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The Queen Elizabeth [The queen mother] with grandson prince Charles in this december 1948. Photo: Fairfax Archives

Then Princess Elizabeth stands with her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edingburgh, and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne at the couple's London residence at Clarence House in Aug. 1951. Photo: AP

Queen Elizabeth II and his sister, Princess Anne, left, as they sit in an automobile following their arrival in London, Feb.9,1953 by train from a six-week Christmas vacation at Sandringham,England. Photo: AP

July 27 1958, wearing his school cap and carrying a raincoat Prince Charles strides back to Cheam School in Berkshire after attending morning service in church with his schoolmates. Photo: Fairfax Archives

July 21st 1968, Prince Charles sweeps a ball to leg when playing for a local side against a Grand Prix drivers team in a special charity cricket match organised by his host Lord Braborne at Mersham near Ashford Kent. He scored 20 before being caught by Bruce McLaran off Graham Hill. Photo: Fairfax Archives


Prince Charles swimming at Cottesloe Beach in Perth during visit to Australia 1983. Photo: Fairfax Archives

The Queen Mother with family members in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace after thanksgiving service in honour of her 80th birthday at St Paul's Cathedral. Seated (from left): Princess Margaret, the Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Anne and (Standing, from left): Viscount Linley, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, Prince Edward and Captain Mark Phillips. Photo: Fairfax Archives


Britain's Prince of Wales confers the Fellowship of Royal College of Music on former Beatle Paul McCartney, left, for distinguished services to music at the Royal College of Music in London Wednesday Nov 8 1995. Photo: AP

Charles Philip Arthur George
The prince was born on 14 November 1948. He grew up with his family at Clarence House, spending school holidays on the Sandringham and Balmoral estates. He became heir apparent when he was three years old.
Prince Charles was the first Prince of Wales ever to be educated publicly, and his senior years were spent at Gordonstoun in the Highlands. Years later, he reportedly called it "Colditz in kilts", but said it taught him self-discipline and responsibility.
Words by Victoria Bone


Gowns and wings
Prince Charles was also the first heir to the throne to take a degree � gaining a 2.2 from Trinity College, Cambridge. He was also a member of the drama society and spoke at the Cambridge Union, even then voicing concerns about the environment.
After university, the prince joined the military and in 1971, gained his RAF wings. He then joined the Navy, serving on a destroyer and two frigates, before qualifying as a helicopter pilot. In 1976, he took command of the minehunter HMS Bronington.
The Diana years
In the early 1970s, the prince met and fell in love with Camilla Shand, but when he joined the military she married Andrew Parker Bowles. After he returned to civilian life aged 28, speculation grew about his love life.
Eventually, in February 1981, the Palace announced that he was engaged to 19-year-old Diana Spencer. They seemed an unlikely match, but on 29 July were married at St Paul�s Cathedral. The couple had two sons � William, born 21 June 1982, and Harry, born 15 September 1984.

Divorce and death
A few years on, the marriage was clearly suffering. In 1992 � the Queen�s self-proclaimed Annus Horribilis � the couple split.
In 1994, Prince Charles admitted on television to having an affair � it was later confirmed that the woman in question was Camilla. Diana too confessed to an affair with James Hewitt � she famously said in 1995 that there were three people in her marriage � the third, presumably, Camilla.
The divorce was finalised in 1996, but a year later Diana died in a car crash.
Marrying Camilla
Following Diana�s death, the prince was fiercely criticised for his ongoing relationship with Camilla. She too was vilified in some parts. Gradually, though, Prince Charles began to introduce her to the public as his partner.
They finally married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall on 9 April 2005. The BBC�s former royal correspondent Jennie Bond described them as "soul mates" and much of the British public and press have since accepted and even warmed to their relationship.
rotecting the planet
The prince is an outspoken campaigner on green issues and has used state visits, including to the US and Far East, to spread his message. He has referred to the fight against climate change as a "war" and has demanded that businesses and governments do more. In 2007, the Prince�s Rainforest Foundation was launched to try to find ways to halt deforestation.
Despite going carbon neutral and switching his cars to greener fuel, the prince has been accused of hypocrisy for taking too many flights.
Boys to men
The prince has tried to shield his sons from the media�s harsh glare, but it has not always been easy � when Harry dressed up in a Nazi costume in 2005, for example.
But, as the boys have matured, their relationship with their father has strengthened. When Harry served in Afghanistan, Prince Charles said he was "incredibly proud" of his son. Both princes have followed in their father's footsteps - William by gaining his RAF wings and Harry by deciding to become a helicopter pilot.
A controversial prince
Prince Charles� reputation, badly damaged after Diana, has been rebuilt. Nevertheless, he has still courted controversy, supporting causes like alternative medicine and hunting. He reportedly said Britain�s "learning culture" gave people hope beyond their abilities � a comment he claimed was "misrepresented".
Despite this, he wants to be thought of warmly. In 2005, he said he hoped that after his death he might be appreciated "a little bit more" for his contribution to British life.
Prince Charles poses for a portrait to mark his 60th birthday. Photo: Hugo Burnand
Post By Deepak Punjabi

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