Throughout the years there have been many great kings and queens of Great Britain. None should ever be overlooked, but one that stands out is Prince Charles Phillip Arthur George. Still currently the Prince of Great Britain; he’s been an amazing leader. The highlights of his life include his marriage to the late Princess Diana, his early life with the military, and of course his present life now.
The Prince’s marriage to Diana wasn’t one of the best kept secrets in the world. Everyone in the world had their eyes glued on their TV for the extraordinarily special occasion (Barry, 1983). Charles and Diana had known each other since they were young, and were later introduced in the late 1970’s (Charles, 2011). One thing that people don’t really know about the two was that they were thirteen years apart in age. The two got engaged in February 1981, and the ceremony was on July 29, 1981. It was televised all over the world for millions to see this spectacular occasion (Charles, 2011).
Their fairytale marriage together seemed almost perfect, but suddenly tragedy struck. They had felt strained over their years together with royal responsibilities, pressure from the media, and even some infidelities. Prince Charles had been accused of re-igniting an old flame with his ex-lover Camilla Park Bowles. Charles had admitted to the accusations and he officially separated with Diana in 1992, and divorced her in 1996 (Barry, 1983).
Misfortune struck the Prince again when Princess Diana died in a car crash several years later in Paris (Charles, 2011). Prince Charles set aside both of their differences and traveled with Diana’s sisters to France to accompany her body back to England. Charles took the role of his grieving sons; Prince William and Prince Henry. He took this time of mourning seriously and asked the media to leave his children alone and let them live as normal a life as possible. After years of quietly keeping their relationship a secret, Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005 (Charles, 2011). She became the Duchess of Cornwall.
In addition to his rollercoaster of a love life, his early life was a bit different than most considering he was in line to take the throne. He was born on November 14, 1948, in London, England (House, 2009). His parents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip made him ascend the royal hierarchy at a very early age. It wasn’t much of a surprise to the country. His mother became queen when he was only three after the death of his grandfather, King George VI (Charles, 2011).
Since he was the oldest child, Charles became the heir apparent to the British throne and received the title Duke of Cornwall. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh decided that the Prince should go to school rather than have a tutor at the Palace (Martin, 1985). They did this in part by because they wanted him to have as normal a life as possible and they wanted him to be able to have a lot of interaction with other people. In 1956 he attended the Hill House School in West London before heading off to boarding school at the Cheam School the following year. One interesting fact about Prince Charles was that he was actually made Prince of Wales at the age of only nine (Charles, 2011).
Charles also attended Gordonstoun in Scotland, and studied in Australia too during his time there. The Prince also went to Cambridge University in 1967 to study archaeology and anthropology (House, 2009). He attended the Trinity College part, a subdivision of Cambridge University. In addition to his studies, he was active in campus life. He involved himself in several activities, such as playing on the polo team.
After receiving his degree in 1970, Charles began a military career. He spent six months of training The Royal Air Force (Barry, 1983). Prince Charles joined the Royal Navy in 1971. He did several things while in the Navy. He served as a helicopter pilot and even commanded a ship before leaving the military in 1976. That same year, Charles established The Prince’s Trust, a charitable organization dedicated to helping improve the lives of Britain’s disadvantaged youth (House, 2009). The Prince had a very diverse education along with a variety of activities. It shaped him to become a great leader. Furthermore, Prince Charles has left a great number of legacies. Prince Charles has become the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.
The previous record, of 59 years, two months and 13 days, was set by his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII. Over the years The Prince of Wales has founded a number of initiatives in order to try and help communities locally and globally. The Prince has long been sensitive to the plight of sheep farmers in this country and abroad and through two particular initiatives, the Campaign for Wool and The Mutton Renaissance, has sought to improve the prices of two of their main products. Both the Campaign for Wool and the Mutton Renaissance initiatives aimed to make popular again these two products: wool as a natural fire-retardant and sustainable fabric; and mutton as a tasty alternative to lamb, in order to help sheep farmers gain a better profit and thus protect their way of life (House, 2009).
The Prince’s Rainforests Project was set up in October 2007 by The Prince of Wales to find practical solutions to slow tropical deforestation and combat climate change. START is an initiative inspired by The Prince of Wales, which aims to provide people with simpler steps towards sustainable living (House, 2009). In 2010, The Prince conducted a tour to a number of projects across the country, where he saw first-hand a number of inspiring ways that people are making a start. The Prince visited projects in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bristol, Carmarthen, Manchester, Todmorden, Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham and culminating in London with A Garden Party to make a difference in the grounds of Clarence House, Lancaster House and Marlborough House (Martin, 1985).
The Prince of Wales has homes in England, Scotland and Wales. Clarence House is the official London residence of The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry. The private pursuits and interests of The Prince of Wales are as varied as the concerns – like the welfare of young people and the disadvantaged, the quality of our built environment and sustainability – to which he devotes his public life. The Prince is a keen watercolorist and paints whenever his schedule allows. Lithographs of his paintings are sold and all proceeds go to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. His Royal Highness enjoys gardening, especially in his organic garden at Highgrove (Martin, 1985). A keen advocate of traditional rural skills, The Prince enjoys hedge laying and has hosted the National Hedgelaying Championships at Home Farm.
He has also laid many of the hedges on Home Farm himself. In pursuing some of his interests, The Prince is able to give support to organizations in the worlds of art, music and theatre – as he does in many other fields – through becoming Patron or President (House, 2009). In total, The Prince of Wales is Patron or President of around 400 organizations. For example, His Royal Highness is Patron or President of the English Chamber Orchestra and Music Society, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, The Welsh National Opera, Live Music Now!, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal Ballet, to name but a few.
The Prince and The Duchess regularly attend theatre and opera performances and symphony concerts, sometimes as part of a fundraising event and sometimes in a private capacity (Barry, 1983). Over the years His Royal Highness has taken part in many different sports including racing, scuba diving and sailing. Up until November 2005 The Prince raised money for charity by playing polo. He decided to retire from the game after playing it for over 40 years.
In conclusion, there is much to be said about the great Prince Charles. The almost perfect marriage to the late Princess Diana, his early life with the military, and his present life now can all be great examples of the way one person can have an impact on the world. Next time you’re making decisions, think of how Prince Charles would’ve handled it; with grace and dominance. Once you take a step back and look at all of the great Princes and Princesses of Great Britain; Prince Charles will always be on the top of the list as one of the most impacting human beings of his generation.