In this photo, we see Queen Elizabeth holding a baby Charles only days after his birth in 1948. The two would go on to develop a beautiful relationship. This photograph showcases what’s to come in the following decades of success. Years later, after the death of his mother, Charles said in a speech, “And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May ‘flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.'” (via US Magazine).
In 1949, Charles turned one year old. This photograph captures his cute, chubby baby face as he innocently enjoys his birthday cake. Based on this picture, he already looks like he’s made to be a ruler. Little did he know, this was only two years before his mother would take the throne (via Town And Country Mag).
Most parents take their kids to Disney World. But not if you’re the Royal Family. In 1951, Charles was spotted with his father, Prince Philip, as they exited the airplane after a trip to Malta. But even though the photographs of his life showcase a happy childhood, Charles recently admitted that his parents were emotionally distant, which affected his relationship with his children. A paper about Prince Charles once admitted: “Prince Charles blames his father for sending him to Gordonstoun, the Scottish public school, where he was beaten up, bullied and abused, and he accuses Prince Philip of forcing him into marriage with a woman he scarcely knew and never loved.” (via Harpers Bazaar).
1952 was a year of family bonding and love for the Royal Family. In this photograph, Princess Anne bonds with her big brother. Over his life, Charles didn’t only have the responsibility to rule a nation, but to be an older brother to his adorable younger sister. In this photograph, the two laugh about something only children understand (via People).
As children, our parents took photos of us that, as adults, made us want to bury forever. But many photographs of a young Charles are adorable. That includes this one of him giving the camera a sly eye in 1953 at Balmoral Castle (via Harpers Bazaar).
Not everyone will ever get to participate in a regatta. But if you’re Charles, you got to participate in one at nine years old. In 1957, Charles was photographed in a regatta in Cowes on the sailboat ‘Bluebottle’ (via Town And Country Mag).
Fans have been lucky enough to see several of Charles’ family portraits throughout the years. In 1959, he and his family posed for a photograph at Windsor Castle. How is the entire family so sophisticated? Most of our family portraits look unorganized and awkward. They must know something we don’t (via Town And Country Mag).
When our parents took us on a family picnic, we went to the nearby park. In this 1960 photograph, we see Charles and his family on a family picnic at Balmoral Castle. That’s a backdrop we’ll never get to experience. In this photograph, we see Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, King Charles, Princess Anne, and their dog. Even their dog is well-behaved (via People).
Everyone remembers their first day of school, and most of our parents probably took a photograph of us during this special day. In 1962, Charles went to Gordonstoun School in Scotland for his first term (via Town And Country Mag). Unfortunately, he resented his father for sending him to the school where he was allegedly bullied.
The Braemore Games were important for Charles and his family. In 1964, the family attended the games. In this photograph, we see Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and the Queen Mother all together as one (via Town And Country Mag).
This simple photograph of Charles and his mother surfaced in 1967. Charles looks quite dapper in his kilt, though we can’t imagine how comfortable it could be (via People). Either way, fans got to see a blossoming young Charles enjoy a light-hearted moment with Queen Elizabeth here.
We saw King Charles and his younger sister, Princess Anne, posing for cute childhood photographs. But they age, just like us. The two were captured again in 1968, at the Braemar Royal Highland gathering watching the annual games (via Harpers Bazaar). Both Charles and Anne were coming and age and beginning to become the Royals people have loved for decades.
Charles accomplished many things in his life. Being royalty and ruling a nation wasn’t the only thing he did. He also participated in several competitive sports. In 1968, he played a game of cricket. His rivals were Grand Prix racecar drivers, making for a bit of high-profile sport (via Harpers Bazaar).
Charles was a hard-working student. There’s no room for slacking off when you’re part of the royal family and expected to rule a country at some point in your life. This photo was of Charles studying at the University of Cambridge in 1968. This photograph showcases his hard work (via Harpers Bazaar).
Charles was deemed the Prince of Wales in 1958. But it wasn’t until 1969, when this photograph was taken, that fans saw his investiture. During a televised ceremony, his mother Queen Elizabeth crowned Charles at Caernarfon Castle (via US Magazine).
In 1970, Charles went to Trinity College and the University College of Wales. He made familial history since he was the first heir to earn a college degree. This photograph was snapped during his college graduation from the University of Cambridge (via US Magazine).
This photograph shows the sheer determination and focus as Charles watches a tennis match at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in 1970 (via People). Charles was always a fan of sports, and this photo proves just how much he enjoyed the competition.
If you believed Charles couldn’t impress his fans anymore, think again. This 1971 photograph portrays his success in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, which he served from 1971 to 1977. He rose to rank as a lieutenant. They stationed him on multiple ships and he successfully learned how to fly various aircraft. Way to make us look lazy, King Charles (via US Magazine).
If you have siblings, chances are, your parents photographed you throughout the years. This is the best way to see how much you’ve grown, since your awkward teenage years. There’s nothing like a sibling picture. In 1972, Charles strikes a pose with his family during summertime at Balmoral Castle (via People).
Not only is Charles incredibly skilled in several areas of his life, but he also uses his own time and energy to help underprivileged people. In 1976, he founded The Prince’s Trust. This helps improve the lives of disadvantaged, youthful people in the United Kingdom. Since its start in the ’70s, it’s helped one million individuals’ lives (via US Magazine).
