Click the button for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic and how it is impacting the royals

Prince Charles and Camilla

Happy Birthday Charles! 70 facts about the 70-year-old Prince

Today is the 70th birthday of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. To celebrate the occasion, Royal Central has compiled a list of 70 facts about the heir to the throne.

  1. From February to July 1966 Prince Charles was an exchange student in Timbertop, the outback section of Geelong Church of England Grammar School, near Melbourne, Australia.
  2. In October 1967 His Royal Highness began his studies at Cambridge University, originally archaeology and anthropology were his majors at Trinity College, later switching to history.
  3. He graduated from Cambridge with a BA Honours in June 1970, having been awarded a 2:2 grade.
  4. In 1976 he took command of the coastal mine hunter, HMS Bronington.
  5. In 1980 The Prince published, The Old Man of Lochnagar, a children’s book. It was originally written for his younger brother Prince Edward.
  6. In 1988 he wrote and presented the TV documentary, ‘A Vision of Britain’.
  7. A keen polo player for much of his life, he gave up the sport in November 2005. He played in all four positions, but most often at No 4 (back).
  8. In 1993, Prince Charles’s model village of Poundbury was created near Dorset.
  9. The Queen and Prince Philip gave him a cobalt blue Aston Martin for his 21st birthday present. He still has the car to this day and in fact it was the car The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drove off in after their wedding.
  10. The Prince holds the rank of Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force, and is an Admiral of the Royal Navy as well as Field Marshal in the Army.
  11. He launched his own food company, Duchy Originals, in 1992 (named after the Duchy of Cornwall). Its first product was a biscuit made from wheat and oats grown organically on the Home Farm at Highgrove.
  12. Prince Charles’s full title is: “His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC”.
  13. His vehicles have all been converted to run on 100 per cent biodiesel made from used cooking oil.
  14. He turned down the chance to make a cameo appearance in Doctor Who, although he did make an appearance on Coronation Street.
  15. His favourite scotch is Laphroaig4139012163_1db8afc5e6_o
  16. He broke an 80-year tradition by giving Camilla a wedding ring derived from Cornish gold, instead of from the nugget of Welsh gold that has provided rings for all royal brides and grooms since 1923.
  17. Turnbull & Asser make his shirts. He awarded them a Royal Warrant in 1981.
  18. He has his own brand of whisky, Barrogill. Every sale adds £1 to the Prince’s North Highlands Initiative.
  19. Prince Charles and John Cleese co-wrote an environmental comedy, Grimes Goes Green, in 1989.
  20. The Prince of Wales is the first royal heir to earn a university degree.
  21. He is descended from Romania’s Vlad Tepes, the 15th century nobleman also known as Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
  22. He qualified as a helicopter pilot and joined the 845 Naval Air Squadron on the HMS Hermes in 1974.
  23. In 1976 he founded the Prince’s Trust.
  24. Clarence House became the official London residence of Prince Charles and his sons in 2003 after he moved from St James’s Palace (which is conveniently joined on to Clarence House).
  25. In 2005 he made his first official visit to the United States since 1994.
  26. He received the Global Environmental Citizen Award in 2007 from the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment. It was presented by Vice President Al Gore.
  27. In 2009 he was voted the best-dressed man in the world by the British edition of Esquire magazine.
  28. In 2013 he attended the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 17 years and for the first time with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.
  29. The Prince of Wales took his seat in the House of Lords in 1970, when hereditary peers sat in the Lords. He, like the majority of hereditary peers, lost his right to sit in the House of Lords in 1999.
  30. Llwynywermod, near Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, is the Welsh home of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

    Clarence House

    Clarence House, Prince Charles’s official residence.

