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Prince Charles becomes king of Britain at 73

King Charles III succeeds his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as Britain’s new monarch

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Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, in the background, leave after attending the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London, Monday, March 9, 2020. Charles now succeeds Queen Elizabeth II as the king of England.

Kirsty Wigglesworth, Associated Press

Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 on Thursday. Her son, Prince Charles, is now the king of Britain at age 73.

He will now be known as King Charles III, according to The Washington Post. He made a statement about his mother’s death, per Today: “The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of great sadness for me and all members of my family.”

Who is King Charles III?

The new king, Queen Elizabeth’s firstborn son, was born in 1948. He was crowned prince of Wales in 1969, according to Britannica.

Charles attended both the Royal Air Force College and Royal Naval College, Dartmouth and served with the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. According to British Heritage, Charles’ military career followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

Charles is perhaps most well known for his marriage to Princess Diana. They were wed in 1981 in a historic, televised marriage ceremony. Together, they had two sons: William, who will succeed his father, and Harry.

Charles and Diana divorced in 1996. Diana died a year later in a car crash.

In 2005, Charles married Camilla Park Bowles in a private civil ceremony, according to Town & Country. Prince William was the best man.

Sustainability efforts

Charles has been known as a champion of sustainability and was awarded The GCC Global Leader of Change Award in 2017. The award recognized “HRH’s contribution to global environmental preservation and protection and for his compassion for people and the planet,” according to Charles’ official website.

According to the BBC, Charles addressed climate change during his latest tour of Canada this year, saying, “I can only say how strongly I would encourage the leadership of the Northwest Territories to address this challenge by working alongside indigenous knowledge-keepers to restore harmony with nature.”


Charles has faced his fair share of controversies. Most notably, his marriage to Princess Diana been scrutinized over the years. It was most recently revisited after a less-than-favorable depiction of a young Charles in Netflix’s hit series “The Crown” and in the 2021 film “Spencer.”

When will King Charles III be crowned?

So far, there’s no word on when Charles’ coronation ceremony will take place.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss released a statement about Elizabeth’s death and touched on Charles’ reign, per CNN: “We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long.”