The “rebel prince” is still making it his duty to be the most outspoken of the Royal Family…
Turns 70! Happy birthday, HRH
Charles became the first British heir to to earn a complete university degree
Age has been kind to the Prince of Wales, who’s perhaps become a little more comfortable in his own skin as the years have gone on.
However as a fan of rocking the boat, defying his parents – including the reigning monarch – and speaking his mind, Prince Charles has rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way in the course of his 70 years.
Yet, interestingly, as a child he was described by his Scottish governess Miss Peebles as “hypersensitive, lonely, excessively shy and given to quiet pursuits like reading and painting”.
The Prince of Wales was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948.
And against tradition, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh decided that little Charles would go to school rather than have a private tutor at the Palace, and so he started at Hill House school in West London in 1956.
In 1958, The Queen created Prince Charles The Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester at just nine years old.
Most of Prince Charles’ education was spent at Gordonstoun, the Scottish boarding school which his father, Prince Philip, recommended – having attended the school as a boy himself.
The Prince of Wales didn’t enjoy boarding school, however, and later described his time there as “disastrous” and like a “prison sentence”. Scenes of bullying and general unhappiness have since been recreated by popular dramatisations like TheCrown.
Yet the Prince of Wales would go on to become the first ever British monarch or heir to the throne to earn a complete university degree.
Attending Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1967, Charles began studying a range of subjects – history, archaeology and anthropology. In 1970, he was awarded a 2:2 degree.
This came just after he was formally invested to the succession as Prince of Wales in a ceremony in 1969.
Following Royal tradition, Prince Charles embarked on a military career – as had Prince Philip before him and as would his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
As a young man, Prince Charles could be very outspoken, to the point where it was viewed as meddling because of the many letters he sent to government ministers.
He also became involved in many charities, and even set up The Prince’s Trust, a charity designed to help young people from underprivileged backgrounds.
From far left: Baby Charles in June, 1949; with the Queen on his fourth birthday; with his parents and siblings at Windsor in 1968; and jetting off on a tour of the United States in 1977