  31. In 2000 he founded The Prince’s Drawing School with artist Catherine Goodman.
  32. He is Patron or President of more than 400 organisations.
  33. His Royal Highness is also one of three members of the Royal Family able to grant Royal Warrants of appointment to companies. A company which has supplied goods to the Prince of Wales for 5 or more years can ask for the right to display the Prince of Wales’s feathers accompanied by the wording ‘By appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales …’ and the type of goods supplied, with their company logo or however they choose.
  34. The motto of The Prince of Wales ‘Ich dien’, which means ‘I serve’
  35. Like The Queen, Prince Charles has his own personal standard which is flown where he is in residence.
  36. The Prince of Wales’s Standard is never flown at any of The Queen’s official residences, except twice a year when His Royal Highness visits Sandringham in Her Majesty’s absence. It is not flown during a private visit.
  37. He enjoys hedgelaying and has hosted the National Hedgelaying Championships at Home Farm.
  38. His paintings were displayed in a 1977 exhibition at Windsor Castle at which other Royal artists included Queen Victoria, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke of York.
  39. The copyright of The Prince’s watercolours belongs to A. G. Carrick Ltd, a trading arm of The Prince’s Charities Foundation. The name uses two of The Prince’s four Christian names – Arthur and George – and one of his titles, The Earl of Carrick.
  40. In 1975 he spent 47 minutes underwater examining the wreck of the Mary Rose, a Tudor warship sunk off Portsmouth in 1545. He was the first member of the Royal Family to see it since Henry VIII watched the ship sink.
  41. He played his first polo match in 1963 aged 15, in a team captained by The Duke of Edinburgh and he played his first game in public in April 1964.
  42. The Prince only played polo to raise money for charity.
  43. He made his debut as a jockey in 1980 at a charity race at Plumpton, East Sussex.
  44. In 1964, during a school concert of religious music at St Giles’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, he played the trumpet in the Gordonstoun orchestra.
  45. In 1978 he sang with the Bach Choir, of which he is President, at a performance of Handel’s Coronation Anthems in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, conducted by Sir David Willcocks.
  46. In 2000 he recreated the tradition of harpists being appointed to the Royal Court, by appointing an Official Harpist to The Prince of Wales.
  47. He launched the Campaign for Wool in January 2010 as an initiative to expand the market for British and Commonwealth wool and promote awareness of its environmental benefits.
  48. He often visits churches in other parts of the United Kingdom and abroad.
  49. Since 1969, he has visited 33 Commonwealth countries.
  50. “Harmony: A New Way of Looking at our World” written by The Prince, with Tony Juniper and Ian Skelly was published in 2010. In 2012 the film was screened at the Sundance Festival in London.


    The Prince of Wales’s feathers

  51. He bought the Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire in 1980.
  52. He once invited Italian restaurateur Antonio Carluccio to spend three days with him at the Deeside Castle, to show His Royal Highness which wild mushrooms were fit to eat and which were poisonous.
  53. He suffers from a bad back, but to alleviate the symptoms gets up early every morning to perform a rigorous series of exercises.
  54. Though known as an animal-lover, he dislikes cats.
  55. The Prince is reportedly a supporter of Burnley Football Club.
  56. Throughout the country, Prince Charles is known by different titles. For example, in Cornwall he is known as HRH The Duke of Cornwall and in Chester, as HRH The Earl of Chester.
  57. Their Royal Highnesses, known as The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay when in Scotland, usually spend their summer holiday at Birkhall.
  58. The Prince is among current Royal Knights and Ladies of the Thistle and was installed in 1977 under his title as Duke of Rothesay.
  59. The Prince of Wales automatically became a Knight of the Garter when he became Prince of Wales in 1958, but was not installed until 17th June 1968, at Windsor Castle.
  60. He founded The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation in 1979.
  61. Lithographs of his paintings are sold and all proceeds go to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.
  62. Flight Lieutenant Prince of Wales was awarded his RAF wings at Cranwell on 20 August 1971.
  63. He recently guest edited a Royal edition of Country Life, the first time he has been a print editor.
  64. He has keen to wide leg trousers since University and continues wearing them till this day.
  65. The Prince of Wales has taken a more active role in the last couple of years preparing him for the transition to become King. This includes attending the State Opening of Parliament.
  66. He has been encouraging his grandchildren to get green fingers in the garden by being involved with gardening.
  67. As the Prince is an old age pensioner, he has his own bus pass and receives a state pension.
  68. One of the Prince’s favourite actors is Sir Anthony Sher, a two-time Laurence Olivier Award winner.
  69. Prince Charles, who is first in line to the throne, will one day accede his mother Queen Elizabeth II as King of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms.
  70. In an interview to mark his 70th birthday, the Prince committed to stop campaigning on issues he cares about such as the environment when he becomes King.

photo credit: BiblioArchives / LibraryArchivesolebrat, Royal Central and Sodacan via photopin cc