ecuadorian stream tree frog, an endangered species discovered in the rainforests of Ecuador and named Hyloscirtus princecharlesi in honour of his support to conservation and environmental campaigns, during a WWF-UK Green Ambassadors Summit attended by school children at Highgrove House in 2012 in Doughton near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.
Photograph: Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images


IMAGE: King Charles has donned an armed services uniform for at least seven years of his life, if not more, when he put in time with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.
It was a tradition continued by his sons.
Prince William heads back to the RAF rescue base after Prince William showed his father around in his RAF rescue helicopter at RAF Valley in July, 2012.
Photograph: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images


IMAGE: A pic together with Prince Harry in front of an Apache helicopter after Prince Charles was invited by the Army Aviation Centre in his role as colonel-in-chief of the Army Air Corps in order to fly an Apache and to meet students on the Apache Conversion Course in 2011 in Middle Wallop, England.
Photograph: Richard Dawson/MoD via Getty Images


IMAGE: King Charles, as UK's top roving ambassador, has made over 350 official overseas trips, visiting almost every corner of the globe, crisscrossing much of Africa too.
Only a handful of countries have not been on his itineraries like North Korea, Syria, Paraguay, Albania, Sudan. He even made a trip to Iraq to visit British troops in 2004, hopping over to tour Iran on the same trip.
Some of the countries he has visited far more frequently have been Canada, Australia, USA, France, Saudi Arabia.
He has visited India 10 times, even attending late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's funeral in May 1991.
Schoolchildren wave Australian flags as then Prince Charles visits Kilkenny Primary School in Adelaide in 2012.
Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images


IMAGE: Part of King Charles' heart resides in Scotland. He has three to four homes there.
And is often a kilted king.
Further, Robert the Bruce, the king who bravely waged a war for Scotland's independence, in the 1400s, is his ancestor.
The Scots, who are not folks to love easily or quickly, treat him as one of their own (many of them that is).
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, in their role as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, attended the Mey Highland Games at Queens Park in Caithness, Scotland in 2007, as honorary chieftan of the Games carrying on the role of the late Queen Mother.
Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images


IMAGE: One of the leading advocates for better eating, King Charles has always been interested in food, especially meals prepared from organic produce.
He and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in chef gear, flip Welsh cakes on hot plates as they tour of a village bakery in 2015 in Wrexham, Wales.
Photograph: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images


IMAGE: King Charles' fave drink is gin and tonic and Camilla likes her red wine and is the president of UK’s Vineyard Association.
His partiality for gin never stopped Charles' oenophilic pursuits and on his travels he often tours vineyards.
The couple visited Seppeltsfield Winery in Barossa Valley, Australia in 2015.
Photograph: Daniel Kalisz - Pool/Getty Images


IMAGE: When you are the Duke of Cornwall, which King Charles was till his mom's death, tasting Cornish Pasties is an official task.
He visits Nicki's Bakery in Port Isaac, England in 2016.
Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images


IMAGE: Visiting France with Mama: Queen Elizabeth II and Charles travelled in an open top car in Avignon during a state visit to France, May 1972. Photograph: Reg Lancaster/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


IMAGE: King Charles was the first royal heir to go to school. All heirs before him were tutored in the palace.
He attended Hill House School, west London, Cheam School at Hampshire, Gordonstoun in Scotland and then went to Cambridge to study archaeology, anthropology and history.
This photograph was taken on Downing Street in Cambridge, when he was starting his term at Trinity College in 1967.
Photograph: Peter Dunne/Daily Express/Getty Images


IMAGE: Camilla and then Prince Charles, suitably garbed, visit a mosque together. In 2016 they popped in at the Grand Mosque in the United Arab Emirates.
Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images


IMAGE: According to Hello! magazine, 'when it comes to enjoying a cuppa, the royal family are the gold standard of tea etiquette'.
On a trip to Scotland, Charles pioneered a new tea when he added his dram of whiskey to his cup.
In 2013, King Charles made a trip to Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Estate, in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images


IMAGE: King Charles III is officially presented with Noble by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as he formally accepts the role of commissioner-in-chief of the RCMP during a ceremony in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, Berkshire on April 28, 2023. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/Pool via Reuters

Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/

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