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British RoyalsKing Charles III

Prince Charles ready for Jubilee spotlight as he marks seven decades as heir to the throne

This weekend and much of this year have been focused on celebrating The Queen’s incredible 70 years on the throne. It is a rare achievement and should be celebrated, but another royal is celebrating a notable milestone. 

Prince Charles has served as The Prince of Wales for over 70 years. In September 2017, he took the record of longest-serving Prince of Wales from his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII. He is the only Prince of Wales to serve for seven decades in British history. 

The Prince has played a significant role in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations so far, taking a leading role in the Queen’s Green Canopy, and carrying out a Jubilee visit to Canada in May. Through the Jubilee celebrations in London, he has a jam-packed schedule, including attending a Big Jubilee Lunch on the 5th in South London.

Charles has certainly led an interesting life. He was quite popular in his early adulthood as a handsome heir to the throne who was seemingly up for any adventure. However, his popularity fell when his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales crumbled, and again after her death in 1997. 

The Prince of Wales is often criticised for being too involved in politics, and for taking a stand on controversial causes. However, while environmental causes were once controversial, they span almost all communities and parties. 

He has had a difficult path. He has had some very strict parameters on what he cannot do, but little direction on what he can actually do. His great-great-grandfather spent much of his adulthood socialising and carousing, with no real plan.

It did take him some time, but Charles has set his own path. The Prince’s Trust is a fantastic organisation that provides education, funding, and support for young people across the UK. And his work in sustainability and climate change is continuing to be recognised and praised, such as at the COP26 Conference. His elder son has now taken up his torch, with Charles a large influence on his decision to establish The Earthshot Awards. 

And when it comes to his royal workload, he carries out countless engagements on behalf of his mother. He will do several engagements in a day, is known to stay well-informed on any organisations and communities that he visits, and never implies that there is an engagement or a cause he wouldn’t want to support. At an age when most people are seriously considering retirement, he is hard at work and knows that he will be working for the rest of his life.

His failed marriage should not be considered when we are looking at his tenure as Prince of Wales. If one worked in a so-called “regular” job, reviews and expectations are not based on your outside, personal life, and if they are, there would be legal ramifications. 

Charles’ achievements as the Prince of Wales over the last seven decades are also impressive and deserve their own celebration.

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com