Charles, Prince of Wales is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. Known alternatively in Scotland as Duke of Rothesay and in South West England as Duke of Cornwall.
Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay. He is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.
He married Lady Diana Spencer before an enormous worldwide television audience in 1981. They had two sons, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in 1982 and Prince Harry of Wales in 1984. The couple separated in 1992 following tabloid allegations concerning their relationship. They divorced in 1996 after Diana publicly accused Charles of having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, and Charles admitted adultery on television. Diana died in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. In 2005, after a lengthy continued association, the Prince married Camilla, who uses the title Duchess of Cornwall.
Charles was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun Schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had attended as a child, as well as the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Australia. After earning a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity College, Cambridge, Charles served a tour of duty with the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976.
As Prince of Wales, Prince Charles undertakes a number of official duties on behalf of his mother, in her role as sovereign of any of the Commonwealth realms. He will frequently stand in for the Queen at the funerals of foreign
dignitaries (which the Queen customarily does not attend), and at investitures into British orders. It was when he attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II that Charles caused controversy: when shaking hands with other guests, Charles was surprised to find himself shaking that of Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, who had been seated next to the Prince. Charles' office subsequently released a statement saying: "The Prince of Wales was caught by surprise and not in a position to avoid shaking Mr. Mugabe's hand. The Prince finds the current Zimbabwean regime abhorrent. He has supported the Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund which works with those being oppressed by the regime. The Prince also recently met Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, an outspoken critic of the government."
Both Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall travel abroad on behalf of the United Kingdom. The Prince has been regarded as an effective advocate of the country, with his visit to the Republic of Ireland, where he delivered a personally researched and written speech on Anglo-Irish affairs that was warmly received by Irish politicians and the media, being cited as an example. His service to the Canadian Armed Forces permits him to be informed of troop activities, and allows him to visit these troops while in Canada or overseas, taking part in ceremonial occasions. For instance, in 2001, the Prince placed a specially commissioned wreath, made from vegetation taken from French battlefields, at the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and in 1981 he became the patron of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
Prince Charles makes regular tours of Wales, going there for a week of engagements each summer, attending important national occasions, such as opening the Senedd. In 2000, Charles revived the tradition of the Prince of Wales having an official harpist, in order to foster Welsh talent at playing the harp, the national instrument of Wales. He and the Duchess of Cornwall also spend one week each year in Scotland, where the Prince is patron of a number of
Prince Charles is a Director of "The Royal Collection Trust". and an Assistant of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
On 27 March 2011, Prince Charles attended in the Christchurch memorial service at Westminster Abbey for acknowledging the generosity, sympathy and support New Zealand has received from the United Kingdom since the earthquake hit. On 16 November, Prince Charles attended a special service at Westminster Abbey as the Patron of the King James Bible Trust celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in the presence of The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, clerics and thousands of worshippers.
In 2008, according to a survey, Charles became the most hard-working royal, surpassing the Princess Royal. He carried out 560 Official engagements in 2008, 585 official engagements in 2010 and in 2011, he carried out over 600 official engagements.