As the oldest child, Charles had to constantly look, and act, the part. He had a sort of responsibility that none of his other siblings had. In 1978, we see him wearing a blazar, red knee socks, a tartan skirt, and holding a cane. He’s posing with a dog outside a castle, who looks like he truly loves his owner (via People).
Charles found love in 1977 when he met Diana. It wasn’t until 1981 that he proposed to her and they tied the knot on July 29th, 1981. Even though reports say Charles felt pressured by his father to marry Diana, the two made a beautiful couple whose children eventually continued the chain of royalty (via US Magazine).
Two years later in 1984, Charles and Diana welcomed their second child, Harry, into the world. Even though the couple looks happy, that wasn’t what was going on beneath the surface. This picture was taken years before Charles and Diana separated. The two suffered several marital issues and Charles ended up having an affair with another woman named Camilla. Charles claimed his marriage was “irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.” (via US Magazine).
In 1997, Diana died in a car accident in Paris. At the time, William was 15 and Harry was 12 years old. During a documentary called Diana, 7 Days, the Duke of Sussex said, “[Our dad] was there for us â he was the one out of two left, and he tried to do his best and to make sure that we were protected and looked after.” The funeral took place in September 1997 (via US Magazine).
In 2002, Prince William and King Charles were photographed in Klosters, Switzerland. They’re on the ski slopes, enjoying quality time. Is there anything Charles can’t do? (via Harpers Bazaar). Not much, and it’s why he’s such a beloved king the world over.
Despite the horrible news and the death of Diana, Charles eventually married the woman he was cheating on Diana with. The 1993 phone call scandal was the first sign that something was wrong in Charles’ marriage. 35 years after the two met, they married. Charles proposed to Camilla in 2005 and they wed at Windsor Guildhall, which Charles’ parents did not attend. At first, Queen Elizabeth did not approve of Charles and Camilla’s relationship, and it took several years until Camilla finally met the Queen. In an interview 10 years after their marriage, Charles said, “It’s always marvelous to have somebody who, you know, you feel understands and wants to encourage. Although she certainly pokes fun if I get too serious about things. And all that helps.” That sounds like true love (via US Magazine).
In 2008, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall toured East Asia. Before they began their tour, they walked down the red carpet. He toured Southeast Asia and India, though he left out Myanmar because of the growing violence and political unrest the country faced at the time. In regards to Myanmar, Rights campaigners like Mark Farmaner, director of the UK Burma Campaign, claimed “To have someone of Prince Charles’s stature go to visit the country would be seen as a reward, and giving legitimacy to the government and the military that are currently violating international law.” The 11-day tour began in Malaysia and finished in India (via Reuters).
Not only have many fans of the Royal Family watched Charles grow up, but we’ve watched his son, William, grow up as well. In 2011, William married Duchess Kate at Westminister Abbey. William involved his dad as much as possible, and in May 2020, Charles admitted he helped select the music. In an interview, he said, “was quite understanding and was perfectly happy for me to suggest a few pieces for their wedding” (via US Magazine).
King Charles and his mother, Queen Elizabeth, spent time together watching the traditional games at Braemar Highland Gathering in September 2018. Throughout the years, we’ve seen their family attend the Braemar games every year, for several decades. On this day in particular, they opened The Duke Of Rothesay Highland Games Pavillion, a special exhibition showcasing the Scottish Highland games (via People).
In this photo, Charles appears with his father, Prince Philip. Charles assumed the throne when his beloved mother Queen Elizabeth passed away. She was loved the world over and her passing left a huge void in not just the UK but the world overall. Eight months following his ascension to the throne, Charles had his coronation. He seems to know the impact she had and the burden he now carries. Because of this, he issued a heartfelt thank you to his people online.
In an Instagram post, he said, “To those who joined in the celebrations â whether at home, at street parties and lunches, or by volunteering in communities â we thank you, everyone. To know that we have your support and encouragement, and to witness your kindness expressed in so many different ways, has been the greatest possible Coronation gift, as we now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms, and the Commonwealth.” If you participated in the celebration, King Charles wants to make sure you know he thanks you.
2020 was a difficult year for everyone in the world, including King Charles. The Clarence House confirmed he contracted COVID in March 2020 with the rest of the world. Even Charles wasn’t immune. Luckily, Charles didn’t suffer any ill effects from the virus and recovered quickly (via US Magazine).
It’s not always smooth sailing between family members, and King Charles is not immune to that. In March 2021, Charles and his son, Harry, had a lot of issues to work through. Charles stopped taking Harry’s calls after he exited the Royal Family in 2020. He said. “I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like. Archie is his grandson. I will always love him. There’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. I will continue to make it one of my priorities to heal that relationship.” Let’s hope the two can overcome whatever they’re going through to reconcile and form a beautiful relationship (via US Magazine).
On May 6th, 2023, King Charles made British history by being labeled as King during his coronation. He served as a prince for over 70 years, but only recently he stepped forward and earned a title most of the world will never come to know. The celebration took place in Westminster Abbey, London. Of all of King Charles’s impressive accomplishments during his life, this one is the most impressive and notable (via US Magazine).